September 11, 2023

USA: US Southern Command Cancelled 'Sound of Freedom' Film Screenings Scheduled After Military Times Called Them. Reporters Of The Article Are Alumni Of The Far-Left Wing The Texas Tribune.

Breitbart News
written by David Ng
Friday September 8, 2023

Screenings of the hit movie Sound of Freedom that were set to take place at U.S. Southern Command, or Southcom, headquarters have been abruptly cancelled after The Military Times publication inquired about the showings.

In its report about the cancellation, The Military Times disparagingly described the movie as “QAnon-embraced” and “Christian-faith-based” in what appears to be an attempt to discredit the movie’s artistic legitimacy.

The article also cast aspersions on Tim Ballard, the real-life inspiration for the movie whose career as a Homeland Security agent led to his ongoing personal mission to rescue children from sex-trafficking rings.

Both reporters of the article are alumni of the far-left wing The Texas Tribune, according to their online bios.

Sound of Freedom — which emerged as the sleeper hit of the summer and has grossed more than $182 million — was scheduled to have two screenings at Southcom headquarters in Doral, Florida, on August 28 and October 19.

An e-mail flier obtained by The Military Times invited all locally based personnel to attend.

The screenings were being held “in support of SOUTHCOM’s mission to promote respect for human rights and combating trafficking in persons in Central and South America and the Caribbean,” the e-mail said.

The bottom of the invite reportedly stated, “The showing of this film does not imply or constitute endorsement by the U.S. Army nor SOUTHCOM.”

The Military Times said it contacted Southcom about the screenings, after which the showings were called off.

A subsequent e-mail reportedly said the cancellation was to “prevent the appearance of copyright infringement,” adding that “the film is currently available to view at local theaters, and personnel and their families who would like to see the film are encouraged to do so.”

The independently produced and distributed Sound of Freedom has surpassed the latest Indiana Jones and Mission: Impossible movies at the domestic box office — an accomplishment fueled largely by positive word of mouth.

As Breitbart News reported, former President Donald Trump recently hosted a special screening of the movie at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he praised the movie and later vowed to make human trafficking a capital offense.
NTD News
written by Katabella Roberts, Epoch Times
Thursday September 7, 2023

U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) has canceled two planned screenings of the Christian box-office success “Sound of Freedom,” citing copyright laws.

The free screenings of the hit movie, which centers on the crime of child trafficking, were originally set to take place on Aug. 28 and Oct. 19 at SOUTHCOM’s headquarters in Doral, Florida.

However, they were abruptly canceled after the Military Times inquired about the event, according to the publication.

In a statement to The Hill, SOUTHCOM said the screenings were canceled following a review of “applicable laws and regulations governing the use of materials subject to copyright and intellectual property laws for official or recreational purposes.”

“Insofar as the film is concerned, following this review, a determination was made to cancel the screenings,” Army Col. Emanuel Ortiz told the publication. “Individuals interested in viewing the film can still do so at a local theater of their choosing.”

“The now-canceled screening was intended to help raise awareness of the nexus between [transnational criminal organizations] and human rights abuses they frequently commit as part of their human smuggling activities,” he said, adding that this occasionally falls within SOUTHCOM’s area of responsibility.

Directed by Alejandro Monteverde and produced by Eduardo Verastegui, “Sound of Freedom” is based on real-life former Department of Homeland Security agent Tim Ballard, who saved children from international child sex trafficking rings, although Angel Studios, the studio that released the film, noted the movie does take “certain creative liberties for storytelling purposes.”

Trump Praises Movie

In the movie, Mr. Ballard—played by actor Jim Caviezel—rescues a boy from ruthless child traffickers only to discover the boy’s sister is still being held captive by the group. He then decides to embark on a dangerous mission to save her, quitting his job to venture deep into the Colombian jungle, putting his own life on the line in the process.

The film, which also features Academy Award-winner Mira Sorvino and Bill Camp from “12 Years a Slave,” has quickly become a smash box-office success, surpassing the latest Indiana Jones movie in earnings.

Former President Donald Trump even screened the movie at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, in June where he heaped praise on the film.

However, the movie has also faced criticism after mainstream media sought to link it with QAnon, including a review from Rolling Stone describing it as a “QAnon-tinged thriller about child-trafficking” that is “designed to appeal to the conscience of a conspiracy-addled boomer.”

Director Mr. Monteverde has repeatedly denied the film has ties to QAnon and called reports suggesting otherwise “heartbreaking.”

Movie ‘Not Based on QAnon Conspiracy’

Speaking at a Gala screening in London, UK in August, Mr. Monteverde told The Guardian: “Anything that goes political divides. When a director makes a movie there is no contract on what people can say after. What people say after the movie, the director has minus 100 percent control.”

The director of the hit film also stressed, “It’s a fact that this film is not based on the QAnon conspiracy.”

Col. Ortiz confirmed to the Hill that the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAG-M) decided to screen the movie “after concluding it could help raise awareness of human rights issues closely associated with the nefarious activities of transnational criminal organizations (TCO) operating in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, where SOUTHCOM closely partners with Host Nations to counter the threat posed by those violent criminal groups to our hemisphere and its citizens.”

He added that USAG-M and SOUTHCOM were solely interested in screening the film to “educate and inform our members of these issues depicted in the movie’s central story.”

Col. Ortiz also stressed that any potential future showings of the movie “do not constitute a Defense Department, Army or SOUTHCOM endorsement of the film or any third-party viewpoints about it.”

The Epoch Times has contacted U.S. Southern Command for further comment.
UPDATE 9/11/23 at 4:33pm: Added info below.

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