Sons & Daughters of Thunder

This campaign will help fund the production phase of the historical docudrama "Sons & Daughters of Thunder."
Kelly Rundle
Moline, Illinois
United States
2 Team Members


My name is Kelly Rundle.  My wife, Tammy, and I are Emmy® nominated historical documentary filmmakers.  Our films tell important and timeless Midwestern stories.  We have completed six award-winning documentary feature films (Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean SebergCountry School: One Room - One Nation; Lost Nation: The Ioway 1, 2 & 3; Villisca: Living with a Mystery).

All of our films are shown in movie theaters, universities, and other venues throughout the U.S.  They are also released nationally on DVD and they are broadcast on PBS stations throughout the country.

Sons & Daughters of Thunder is our first docudrama film project.  Based on the true story of Harriet Beecher Stowe's awakening during the first public discussions of the abolition of slavery in America, this compelling Cincinnati, Ohio story will be told in this dramatic new film starring actors from Los Angeles, Chicago and the Midwest.

Production has been underway since December 2013 and will continue through the fall of 2014.  The climactic debate scenes were filmed last weekend, and on the final day we had nearly 60 cast and crew members on hand!

We need to raise some additional funds to complete the production phase and this online campaign will fund a portion of that effort.


The screenplay for Sons & Daughters of Thunder is based on the critically-acclaimed play by Earlene Hawley and Curtis Heeter.

The play had its world premiere at the New Theatre in Portland, Oregon where it was well received by audiences and reviewers alike.

"A classic American play...the first public debates on the abolition of slavery...the play's focus on freedom of speech, student rebellion, and women's rights vividly reflects contemporary controversies." --The Portland Journal

"Both historically accurate and emotionally exciting...neither pushed nor preached to, the audience is enabled to participate in the exhilaration of a social change effort which dramatically cracks resistance." --The Portland Scribe

"Set at Lane Seminary...a burgeoning generation of Protestant pupils forged the uncompromising 19th century movement against slavery.  It is about moral thunder...all the elements of social struggle...are present in Hawley's drama." --The Portland Downtowner

"A made to order conflict not only of principles but of personalities...a neatly staged battle between people history has made into heroes and villains." --The Oregonian

Earlene Hawley consulted on the development of the screenplay for Sons &  Daughters of Thunder.


His words ignited controversy
and inspired a young writer.

Her incendiary book moved the nation
closer to Civil War.

In 1834, if polite discussions about abolishing slavery were considered inappropriate among Americans in Northern states, then eighteen days of public student-sponsored debates on the divisive subject at Lane Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio were scandalous.

Organized by Theodore Weld, one of the architects of the abolitionist movement, the shocking oratory sparked intense controversy and awakened a young Harriet Beecher Stowe to the horrors of slavery.

When school trustees slapped a gag order on the "Lane Rebels," most of the students left the school in collective protest.  Years later, Harriet's novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was described by President Abraham Lincoln as the book that started the Civil War.

"Sons & Daughters of Thunder," tells the unforgettable true story of the beginning of the end of slavery in America.


This online effort will help us raise a portion of the capstone funds needed to complete the production phase of the project.  We have assembled a tempting array of perks and rewards to encourage your active participation in the project.  From Executive Producer status to signed postcards, posters, DVDs and theater tickets, there is a contribution level and a perk or perks that will catch your fancy.  This amazing story has been forgotten by the nation.  You can help us change that by bringing this dramatic new film to the silver screen!


Even if you can't contribute financially, ANYONE can help us get the word out.  Thank you for helping make this important American history project happen!

Find This Campaign On
raised in 2 months
57% funded
No time left
$5,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 20, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $25USD

    You will receive our sincere gratitude and a hearty "Huzzah" message via email from the filmmakers.

    6 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $50USD

    Website credit and our sincere gratitude.

    5 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $100USD

    Onscreen and website credit, and our sincere gratitude.

    13 out of 40 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $500USD

    Onscreen and website credit, a DVD of the finished film signed by the filmmakers (available in 2015), and our sincere gratitude..

    1 out of 10 claimed
  • $1,000USD

    Onscreen and website credits. Promotional postcard, and DVD signed by the filmmakers, and our sincere gratitude.

    0 out of 5 claimed
  • $2,500USD
    Special Patron

    Onscreen and website credits. Movie poster, promotional postcard, and DVD signed by the filmmakers, and our sincere gratitude.

    0 out of 5 claimed
  • $5,000USD
    Primary Benefactor

    Onscreen, website and printed program credits. Two premiere event tickets. Two movie posters, two promotional postcards and two DVDs signed by the filmmakers. Optional "In memory of..." onscreen credit. And, our sincere gratitude.

    0 out of 3 claimed
  • $10,000USD
    Executive Producer

    Opening and closing onscreen film and DVD credits. Movie poster credit. Website and printed program credits. Four premiere event tickets. Five movie posters, five promotional postcards and five DVDs signed by the filmmakers. Optional "In memory of..." onscreen credit. And our sincere gratitude.

    0 out of 3 claimed
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