Sound of Freedom director responds to criticism linking film to QAnon
"I was like, 'This is all wrong. That's not true.'"
The movie has been billed as a true story following Tim Ballard (played by Jim Caviezel), a former US government agent and founder of anti-trafficking group Operation Underground Railroad.
But Sound of Freedom hasn't been without its controversy, with the film being championed by supporters of the far-right conspiracy group QAnon, while Caviezel has also come under the spotlight for previous comments referencing QAnon ideas.
Angel Studios and the real-life Ballard have publicly denied that Sound of Freedom has any association with QAnon. The studio's CEO Neal Harmon told The New York Times: "Anybody who watches this film knows that this film is not about conspiracy theories."
Now, the film's writer-director Alejandro Monteverde has spoken out about misconceptions of his film and some of the headlines surrounding Sound of Freedom.
Speaking to Variety about the negative press, Monteverde said: "I was like really sick. I was like, 'This is all wrong. That's not true.' It was heartbreaking when I saw all this polemic and all this controversy going on.
"My instinct was to run. I want to hide. I don't want to give any more interviews. Before the movie came out, I did a couple of interviews. Look, when you hire people, what they do on the free time, I can't control. I was a director. I wrote the screenplay. I hired the actor I thought was the best for this film."
Speaking about working with Caviezel, the director continued: "The subject matter was very personal to him. [Jim] adopted three children from China. When we met and discussed the project, he broke down in tears. And I was like, 'Wow, this guy's gonna be willing to die on the set.' And that's what you want, you know? You want somebody who works for you. And he dove in.
"Jim came to the set. I've never seen somebody so committed and so professional on set. He came in and really bled for the film."
Speaking about whether he agrees with the 'faith-based' label that some have attached to the film, Monteverde commented: "I believe labels such as 'faith-based' exclude people, and my intention as a filmmaker is never to exclude but to include everyone, all audiences.
"We made Sound of Freedom for people of faith, people without faith and everyone in between."
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Angel Studios acquired worldwide distribution rights for Sound of Freedom in March 2023 and the film is undergoing an international rollout after its US success, with it expected hit UK cinemas on 1st September 2023.
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"Since Sound of Freedom launched in the US, demand has been building around the world in dozens of regions and languages," said Jared Geesey, SVP Global Distribution for Angel Studios.
"Child trafficking is a global issue, and we hope to build on the incredible momentum here in the States and share the film's powerful message worldwide."
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