“Confessions of a Prodigal Son” is a modern-day retelling of the Prodigal Son story that Jesus famously told. The DVD was released on March 24, 2015.
It is a coming-of-age tale following Sean (Nathan Clarkson) as he rebels and leaves his home, family and father (Kevin Sorbo) to figure out life on his own. Two years later—while still on the journey to find life’s answers—Sean suddenly finds himself questioning everything he thought he knew as he is confronted by a professor (Darwin Harris) who challenges Sean to see his life as a story; a best friend (Azel James) walking a dangerous path; and a strong and beautiful young woman (Rachael Lee) who is on her own journey to answers. Each one of these elements causes Sean to greater examine the choices he is making.
The story is one of drama, laughter, relationships, faith, and redemption, ultimately asking the question “Can broken stories have happy endings?”
Official site: ConfessionsOfAProdigalSon.com
January 9th, 2015 | Articles | 1 Comment »
In January 1985, Dave Christiano started writing the script to his first film, THE DAYLIGHT ZONE.
Six months later, along with his twin brother Rich, they started filming the short drama near San Antonio, Texas. After 5 days, they sent their film footage to the lab, got it back and none of it was usable. Dave had made a crucial mistake with a camera setting.
Did they quit? No. One month later, the Brothers regrouped and shot the movie.
Thus began the career for the Christiano Brothers in the Christian film industry some 30 years ago.
Today, 15 movies and 64 episodes of a TV series later, the entire body of work has had one goal in mind: to produce projects with the message of Jesus Christ for evangelism and Christian living.
Theatrical releases have included the time travel adventure TIME CHANGER in 2002 and the heartfelt period piece THE SECRETS OF JONATHAN SPERRY in 2009. Both films played in over 300 theaters. These films were released through their distribution company, Five and Two Pictures (FiveAndTwoPictures.com).
The Brothers have worked with some well known actors such as Gavin Macleod, Patty Duke, Hal Linden, Robert Guillaume, Jennifer O’Neill, Harry Anderson, Clarence Gilyard, Michael Gross and Sean Astin.
From 2007 through 2013, Dave Christiano produced 64 episodes of 7TH STREET THEATER, the first ever Christian drama series in the history of broadcasting. You can watch a free episode of the series at 7thStreetTheater.com.
Films by Dave and Rich Christiano have also been shown in thousands of churches of all denominations and distributed in many countries around the world. Countless decisions for the Lord have been recorded at these showings.
“Regardless of the topic we dealt with, ” says Rich, “We have always wanted to make films for the church first, to inspire the believer, and then also present the truth so a non-believer would consider the Lord.”
The Brothers have consulted with many younger filmmakers over the years to encourage them in this same manner.
You can also read THE CHRISTIANO BROTHERS STORY on their Web site.
Their latest film, A MATTER OF FAITH, about creation versus evolution, opens in 50 more theaters on February 6, 2015. The Web site is AMatterofFaithMovie.com.
Their next film coming after that is POWER OF THE AIR, a suspense drama about the corrupt influence of Hollywood.
December 17th, 2014 | Articles | Comments »
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will release a new documentary film on December 25, 2014 called “Louis Zamperini: Captured by Grace.” Zamperini is also the subject of Universal Pictures’ “Unbroken,” the movie based on the best-selling book of the same name by Laura Hillenbrand.
“Captured by Grace” is a compelling, documentary-style film that chronicles Zamperini’s remarkable true story journey—from Olympic runner to WWII prisoner of war—all the way to his return home and encounter with Jesus Christ at a Billy Graham Crusade in Los Angeles in 1949. The film includes recent interview footage of Zamperini sharing his complete story in his own words.
“I started to leave the tent meeting, and I felt awful guilty about my life,” Zamperini says about his experience at the 1949 Billy Graham Crusade held in a constructed tent on the corner of Washington and Hill streets in Los Angeles.
Yes, I had a lot of great times, a lot of great experience, a lot of escape from death, but I still didn’t like my life after the war. I came home alive. God kept His promise. I didn’t keep mine, and so I went forward and accepted Christ. …The heart of this story is when I found Christ as my Savior. That’s the heart of my whole life.”
“Captured by Grace” can be viewed online starting December 25, 2014, and will be available via DVD as an offer of appreciation with any contribution to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. For more information, to watch a short trailer for the film, or order a copy, visit billygraham.org/unbroken.
Zamperini, who passed away earlier this year, visited Billy Graham in June of 2011 at his home in Montreat, NC. At age 94, he also visited the Billy Graham Library where he signed copies of the New York Times bestseller Unbroken and greeted many WWII veterans. Up until his passing, Zamperini was an inspirational speaker and shared his life-changing testimony at several of Graham’s Crusades, including San Francisco (1958) and Los Angeles (1963).
The Angelina Jolie directed feature movie Unbroken (2014) tells only part of the story of Louis Zamperini, a World War II prisoner of war survivor who spent 47 days on a raft in the shark-infested waters of the Pacific Ocean. While the film details much of Zamperini’s life, including his Olympic career as a distance runner, it only shines a light on part of Zamperini’s gripping story.
“Louis Zamperini: Captured By Grace” tells the true story of his life after returning home a hero. Through the power of the Gospel—and his experience at the 1949 Billy Graham Crusade in Los Angeles—Zamperini overcame alcoholism, night terrors and a failing marriage to live a full and joyous Christ-centered life until his passing at age 97, inspiring millions along the way—even becoming a missionary to Japan.
Grand Marshall of the 126th Rose Parade
This coming New Year’s Day, Will Graham, at the request of the City of Torrance, will represent his grandfather Billy Graham at the 126th Rose Parade on Zamperini’s hometown float. The parade’s theme for 2015 is “Inspiring Stories.” Zamperini was selected earlier this year to be the Grand Marshall of the annual event, and despite his passing, the Tournament of Roses Committee decided to use the opportunity to honor his life.
December 17th, 2014 | Articles | Comments »
Jeanne Allert, founder of The Samaritan Women (TheSamaritanWomen.org), is a modern-day abolitionist featured in the upcoming documentary “In Plain Sight: Stories of Hope and Freedom” (inplainsightfilm.com), where she shares critical steps for healing of those who have been victims of human trafficking in the United States.
Allert was a successful businesswoman when, in 2007, her heart was broken upon meeting Heather, a young girl trapped in sex trafficking. Two months after her encounter, Allert sold her business and purchased a 23-acre estate in Baltimore City that she turned into a residential home for women who have been trafficked.
Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar global industry where victims are forced or coerced into labor or commercial sex. Each year, an estimated 100, 000 children and thousands more women are sold for sex in the United States. The average age of those exploited into the sex trade is just 12-14 years old. Traffickers frequently target victims and then use violence, threats, lies, false promises, debt bondage or other forms of control and manipulation to keep victims enslaved in the sex industry for their own profit.
In the documentary, Allert shares the steps she has developed for helping survivors. They include mitigating or reducing any threats, so the survivor can focus on healing; helping survivors work through psychological and emotional issues related to their experience; helping them form new, healthy relationships; and discovering what makes them unique, so they can develop an environment where they will flourish.
To be released into stores nationwide by Word Films on December 23, 2014, the 68-minute documentary features six modern-day abolitionists as they fight sex trafficking across America.
What’s unique about this documentary?
The film has reportedly been produced for the widest possible audience:
- accessible to people of all faiths or no faith at all
- The film is not sexualized for shock value.
- While its educates the viewer, the film’s focus is on HOPE and the powerful steps that six ordinary women have taken to bring HEALING to the lives of survivors.
The film, which also is complemented by a music album and a 31 Day Devotional and Group Study Guide, will be available in book stores and online Dec. 23, 2014. “Human Trafficking Prevention Month” in January 2015 is an opportunity to raise awareness about its victims. Organizers hope churches, civic groups and other organizations and individuals will host up to 100 screenings of the film around the country that month.
I hope the documentary serves as a complementary and perhaps contrasting message to the Hollywood—interpretations of this problem,” Allert said. “The film is really a testimony of hope, and encourages us to face the really challenging battles ahead, knowing that there truly can be healing and restoration.”
“In Plain Sight” aims to educate the American public and encourage people to take action. Produced and narrated by Christian recording artist Natalie Grant, the documentary features modern-day abolitionists from across the country and includes interviews with trafficking survivors, law enforcement and court officials and those dedicated to helping survivors.
The Samaritan Women is currently reportedly the only organization of its kind in the mid-Atlantic region and takes referrals from across the U.S. The Samaritan Women will be opening a second facility in early 2015.
The Samaritan Women’s (thesamaritanwomen.org) mission is to glorify God by seeking justice, reconciliation and healing for women recovering from domestic human trafficking. The nonprofit operates transitional and restorative shelter programs for women. Emphases include life-rebuilding, personal accomplishments, social re-entry and spiritual reconciliation. The organization also seeks to inspire, educate and equip people to engage in combatting domestic human trafficking through awareness, prevention, service and advocacy.
November 11th, 2014 | Articles | Comments »
33 HOPE, a Florida-based, multimedia production company, announced that filming will soon begin on its new feature film 33, The Story of Hope. The film will be based upon the book of the same name, which was published by Sound Enterprises, Inc., and founded by famed actor Jim Caviezel of The Passion of the Christ.
The book was inspired by a personal experience between a father and son. It happened on Good Friday when 33 Hope’s founding partner Kirk Berendes and his children had just finished watching “The Passion of the Christ.” Once the movie ended one of Kirk’s young sons curiously asked, “What happened next Daddy?” Kirk paused, because he didn’t know the answer, but from that point on was determined to find it.
The book tells the amazing story of Saul of Tarsus, initially one of the fiercest enemies of Jesus of Nazareth and the emerging Christian church who, on the road to Damascus with orders to arrest Christians for prosecution, received a spiritual healing and converted to Christianity. Adopting the new name Paul, he became one of the most fervent missionaries of the early Christian movement and ultimately authored a significant portion of the New Testament, writing so eloquently in the Book of Corinthians of the power of Love.
The feature film is slated to be shot at world famous Cinecitta Studios in Rome. Writing has commenced on the second book in a trilogy, 64, The Story of Faith, about the Apostle Paul in Rome with Peter during the reign of the infamous Emperor Nero. A campaign to fund the writing of the second book was recently launched on the popular Internet funding platform Kickstarter, offering incentives related to the first film and the books.
33 HOPE’s Chairman Kirk Berendes said,
“33 HOPE was formed to be a force in bringing an awareness of the positive values and message of Christianity to a new generation, with emphasis on unity, inclusion, and working together. We see ourselves as story tellers, and we want to provide a new and positive range of family entertainment with core values of hope and promise for a better life and future.”
The 33 Hope trilogy will finish with a third book and film 95, The Story of Love, based upon the writing by John of the Biblical Book of Revelation, one of the most engaging and fascinating writings of the New Testament. For more information, visit 33hope.com. 33 HOPE is a Florida-based, multimedia production company with global outreach. 33, The Story of Hope was published by a marketing and brand development agreement with Sound Enterprises, Inc.
LITTLE HOPE WAS ARSON—which reportedly drew standing-room-only crowds at film festivals—has now unveiled its trailer. “Little Hope Was Arson” weaves thought-provoking questions throughout a gripping true-crime drama, in which communities are challenged, families brought to crisis and, ultimately, redemption sought. Distribution company, The Orchard, and production companies theCollaborate and Goodnight Smoke, will debut the film—part detective story, part faith film—on November 21 in New York, and November 23, in the heart of East Texas where the story unfolded.
On November 28, the film’s release will spread to Los Angeles, and a number of other cities, including several in Texas. LITTLE HOPE WAS ARSON tells the 2010 story of ten East Texas churches set ablaze in one month, sparking the largest manhunt in regional history. But once the crime was solved, the real mystery began. What drove two young men to do it? What effect did it have on their families and the churches? And when a church loses its building… can it still stand?
“Little Hope Was Arson” is a feature-length documentary that tells the amazing true story of two boys with dark secrets, and the community struggling to forgive them. The film paints a fascinating portrait of the American Bible Belt set against the backdrop of a thrilling crime investigation. No stone is left unturned and even Satan himself is considered a suspect in this gripping investigation of a community terrorized from the inside out.
“From the moment I read about these fires, I knew there was a redemptive story that could rise from these violent and tragic acts,” said Theo Love, the film’s director. “When churches and families face such loss—of property and relationships—it can turn attention to what really matters.”
Produced by Trenton Waterson of theCollaborate and Love of Goodnight Smoke, LITTLE HOPE WAS ARSON was executive produced by Bryan Storkel.
PBS’ Independent Lens, with U.S. broadcast rights, will air the feature-length documentary during its 2014-15 season. Film and music distributor, The Orchard, acquired U.S. and Canadian rights other than broadcast and will release the film in theaters in multiple markets and through digital outlets.
Love—the child of foreign missionaries—was particularly attracted to the story as he was raised worshipping overseas most often without the benefit of a church building. Returned to the states, he worked in building maintenance for a California mega-church.
“It was a huge sanctuary, and I often worked in it alone at night,” Love recalls. “It really made me consider the values of Western Christianity. Was that the church? Or is it the people? It was these experiences and questions that helped me to dig deeper into this heartbreaking story.”
East Texas, affectionately referred to by locals as “the Buckle of the Bible Belt,” is home to over 1,400 churches. Every aspect of life is centered on these houses of worship.
On January 1, 2010, Little Hope Baptist Church burned to the ground. Fire officials concluded the fire was caused by an electrical problem in the century-old church’s wiring. But when nine more churches went up in flames, the rural communities of East Texas feared for the worst. With the clues beginning to point towards arson, hundreds of local law enforcement, Texas Rangers, and ATF investigators scoured the area in what unraveled to be the largest criminal investigation in East Texas history. The high profile case soon took a more personal turn when Texas Rangers followed a young man named Jason Bourque to a local store. Moments later, a janitor found scratched in the store’s bathroom the words, “Little Hope Was Arson.” Jason Bourque (19) and his best friend, Daniel McAllister (21), who were both members of a local Baptist church, were now the primary suspects.
Lead investigators Sgt. Brent Davis and Special Agent Larry Smith contacted the dispatch center to run a basic background check on the new suspects. With several hundred officers investigating the crimes that spread into three counties, the dispatch center played a pivotal role in the processing and organizing of information. Christy McAllister was the DPS Dispatcher who answered this particular call from the investigators. Her world was shattered as she heard the names of the suspects: her brother and his best friend.
Jason and Daniel first met in Sunday school as children. Children’s pastor, James Ellis, watched as these two young men went from a deep faith in God in his church classroom every Sunday, to one day seeing their mug shots on the news, arrested for the heinous crimes of burning churches. His forgiveness for them came easily; his forgiveness of himself would become an ongoing process.
Once the arrests had been made, the entire community now wrestled with practicing the forgiveness that they preached. While many were vocal in their forgiveness, others were filled with hatred toward the boys. The trial and subsequent multiple-life sentences dolled out on Jason and Daniel painted a true picture of how the community felt about these boys. Not one person was killed or seriously injured during the fires, and yet both were handed extreme sentences normally reserved for violent crimes.
October 30th, 2014 | Articles | Comments »
Hundreds of thousands of people in early October (2014) saw the inaugural film of Dr. James Dobson’s new series BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY, in a simulcast world premiere.
The Legacy project caps the decades-long career of America’s well-known family expert and encompasses eight films, eight books and eight study guides. More than 7,000 churches and other groups simulcast YOUR LEGACY, the first film in the series. The full series, with related books and guides, are available now for individuals, families and church libraries at Christian retailers.
“This is the culmination of my life’s pursuit—helping parents build a family legacy of faith to endure for generations,” Dr. Dobson said. “Despite what the media and popular culture claim, there is deep hunger for a family emphasis on faith and passing our values to the next generation. The worldwide turnout for BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY shows it.”
Simulcast sites spanned 49 states and 21 countries, including many areas especially challenging for faith messages to reach, such as Malaysia, China and Afghanistan.
The centerpiece of BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY is an eight-DVD series that combines four updated films from Dr. Dobson’s classic Focus on the Family videos, with four new films from Dr. Dobson and his son, Ryan.
The simulcast film, YOUR LEGACY, is a personal story of faith that traces Dr. Dobson’s own family history. More than a century ago, his great-grandfather began to pray daily that the next four generations would be Christians.
The BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY films:
- Your Legacy
- Bringing up Boys
- Bringing up Girls
- Love For A Lifetime
- The Strong-Willed Child
- Dare To Discipline
- Straight Talk To Men
- Wanting To Believe with Ryan Dobson
The Legacy books, leader kits and DVDs:
- Your Legacy—The Greatest Gift
- Wanting to Believe—Faith, Family and Finding an Exceptional Life
- The New Dare to Discipline
- The New Strong-Willed Child
- Bringing Up Girls
- Bringing Up Boys
- Straight Talk to Men
- Love for a Lifetime
In the late 1970s, more than 80 million people—a third of the U.S. population at the time—saw the original Focus on the Family films that changed the way a generation viewed family and parenting. In 2008, Ryan Dobson found those films gathering dust and convinced his father that today’s generation of young parents, more than ever, needs Dr. Dobson’s timeless insight.
Recently, pastors, politicians and celebrities joined more than 500 people and groups from more than 10 countries to see David take on Goliath in a Christian movie shot in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and London.
“I was so blessed seeing this film,” said Jimmy Delshad, Mayor of Beverly Hills. Mayor Delshad reportedly echoed the sentiments of the vast majority of people who attended.
“I thought Tim Chey (the director) did a stunning and remarkable job,” said Pastor Mike Lewis outside the packed theater at Fox Studios. “A lot of people in my section were crying—very moving and, I add, very God-honoring film.”
“Amazing and awesome film on crazy faith,” said Joel Rodrigo. “I can’t wait to watch the film again. Huge blessing seeing this.”
The film stars Miles Sloman, who plays David. Reportedly, over 4,000 actors submitted their names to play the role. Other actors in “David and Goliath” include Richard Summers-Calvert, Makenna Guyer, Paul Hughes, Simon Davies, Joseph Emms, and Jerry Sokolosky, who plays Goliath. Sokolosky is one of the tallest men in the world at 7’8”.
“Jerry was a tremendous blessing,” says the director Tim Chey. “We didn’t want to create a CGI imitation like ‘The Incredible Hulk’ and so our casting directors set out to find the biggest guy and he’s very big.”
The casting team scoured the planet until they discovered the Canadian actor in Toronto. “They flew Jerry to North Africa just to meet with the director and producers,” says Michelle Albright, the U.S. Casting Associate. “While there, they decided to cast Jerry and the rest is history.”
“Goliath stood at nine feet,” adds Chey. “So Jerry is only about a foot and four inches shorter than the real thing. He adds an incredible, realistic dimension.”
Sloman and other cast members flew from London to be at the premiere.
The film wrapped principal photography in North Africa and in studios in London.
“David and Goliath” looks at one of the most powerful and beloved Bible stories of all time. The film focuses on the early life of David who fought against the Philistine giant, Goliath against all odds.
Audiences for faith-based films are growing at a record pace according to reports.
“David and Goliath” is set for an early-2015 nationwide theater release. The film team is currently raising $10 million in P&A (prints and advertising) to be on 1,000 screens.
Timothy A. Chey also produced another epic film, “Freedom” starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and William Sadler that recently opened in Australian theaters and will soon come to the U.S. (January 2015). He also directed “Epic Journey” that took him to 29 countries and was submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records for most countries traveled for a feature film.
October 14th, 2014 | Articles | Comments »
“Left Behind,” which opened on October 3, 2014 on 1,790 screens across the United States and 35 in Canada, garnered strong box office from moviegoers this past weekend commanding $6.3 million ($3,452 per screen average) in receipts. Although questioned by critics, audiences turned the other cheek and flocked to theaters to watch Nicolas Cage lead a cast through the story of the Rapture that brings Biblical prophecy to life in modern times. leftbehindmovie.com
Producer and co-writer Paul Lalonde commented, “We are pleased with the response the film has had from moviegoers across North America. With a marketing budget less than one tenth of what the studios spend on the movies we’re competing with, we had focused our marketing efforts toward our core Christian audience. We had a strong social presence and knew awareness in the core demo was strong. Our goal was to enlist those fans to spread the word and to bring friends and family who weren’t necessarily believers. I have to give thanks to director Vic Armstrong, star Nicolas Cage and the rest of the cast and team that brought it all together so well. But most of all, I want to thank the fans for supporting this movie, and all faith based movies, by actually buying tickets and going to the theater.”
Freestyle Releasing’s Co-President Mark Borde stated, “We were bullish on this film from the very beginning. Originally slated for a 1,200 screen run In the U.S., we bumped it up to 1,790 theaters due to the pre-release demand. We are very pleased with these results in light of being up against five films, each in more than 3,000 theaters with far larger marketing budgets.”
“Left Behind” is based on the New York Times bestselling book series of the same name, co-authored by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. Published in 32 different languages, the series has sold more than 63 million copies and is one of the best-selling fiction series of all time. The film follows Rayford Steele (Nicolas Cage) who is piloting a commercial airliner just hours after the Rapture when millions of people in the plane and around the globe suddenly vanish. Thirty thousand feet over the Atlantic, Rayford is faced with a damaged plane, terrified passengers, and a desperate desire to get back to his family. On the ground, his daughter, Chloe Steele (Cassi Thomson) is among those left behind, forced to navigate a world of madness as she searches for her lost mother and brother. “Left Behind” was produced by Paul Lalonde, Michael Walker and Ed Clydesdale and co-written by Paul Lalonde and John Patus.
See our review page on “Left Behind.”
About Stoney Lake Entertainment
Stoney Lake Entertainment (SLE) is a film production company created in 2012 by CEO Paul Lalonde, co-founder of Cloud Ten Pictures. SLE is focused on producing big budget faith-themed films for a wider audience. LEFT BEHIND is SLE’s first feature film.
October 14th, 2014 | Articles | Comments »
A new video called “19 Kids and Preaching,” released by Living Waters, shows that the Duggar family members are passionate about their Christian faith. While they often pray and talk about God on their TV program, this video shows them getting out of their comfort zone to share their faith with others.
Ray Comfort, Executive Producer of “19 Kids and Preaching,” says, “If you follow the famous family, you’ve no doubt enjoyed watching them throughout their many adventures. From shopping and preparing meals, to traveling and skydiving, with a family of 19 kids it’s always life at the extremes. But you’ve never seen them do anything as exciting or controversial as open-air preaching.”
Here is the trailer: 19 Kids & Preaching Trailer
On the video, Comfort, a seasoned evangelist and TV host, teaches the family how to follow in the footsteps of the great evangelists of the past by preaching the gospel in the open air. Joshua Duggar preaches outside the White House, and Jim Bob and Michelle testify to their Christian faith in the open air at a local university.
Details about the DVD, which was released this week, can be found at www.19KidsAndPreaching.com