‘Sound of Freedom’ Studio ‘Grateful to Law Enforcement’ After a Funder Arrested for Child Kidnapping

Angel Studios CEO Neal Harmon stated that the defendant is one of 6,768 people who invested in the blockbuster child trafficking thriller

Jim Caviziel in "Sound of Freedom"

Angel Studios has responded to the arrest of “Sound of Freedom” investor Fabian Marta on charges of child kidnapping. Marta was charged with felony child kidnapping in July. Released by Angel Studios, “Sound of Freedom” tells of an anti-child sex trafficking organization. The film is centered on Operation Underground Railroad founder Tim Ballard who is played in the film by “Passion of the Christ” star Jim Caviezel.

“Angel Studios adhered to the requirements of federal and state laws and regulations in allowing 6,678 people to invest an average of $501 each into the launch of ‘Sound of Freedom,’” Angel Studios CEO Neal Harmon states. “Just as anyone can invest in the stock market, everyone who meets the legal criteria can invest in Angel Studios projects. One of the perks of investing was the ability to be listed in the credits.”

The statement continues, “We’re grateful to brave law enforcement officials who have already arrested dozens of traffickers in the weeks following ‘Sound of Freedom’s release. Our film speaks to this globally-pervasive problem, and it is our hope that perpetrators everywhere will be brought to justice no matter who they are and that even more people will see the film to raise awareness.”

Fabian Marta, 51, was arrested on July 23. If convicted, he could face 10 years to life in prison.

“Sound of Freedom” was boosted by a “Pay It Forward” campaign similar to the crowdfunding system Angel Studios used to produce “The Chosen.” Interested participants can buy tickets for the film that can be claimed by moviegoers. This has helped keep the film consistently near the top of the domestic box office since July 4 weekend.

The picture was completed in 2018 and a distribution deal was made with the Latin American subsidiary of the 20th Century Fox. It got shelved soon after amid Fox’s sale to the Walt Disney Company. It was later sold to Angel Studios.

“‘Sound of Freedom’ has become the people’s movie,” Angel Studios Global Distribution SVP Jared Geesey said when the film crossed $100 million. “It was chosen by over 100,000 people in the Angel Guild, fueled by untold tens of thousands through our ‘Pay it Forward’ program, and is dominating the box office as the result of a ground-up, grassroots movement of everyday people who are making this a historic success.”

“This is the opposite of the top-down system developed by Hollywood gatekeepers. We are empowering people to be part of choosing, funding, and sharing stories that amplify light and impact culture,” Geesey said.

The picture hasn’t slowed down since then and has passed $153 million in North America. That puts it above the likes of “The Flash,” “Elemental” and “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part I.” The Pay it Forward program has sparked chatter as to whether every seat purchased for a given showtime is actually filled by a participatory moviegoer. However, as long as theaters are getting their money it’s at least partially a moot point.