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Tuesday July 28th, 2015 10:45PM

Effort underway to fill Gainesville theater for 'Stand Your Ground' movie

By B.J. Williams News Director
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GAINESVILLE - January 17 may seem like a long way off to make plans to go to the movies, but the folks behind the independent film "Stand Your Ground" are working now to make sure they can fill movie theaters in a number of cities, including Gainesville.

"Stand Your Ground - The True Story of A Cry for Justice" is the movie based on the story of Jackie Carpenter, a Georgia woman who fought to have her son freed from prison after he was jailed for murder after he shot and killed a man while protecting his property. Carpenter wrote two books -"Bridge to a Miracle" and "Georgia Justice" - and now those books have become a movie. Since the movie is an independent film, getting it in theaters has been a challenge.

Greg Cochran, a local personal fitness trainer and World Record Holder in a number of physical fitness challenges, has a role in the film, and he's been named the theater captain for the area.

"Unfortunately, it's very hard to get a faith-based movie in theaters," said Cochran. "We've got about 20 cities nationwide that we are attempting to do this and we're pre-selling tickets for Gainesville, GA."

According to the movie's Facebook page, at least 200 tickets need to be pre-sold to get the movie to Gainesville. As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, about half that number had been reserved. (Follow the link below to reserve tickets.)

Cochran said while residents can make their reservations online, the gym where he is a personal trainer - Fitness Forum in Gainesville - is sweetening the pot a bit.

"If they're right here close by, they can come by the gym and purchase tickets here...and they get a chance to win either a three-month, six-month or one-year gym membership," said Cochran.

No matter how they reserve tickets, though, Cochran said the important thing is to bring the movie to Gainesville. He said the message of strength and faith is one that needs to be heard.

"It's just such a life story," said Cochran. "It's about doing what you believe in. It's really amazing. It really is."

NOTE: "Stand Your Ground" is the recipient of many awards and accolades, including Best Screenplay at Los Angeles New Wave International Film Festival 2012, Gideon Film Festival 2013 Official Selection, Best Picture at Peachtree Village International Film Festival 2013, Bronze Best Drama at ICVM Crown Awards 2013, and Best Screenplay at Alaska International Film Festival.

"Stand Your Ground" is a Dove "Family Approved" film recommended for ages 12 and over, having received The Dove Foundation's highest rating of Five Doves.

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