Military base abruptly cancels ‘Sound of Freedom’ screening, baffling producer

The producer of the blockbuster movie “The Sound of Freedom” has expressed his disappointment after a screening of the blockbuster film scheduled for a US military installation was mysteriously canceled.

The makers of the hit movie, including “Sound of Freedom” producer Eduardo Verastegui, have been trying for weeks to reschedule a screening of the film for troops at U.S. Southern Command, but box office sales have been disappointing. Two screenings of the highly rated thriller movie were scheduled. Over $200 million. However, these screenings were abruptly canceled due to what he believed to be a chaotic situation.

“I created The Sound of Freedom to raise awareness of child sex trafficking, which is rampant across Latin America and in the United States, with the aim of ending the modern slave trade. ,” Verastegui told FOX News Digital. “As Southcom’s brave soldiers work to dismantle transnational criminal organizations that traffic drugs and sex into the United States, we offer private screenings on base. By doing so, we wanted to impress and thank them for their contributions.”

Screenings were originally scheduled for August 28th and October 19th, but were canceled at the last minute before the originally scheduled events. In a Military Times article published shortly after the first event was canceled, base leadership explained that the screening was canceled to “prevent the appearance of copyright infringement.”

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Eduardo Verastegui poses on the red carpet for the movie “The Sound of Freedom” at Cinemex Antara Polanco on August 29, 2023 in Mexico City. (Photo by Alan Espinosa/Getty Images)

However, the filmmakers insist that no such copyright concerns exist, with Verastegui telling Fox News Digital that “there are no copyright concerns with Southcom hosting the film during its theatrical release.” I made that 100% clear.”

Email exchanges between the filmmakers and a U.S. Southern Command spokesperson shared with Fox News Digital appear to show an attempt to clear up the confusion, with a representative for the filmmakers saying: “They have the full support of our men and women,” he told Southcom officials. “Uniform” and “no circumstances exist” under which “any claim of copyright or intellectual property infringement” could be brought against the order.

The filmmakers even offered to send a representative of their film to meet with the military for a screening, only to be reprimanded again by facility leadership, this time for an entirely different reason.

“This film is already available in local theaters and we respectfully decline your request to screen it at our headquarters,” a Southcom spokesperson said in an email to the filmmakers.

Filmmakers told FOX News Digital that they had not previously faced similar opposition to the screening, adding to the confusion as they tried to find a way to hold the event as scheduled.

Filmmaker of ``The Sound of Freedom''

Alejandro Monteverde and Rod Barr attend the premiere of ‘The Sound of Freedom’ on June 28, 2023 in Vineyard, Utah. (Photo by Fred Hayes/Getty Images for Angel Studios)

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The canceled screenings caught the attention of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who last week sent a letter to SOUTHCOM leadership urging them to reschedule the screenings “without delay.”

“Now that the concerns that led to the cancellation have been resolved, we urge you to rectify this situation and ensure that the film is rescheduled without delay,” Rubio said in the letter, which was shared with Fox News.・Shared with digital.

According to a Hill report on the controversy, U.S. Army Garrison Miami’s leadership initially said the film was intended to “raise awareness of human rights issues closely related to the heinous activities of transnational criminal organizations (TCOs).” He was planning to screen the film because he believed it could be useful. In Central America, South America and the Caribbean, SOUTHCOM works closely with host nations to counter the threat posed by violent criminal groups to the hemisphere and its people. ” However, the event was subsequently canceled due to concerns about copyright infringement.

Marco Rubio in red tie and blue coat

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Rubio also noted that the film’s themes “are directly aligned with SOUTHCOM’s mission to combat human trafficking and transnational criminal organizations in the command’s territory,” noting that the film’s themes are based on the real-life events depicted in the film. He also pointed out that the incident occurred in the area covered by Southcom. Rubio also claimed that U.S. military installations have hosted private screenings of movies in the past, with more than 20 private screenings of the movie “Elvis” held at Army and Air Force installations last year.

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“I was disturbed to learn of the decision to cancel the screening of films at Southcom, especially since the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) regularly works with movie studios to provide information on U.S. military installations for service members and their families. Given the fact that he is hosting a movie night in , ” Rubio wrote.

Verastegui told Fox News Digital that his only goal was to provide SOUTHCOM troops with a unique opportunity to see the film, and that such an event would “reinvigorate efforts to combat child sex trafficking.” I hope that it will give you the same.” In the Americas. ”

“To our bewilderment, the SOUTHCOM leadership has now rejected our proposal for three different and varying unconvincing reasons,” Verastegui said.

Jim Caviezel as Tim Ballard

Jewell also criticized the “politicization” of media and film. In recent days, multiple news outlets have attempted to link the movie The Sound of Freedom to far-right conspiracy theories. (Angel Studio/The Sound of Freedom)

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Verastegui said he was also willing to “get on a plane tomorrow if I had to” and bring along “Tim Ballard, the real-life hero of the movie,” to deliver copies of the film to the military.

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“We want this problem to be resolved soon, the troops to rally, and the tens of millions of other Americans who have watched this movie and are saying in one voice that it is not worthy of God’s children. “I hope I can be as moved as people around the world,” Verastegui said.

Representatives for Southcom did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Fox News.

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