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Local area represented in film about Washington

November 13, 2006

MOUNT VERNON, Va. - A new film that has opened at Mount Vernon's new Ford Orientation Center was partially filmed in Washington County.

The $5 million, 20-minute action-adventure movie, "We Fight to Be Free," produced by Greystone Films, portrays a heroic George Washington in re-enactments of the French and Indian War and the night crossing of the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War.

The Washington County filming took place in February. For the Delaware River crossing scenes, filming was done on the Potomac, near where Antietam Creek enters the river. Also featured is the private home of the Rev. Bernard Hillenbrand on Harpers Ferry Road south of Sharpsburg.

The film opens at Hillenbrand's farm, with the Continental Army encampment on the night before the crossing of the Delaware.

"The major shots include our house as Washington's headquarters and the officer's tent headquarters on our lawn," said Hillenbrand, who was invited to attend the film's opening.

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Tom Riford, president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the filmmakers worked for a few weeks in the county.

"They filmed in and around the C&O Canal National Historic Park, and on some private land. While most of the movie was filmed in and around Mount Vernon, we're very proud that America's first Washington County played a small role in this important film."

Riford said Washington County's Emergency Services, Sheriff's Department, the C&O Canal staff and members of the CVB assisted during filming. The movie was made possible by the Ford Motor Co. Fund.

Additional money for the film came from Donald and Nancy de Laski, philanthropists from Great Falls, Va., who also funded the gallery "A Leader's Smile" in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center.

Several other movies have been filmed in Washington County, including "Guarding Tess," "Gods and Generals," "Fields of Freedom" and "No Retreat From Destiny," as well as several History Channel and other network-television movies and episodes.

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