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Story by Charles Larimer
Published on Friday May 6, 2011 - 10:24 AM
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Love & Valor – The Intimate Civil War Letters
Showing at the
2011 Fifth Annual S.U.R.G.E.! Film Festival
Saturday May 21, 2011 – 5:00pm
The Variant
4810 Northeast Garfield Avenue
Portland, OR 97211

Chicago, Illinois May 4, 2011. Love & Valor-The Intimate Civil War Letters is a narrative documentary based on the story of a Union soldier and his wife as told through their actual letters. Among the best, if not the best, set of letters between a husband and wife during the American Civil War. Narrated by Brian Dennehy, the movie also includes the strange stories of how filmmaker Charles Larimer found his great great grandparents letters.

Love & Valor is an official selection at the The Fifth Annual International Social Uprising, Resistance and Grassroots Encouragement (S.U.R.G.E.) Film Festival and will be shown on Saturday May 21, 2011 at 5:00pm at The Variant; 4810 Northeast Garfield Avenue, Portland, OR 97211. The S.U.R.G.E. Film Festival runs from May 17 to May 23, 2011. Admission is free of charge.

Special seating has been reserved for members of the media to attend this amazing event!

Narrated by Tony Award winning actor Brian Dennehy (Cocoon, First Blood, Presumed Innocent, F/X), the story is based on the actual letters between an Iowa captain during the Civil War and his wife. The book upon which the movie is based has received national attention – the Smithsonian featured it in the month after 9/11 as a testimony to the strength of the American family. Georgia Public TV used Captain Jacob Ritner's letters as the main voice of the North for the Atlanta Campaign in its four-part series "Georgia and the Civil War" broadcast in 2002. Harvard University Press made frequent reference to Emeline in its 2005 publication Daughters of the Union – Northern Women Fight the Civil War by Nina Silber.

The movie has received numerous recognition in film festivals over the last year including Best Documentary at the Black Earth Film Festival in Galesburg, Illinois; a Redemptive Storyteller Award at the Redemptive Film Festival in Virginia Beach, Virginia; and nominations for Best Documentary from the Iowa Motion Picture Association, the Beloit International Film Festival, and the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival. Filmmaker Charles Larimer won an Emerging Film Maker Award at the Beloit International Film Festival.

The 2011 Fifth Annual S.U.R.G.E.! Film Festival is a Mobile Event and Intentional Community created for the Design, Collaboration and Implementation of Multicultural, Multimedia, Social Justice Projects and Groups. A Training Grounds and Theory-Meets-Action Camp for Social Justice Organizers And Those Who Desire To Become Social Justice Organizers. Please visit

Ritner, a Union Captain from Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was a teacher, farmer and abolitionist before the war. The movie tells of patriotism, loneliness, slavery, anguish at the death of loved ones, and their devotion to each other. As Emeline is faced with the daunting task of raising four small children, managing the family farm and dealing with other women in town, Jacob participates in a great adventure, witnessing the death of family and friends, and seeing new lands and changing views of the South.

Please contact Charles Larimer at for additional documents describing both the book and the movie. Additional pictures are available. Larimer would be very happy to provide telephone interviews as part of this showing.

Charles F. Larimer
Sigourney Press Films
3047 N. Lincoln Avenue, Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60657-4999

YouTube Trailers for Love and Valor - The Intimate Civil War Letters

Love and Valor Facebook Page!/group.php?gid=393135829127

Love and Valor Movie Web Site

Awards & Nominations
2010 Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival – Winner Silver Eddy
2010 Iowa Motion Picture Association - Nominated for Best Documentary
2010 Redemptive Film Festival – Winner Redemptive Storyteller Award
2010 Black Earth Film Festival – Winner Best Documentary
2010 Maverick Movie Awards - Nominated – Best Chronicle; Best Editing; Best Set Design
2011 Beloit International Film Festival
– Nominated – Best Documentary; Winner Emerging Filmmaker Award

Official Selection
2010 Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival - April 9-10, 2010
2010 River Bend Film Festival - So Bend , IN - April 30-May 1, 2010
2010 Interrobang Film Festival - Des Moines, IA - June 25-27, 2010
2010 Landlocked Film Festival - Iowa City, IA - August 26-29, 2010
2010 Glen Rose Neo-Relix Film Festival - Glen Rose, TX - August 26-28, 2010
2010 Black Earth Film Festival - Galesburg , IL - September 16-18, 2010
2010 Naperville Independent Film Festival - Naperville , IL - September 18-24, 2010
2010 Louisville International Festival of Film - Louisville , KY - September 30-October 3, 2010
2010 Nashua International Film Festival, Nashua , NH - October 1-3, 2010
2010 Orlando Film Festival, Orlando , FL - November 3-7, 2010
2010 Redemptive Film Festival, Virginia Beach , VA , November 12-13, 2010
2011 Beloit International Film Festival, Beloit , WI - February 17-20, 2011
2011 S.U.R.G.E. Film Festival – Austin, TX - March 11-13, 2011 and Portland, OR – May 23-24, 2011
2011 Memphis International Film Festival – Memphis, TN - April 7-10, 2011
2011 ReelHeART International Film Festival – Toronto, Ontario – June 20-25, 2011
2011 New Hope Film Festival – New Hope, PA – July 8-17, 2011

Upcoming Showings
May 14, 2011 – Cedar Rapids, IA – DAR Program
May 21, 2011 – Portland, OR – S.U.R.G.E. Film Festival
May 22, 2011 – Richland Center, WI – Fund Raiser for Community Arts Center
June 22, 2011 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – ReelHeART International Film Festival
July 4th 2011 Weekend – Muscatine Public Library, Muscatine, IA
July 15, 2011 – New Hope Film Festival, New Hope, PA

Special Showings
Chambersburg, PA – May 1, 2009 – Fund raiser for the John Brown/Mary Ritner House
Cedar Rapids, IA – Feb 23, 2010 – Fund raiser for Ushers Ferry Historic Village & HD Youth Ctr
Boscobel, WI – March 26, 2010 – Fund raiser for Muskets & Memories Civil War Reenactment
Mt. Pleasant, IA – April 9, 2010 – Fund raiser for the Harlan Lincoln House
Des Moines, IA – May 21, 2010 – Fund raiser for Preservation of Iowa Battle Flags, IA Hist Society
Reedsburg, WI – May 29, 2010 – Fund raiser for Reedsburg HS History Club & Drama Club
Lamoni, IA – August 16, 2010 – Fund raiser for Lamoni Civil War Days
Leon, IA – August 17, 2010 – Fund raiser for Lamonia Civil War Days
Chicago, IL - April 3, 2011 – Chicago History Museum – Civil War Sesquicentennial Event