SOURCE: Inecom Entertainment Company

December 02, 2005 18:25 ET

Ronald F. Maxwell Narrates and Provides a 25-Minute On-Screen Interview in New "Lincoln and Lee at Antietam" DVD About the Single Bloodiest Day in American History

Civil War Battle Documentary Release Set for a Pre-Black History Month Kick-Off of January 31, 2006

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 2, 2005 -- Ronald F. Maxwell, director of epic Civil War films "Gettysburg" and "Gods and Generals," narrates the new Civil War documentary, "Lincoln and Lee at Antietam - The Cost of Freedom," and provides a 25-minute on-screen interview on the DVD.

"The Civil War is our war," said Maxwell. "It's up close and personal. It's the war that divided families, towns, communities. As the classic saying goes, 'it's the war between brothers.' The biggest killing field of the war in a single day was the Battle at Antietam, the first invasion into the North."

Written, directed and produced by multiple-award winner Robert Child ("Gettysburg: Three Days of Destiny," "Gettysburg: The Boys in Blue and Gray"), "Lincoln and Lee at Antietam - The Cost of Freedom" vividly brings to life the story of America's fight for freedom in a battle that changed the course of the Civil War.

"'Lincoln and Lee at Antietam - The Cost of Freedom' began as a follow up to my earlier Civil War program for PBS, 'Gettysburg: The Boys in Blue & Gray,'" said Child. "The battle of Antietam seemed to be such a mystery and much overshadowed by Gettysburg. Through my research and subsequent scripting of the film, not only did I discover that Antietam is as pivotal a Civil War battle as Gettysburg, but also as important in how it indelibly altered the course of American history."

With a running time of 90 minutes, the DVD will be available for purchase nationally in retail stores on January 31, kicking off Black History Month (February), at a suggested retail price of $24.95. The prebook date is January 3, 2006.

It's September 17, 1862, and President Abraham Lincoln needs a victory in order to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which remains today one of the most socially important documents in American history, shaping black history, as well as our nation as a whole. But General Robert E. Lee has other plans -- invade the North. When Lee's strategy, known as Special Order 191, falls into the hands of the Union Army, the result is the single bloodiest day in American history at the Battle of Antietam in Sharpsburg, Maryland.

Nearly twice as many Americans died on that single day than had fallen in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the Spanish-American War combined. In striking comparison, American losses on the bloodiest day of World War II, D-Day, were a quarter of those at Antietam. If not for this turn of events, we would not be the nation we are today.

"There is always a cost to freedom. In the case of the Civil War, the price was high, but the viability of the concept of the United States as one Nation in which all persons could live free equally was firmly established once and for all. Citizens, however, should keep this cost in mind if ever they contemplate actions which would result in giving up this freedom as the day would come when they would want it back," said Michael Bussler, president of Inecom Entertainment Company.

Through first person accounts, an original music score from composers Steve Heitzeg and Nicholas Palmer and scarce Antietam commemorative battle footage from the 125th, 135th and 140th Antietam Reenactments, "Lincoln and Lee at Antietam - The Cost of Freedom" tells the tale of the 14-hour epic Battle at Antietam, and features commentaries from renowned historians such as:

--  James M. McPherson, Princeton University, Pulitzer Prize winning
    author of "Battle Cry of Freedom" and "Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam"
--  Allen C. Guelzo, Gettysburg College, America's only repeat winner of
    the Lincoln Prize; Nominated by President George W. Bush to the National
    Council on the Humanities
--  Dennis E. Frye, National Park Service Historian at Harpers Ferry,
    author of "Antietam Revealed" and associate producer of "Gods and Generals"
--  Paul V. Chiles, National Park Service Historian at Antietam National
--  Patrick Falci, Actor/Performing Historian portrays General Ambrose
    Powell Hill at Antietam
The film also features Stanley Wernz as Abraham Lincoln. Wernz was featured in Time Magazine (July 4, 2005) and is currently the president of the Association of Lincoln Presenters.

Presented in a colorful 16 x 9 Anamorphic Widescreen transfer with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, "Lincoln and Lee at Antietam - The Cost of Freedom" is closed-captioned with English subtitles and boasts these additional special features:

--  25-Minute On-Screen Interview with Ronald F. Maxwell
--  Feature-Length Commentary Track with Robert Child and Ronald F.
--  Original Music Score from composers, Steve Heitzeg and Nicholas Palmer
--  Inecom Documentary Trailers
Part of "The MINUTES OF HISTORY® Series," "Lincoln and Lee at Antietam - The Cost of Freedom" is the newest DVD release from Inecom Entertainment Company, following the successful "EXPO - Magic of the White City," narrated by Gene Wilder, which documents the 1983 Chicago World's Fair. Since its release on September 13, 2005, "EXPO - Magic of the White City" has been one of's top-selling independently produced documentary DVDs and was recently recognized as the bestselling history title for Borders stores nationwide. Other recent documentaries from Inecom include "Johnstown Flood" narrated by Richard Dreyfuss and "Gettysburg and Stories of Valor" narrated by Keith Carradine. Both "Johnstown Flood" and "Gettysburg and Stories of Valor" appear on public television. Future Inecom projects in development include "Clara Barton," "Horses of Gettysburg," "Winters of War" and "World War I Minutes."

About Ronald F. Maxwell --

Narrator Ronald F. Maxwell began his love affair with theater, film and television as a student at Clifton High School in New Jersey, where he showed natural talent on both sides of the camera. Upon graduating from NYU, Maxwell worked as Charleston Heston's personal assistant in Heston's directorial debut, "Antony and Cleopatra," then went on to work as an associate producer and subsequently producer for the Emmy® and Peabody Award-winning series, "Theatre in America" at WNET-13 in New York City.

In 1978, Maxwell produced and directed Sissy Spacek, William Hurt, Sally Kellerman and Howard da Dilva in "Verna: USO Girl," for which he received an Emmy® nomination for Best Director. "Little Darlings," the first theatrical film that Maxwell directed, opened at #1 on Variety Magazine's Top Hundred Grossing Films and has since become a classic of the genre. Subsequently, he directed "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia," "Kidco," "Parent Trap II," "In the Land of the Poets" -- a feature-length documentary on the Nicaraguan Civil War -- and the landmark film "Gettysburg," which has been hailed as one of the greatest war movies in the history of film. Maxwell then produced, wrote and directed the prequel to "Gettysburg, Gods and Generals." Released in theaters in February 2003 and to the home video market on July 15, 2003, "Gods and Generals" was recognized as the #1 selling video in America, with over 600,000 sales in its first week. Currently, Maxwell is in pre-production on "Joan of Arc: Virgin Warrior" and in long-range preparations on "Last Full Measure," the final part of his Civil War Trilogy.

About Robert Child --

Director Robert Child is a multi-award winning, twenty-year television veteran, who began writing and directing independent productions in 2001. Of the 23 filmmaking awards he has won in the last two years, six were for outstanding directorial achievement. At the spring 2004 New York International Independent Film & Video Festival, Child won both the Best Director and Best Historical Program awards. This topped a year in which he was awarded his second consecutive Platinum Remi Award for Best Historical Program at the Worldfest Houston Film Festival for "Gettysburg: Three Days of Destiny." The festival is noted for handing Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott their first filmmaking awards.

In early November 2004, Child was signed by veteran Canadian producer Dick Nielsen to direct and co-produce Nielsen's forthcoming Canadian theatrical release, "Hill 195." The project, which begins filming in Canada in 2006, is a multi-million dollar World War II era action-feature, which showcases the heroic actions of a single Canadian regiment just weeks after D-Day. Recently, Child completed two commissioned story treatments, "Hollywood Dream Car Designer: George Barris," about the legendary Hollywood film car customizer who created the original Batmobile among other iconic TV and movie vehicles; and "The Paul Winchell Story," a biography of perhaps the world's finest ventriloquist, whose characters "Jerry Mahoney" and "Knucklehead" became household names. Winchell also served as the voice of "Tigger" for all of Disney's "Winnie the Pooh" films and TV series winning a Grammy award for the best children's recording, "The Most Wonderful Things about Tiggers," in 1974. Winchell is also the original patent holder for the first artificial heart.

About Inecom Entertainment Company --

President and chief executive officer Michael L. Bussler founded Inecom Entertainment Company in 1999. Inecom finances and distributes independent films by partnering with innovative producers and enlists celebrated talent such as Ronald F. Maxwell, Richard Dreyfuss, Keith Carradine and Gene Wilder. In addition to working with outside producers with projects of their own, Inecom also operates a captive production company. Since 2001, Inecom has released seven feature documentaries and multiple instructional films for U.S. and international distribution.

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