Telling The War Orphan’s Tale: Chillicothe Native’s Latest Film Project Wins Telly Award

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. — Local native Chris Free has been making a habit of taking on serious issues with his filmmaking and earning honors for them.

Christopher Free, originally of Chillicothe, has been honored for excellence in Internet and online video editing work for a video project highlighting the rescue of war orphans from rebel armies in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Free, a video editor for Operation Blessing International, partnered with three-time Tribeca filmmaker and OBI vice president David Darg on the film, which won the highest accolade at the Telly Awards — bringing Free’s Telly total to 10 awards.

For the past 32 years, the Telly Awards have recognized working in traditional film and video production, as well as Web commercials, videos and films, and local, regional and cable television commercials and programs. Past recipients of the Telly Awards include NFL Films, the Discovery Channel, PBS and nationally-known media personality Anderson Cooper.

Free’s Silver Telly Award was awarded for his work on an online video, “Abused & Scarred: War Orphans Rescued from the Jungle,” in the charitable/not-for-profit category. The video highlights Operation Blessing’s relief work in the Congo after tragic child abuse during a devastating civil war.

Free’s work for Operation Blessing was selected from more than 12,000 entries that came from all 50 states and across five continents. It has been seen in more than 110 countries.

Abused Girl - Democratic Republic of CongoEarlier this year, Free received three Bronze Telly Awards, in the sports, commercial-entertainment/amusement and charitable/not-for-profit categories.

Some of his past films include “An Orphaned Anemia,” dealing with the rare Diamond Blackfan anemia; “Black-eyed Redemption,” dealing with a bully’s journey to forgiveness; “Standing Outside,” which is about a college student having trouble with his love life when he learns his best friend has a secret; and “So Falls the Shadow,” a frightening tale with a twist about a werewolf terrorizing a small Tennessee town full of secrets.

Free is a graduate of Paint Valley High School, Ohio University and, most recently, Regent University, where he now works as an Adjunct Instructor in film.
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