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"Gods and Generals" extended director's cut to be screened at the Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown

"Gods and Generals" extended director's cut to be screened at the Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown

Hagerstown, MD: The film "Gods and Generals," which first opened in 2003 in screens across the U.S. has a new and interesting element, the Extended Director's cut. This new version of the film will screened at the Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown on Friday, October 14, 2011 at 6PM at the Leitersburg Cinemas.
Film Festival Executive Director Tracie Donahue said, "There is a lot of excitement surrounding the screening of the new Gods and Generals Director's Cut at the festival. Most of the original filming in 2001 took place in Washington County, and estimates have indicated that the project brought in about 10 million dollars of economic impact to our community. We are delighted that Director Ron Maxwell is a supporter of our festival and will be in attendance with some of the original cast."
According to Director Ron Maxwell, the new Extended Director's Cut includes previously unreleased scenes of the Battle of Antietam. "The original release had to be cut down significantly, so as to be able to be shown in theaters. This new version, which first premiered at Manassas, Virginia on the 150th Anniversary of the battle earlier this year, includes scenes which Civil War fans have been waiting for."
While the original theatrical release saw limited success at the box office, it has since had steady results on DVD, and this year, the new Blu-ray Disc version of the film was released, as the special Extended Director's Cut. 2011 is the tenth anniversary of the filming of the project.
Some of the new scenes include Confederate General Robert E. Lee's 1862 invasion of Maryland. The new version includes Confederate troops wading through the Potomac River, singing "Maryland My Maryland" on what Lee called a crusade to liberate the Free State. This event actually took place in early September 1862. Also included are some of the best Civil War battle re-creation footage ever completed: the Battle of Antietam. One memorable scene takes place in the Cornfield, where Confederate and Union troops march through high corn, and are unseen until almost touching each other.
At the July premiere in Manassas of the new Extended Director's Cut, Maxwell said, "I made "Gods and Generals" and "Gettysburg" because I love our American history. I'm passionate about our shared stories because I know that story telling is intrinsic and essential to the human condition, and these people, these places and these events grabbed me viscerally."
"Since making these movies, I've become involved with a non-profit organization that cares as much as I do about sharing these stories and these places: The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership. The Journey is a swath of land sweeping from Gettysburg to Monticello and within it lies the largest single concentration of Civil War battle sites in the country. These include Manassas, Antietam, Harpers Ferry, and Gettysburg, and also South Mountain, and so much more."
On Friday night, October 14, 2011, at 5:30PM at the Leitersburg Cinemas, a red carpet event will take place with the cast of Gods and Generals. Stephen Lang (Avatar, Conan), Donazaleigh Abernathy(CSI), and Director Ron Maxwell will be in attendance. Other members of the project have been invited, and are finalizing their commitments.
Before the screening the cast and director will take part in a Question and Answer Session. Film Festival board member Tom Riford said, "This epic movie has a tremendous significance to our region. Not only was it filmed here, but many of the extras in the film were from Hagerstown and the surrounding areas. During the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, it is no surprise that we would want to highlight a film with such relevance."
Based on the best-selling historical novel by Jeff Shaara, "Gods and Generals" covers the events of the American Civil War before the climactic battle of Gettysburg. Seen from the points of view of leaders such as Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Winfield Scott Hancock and Robert E. Lee, the film begins just after the attack on Fort Sumter in April 1861, and culminates with the battle of Chancellorsville in May of 1863. Directed by Ronald F. Maxwell, the film is an epic, dramatic prequel to "Gettysburg," the classic 1993 film also directed by Maxwell.
Director Maxwell was successful in capturing on film what is known as "America's Bloodiest Day." The Battle of Antietam caused 23,110 casualties. Next year is the 150th Anniversary of "The Maryland Campaign of 1862." This included the Battles of South Mountain and Antietam. Interesting to note, a re-enactment scheduled for September 8 and 9, 2012 is titled "Maryland My Maryland." See: www.marylandcampaign150.org or click directly to: www.marylandcampaign150.org/Reenactment.html.
The Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown, brought to you by title sponsors: Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitor's Bureau, High Rock Studios and Maryland Public Television. Other sponsors include: Big Cork Vineyards, Thompson Gas, WPS, Anderson Photographs, Bulls & Bears Restaurant, Chambersburg Cardinals, Hagerstown Magazine, Kaplan University, Leitersburg Cinemas, Main Line Broadcasting, Maryland Theatre, Nassau Broadcasting, NBC25/Your4State.com, Sagittarius Salon and Spa, Screen Story Tellers, The Journal, Valpak and VerStandig Broadcasting.
MDIFF-Hagerstown is a competition festival. The best films in categories including: Feature, Documentary, Student, Short and Animation will receive awards on festival's closing night. The MDIFF-Hagerstown mission is to be a platform for independent filmmakers to engage audiences, collaborate with other filmmakers and educate the community with the celebration of film. For media inquiries please call 916-712-2781 or access the website www.marylandiff.com.
Tickets for the film festival are already going fast. Tickets can be ordered online: www.marylandiff.com/buy-tickets. Tickets are available for individual screenings, or a package for the complete festival.
The Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown is a member of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. For more
information about Hagerstown-Washington County, see: www.marylandmemories.com. Washington County is part of the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area (www.heartofthecivilwar.org), and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area (http://hallowedground.org\). The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a member of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership. Washington County is also part of the Quad-State Tourism Coalition, a four-state tourism group along I-81. For more information, see: www.quadstate81.com. The Hagerstown-Washington County CVB was presented the Maryland Cultural Heritage Tourism Award by Governor Martin O'Malley.

This information was provided by the Hagerstown/Washington County Convention and Visitor's Bureau - www.marylandmemories.com. Photo credits: Maryland International Film Festival Hagerstown

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