Secretive Hollywood Conservative Group Hosts Screening for Fred Thompson (Exclusive)

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Fred Thompson

The former U.S. senator screened his upcoming movie "Persecuted," co-produced by Oscar-winner Gray Frederickson, for Friends of Abe.

Friends of Abe, a private group of conservatives in Hollywood's TV and film industry, hosted an evening with actor and former Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson at an undisclosed location in Los Angeles Thursday night, The Hollywood Reporter learned Friday.

Thompson screened for 50 members of the group his upcoming film, Persecuted, about a Christian televangelist who is framed for murder by government operatives because he refuses to bow to the will of a powerful U.S. senator. The filmmakers call it a "religious thriller."

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Also at Thursday’s screening were Brad Stine, who plays a pastor in the movie, along with director Daniel Lusko and Gray Frederickson, a co-producer of Persecuted and the Oscar-winning producer of The Godfather Part II.

Millennium Entertainment will open Persecuted on 600 screens on July 18. The film also stars James Remar, Bruce Davison, Raoul Trujillo, Dean Stockwell and Fox News personality Gretchen Carlson, who plays a TV news reporter.

FOA, while a secretive organization, earned national attention recently when it was revealed that the IRS was asking for the names of its estimated 2,000 members and was holding up its petition to be recognized as a tax-exempt group. Others who have addressed FOA include Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, author/pundit Ann Coulter and former GOP vp nominee Paul Ryan. After three years of back-and-forth, the IRS two months ago granted FOA the 501(c)(3) status it had sought and its membership ranks remain a secret.

“It was great to visit with a community of people who love both liberty and movies,” Frederickson tells THR.

“A real highlight for me,” adds Lusko, “was a delightful lady who came up to me after and said: ‘Your movie scared the life outta me.’”