A movie written and directed by a one-time Greenfield resident will premier Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Murphy Theatre in Wilmington.
“From Gettysburg to Baghdad” was written by Artie Knapp, who was a young child when his father coached football and taught English at McClain High School for three years beginning in the fall of 1972.
The movie is about how a time machine intersects the lives of two soldiers from different periods in history and features a cameo appearance by former world heavyweight boxing champion Buster Douglas, best known for his stunning defeat of then undefeated Mike Tyson on Feb. 11, 1990.
A 1991 graduate of Wilmington High School who now lives in Cincinnati, Knapp said he makes his living as an author of children’s literature, but also wrote a 2002 movie titled “Pluto’s Plate.”
It was around that time that he met and became friends with Douglas.
“When I was living in Columbus and did my first movie he was a celebrity and getting one in an independent film certainly helps with promotion,” Knapp said. “It turned out that acting was something he was interested in.”
Snapp said Douglas also had a small role in a television show called “Street Justice” starring Carl Weathers of “Rocky” fame, where Douglas played an FBI agent.
Prior to the premiere of “From Gettysburg to Baghdad,” Douglas will hold a meet and greet session with fans from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. when Knapp said Douglas will be signing autographs. Knapp will introduce the film at 3 p.m. and it will start at 3:15 p.m.
It was his love of science fiction and the influence of programs like “Star Trek” and the “Sci-Fi Zone” when he was young, Knapp said, that led him to write “From Gettysburg to Baghdad.” The film was shot in Cincinnati, but is premiering in Wilmington because Knapp said it is his hometown and is centrally located between large metropolitan areas in Ohio.
“I just love the whole sci-fi genre. I’m hoping the combination of the Civil War and sci-fi in general is kind of an interesting mix,” Knapp said. “And (Douglas) being in it opens up marketing opportunities on boxing websites. He’s a good friend and a super good guy.”
Douglas portrays a priest in the movie.
Knapp said the film is a high quality production and that he’s shooting for the stars with it. He said his goal is for it to be possibly picked up by HBO, Showtime or the Syfy Channel. He said he also plans to take it the short movie to film festivals and science fiction conventions.
The film stars Christine Jones, Donald Smith and Patrick Taft. A premium ticket of $15 allows attendees to meet Douglas and get a picture with him. The price also includes one free alcoholic drink for those 21 and older. Other beverage choices may be substituted. All other ticket prices for the event are $10.
After the movie there will be a short intermission break, followed by a showing of Douglas’ championship fight against Tyson.
To view a trailer for the film, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLNdLhXAEas.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.