The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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May 16, 2014

New movie documents local history

LEWISBURG — Hollywood brings a piece of Valley history to life in Lewisburg today as the star and executive producer of the movie, “Alone Yet Not Alone” host a showing in the Campus Theatre.

Actress Kelly Greyson and Executive Producer James Richards took a break from media appearances Thursday to talk about the film, which focuses on young women taken captive during the Penns Creek Massacre in October 1755 and their escape years later.

Richards wrote the screenplay, which was something of a labor of love for him. It’s based on a book by his daughter, Tracy Leininger Craven, which is based on the true story of Barbara and Regina Leininger, who Richards believes are distance cousins to his family.

Greyson, who portrays the older sister, Barbara, said it was an “awesome role to play. When you do a true story, there are a lot more intricacies to it to be authentic,” she said.

Greyson called Barbara “very strong, she never gave up, a really strong person of faith. It’s mostly her enduring spirit that inspired me.”

The Penns Creek Massacre happened during the French and Indian War. Barbara and Regina Leininger were among those captured when Delaware Indians attacked their settlement on Penns Creek on the Susquehanna River’s West Branch in October 1755. The Indians killed 14 people, including their father and brother. Their mother and another brother weren’t home at the time.

The captives were taken more than 300 miles through wilderness to Ohio and eventually were separated. Barbara and her friend, Maria Le Roy, whom the Indians also captured when they killed her family, ended up in the same encampment.

The movie shows how the sisters relied on their faith that they would be reunited with each other and their family. Years later, they managed to escape, Richards said, and eventually were reunited separately with their mother near Philadelphia.

Richards and Greyson visited the historic marker on the site of the Penns Creek Massacre on Route 304 between New Berlin and Mifflinburg. Richards called it “joyful and sad at the same time. It’s amazing to see this actual spot, yet despairing to know what happened there.”

The song “Alone Yet Not Alone” was nominated for a best song Oscar this year, but it was rescinded. The academy claimed Bruce Broughton, the song’s co-author, violated rules by emailing voters and asking them to listen to it. Some accused the academy of a bias against small-budget or Christian films.

Today’s showing in the Campus Theatre is by invitation only. The movie will be released on 200 screens June 13 and comes back to the theater at 2 p.m. June 14 and 15.

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