Record-setting “Beyond the Mask” lands theatrical distribution deal, in theaters coast to coast June 5
May 7th, 2015 | Articles | Comments »
The swashbuckling action-and-adventure historical drama BEYOND THE MASK launches June 5, 2015 in 100 cities coast to coast—from Washington, D. C. To Seattle. The theatrical release from Freestyle Releasing follows the films” record-setting on-demand theatrical debut earlier this year.
Local Showtimes are available at BeyondtheMaskMovie.com
“BEYOND THE MASK is the largest theatrical on-demand release in history,” Director Chad Burns said. “Audiences and critics both responded to a family-friendly film that set a new standard for production values and computer-generated special effects in the faith genre. We’re thrilled now to bring it to a wider audience.”
Besides the 100-city debut, BEYOND THE MASK remains available in other locations in theaters on demand. The film opened through Gathr’s on-demand platform in April 2015 at a record-setting 440-plus theaters nationwide with record box office results guaranteed before the premiere. In the two weeks following, it posted a box-office-leading per screen sales average for the Monday-Wednesday time frame.
“Gathr allows us to continue to schedule premieres across the country. So if the film isn’t in a city, fans just reserve a theater and bring it,” Producer Aaron Burns said. “Everything they need to see the movie is on our Web site at BeyondtheMaskMovie.com.”
Also, see our previous article on this movie.
May 6th, 2015 | Articles | Comments »
Indiana based producer Rossetti Productions is releasing the drama “One More Round” DVD on June 16, 2015. With Kevin Sorbo as Executive Producer and directed by Chip Rossetti, the film stars Tommy Lee Thomas Franco Columbu T.C. Stallings Mindy Thomas with Kevin Sorbo and Jeremy London.
Jake “The Jackhammer” Taylor is a man just trying to survive. His dead-end job at a furniture store isn’t enough to pay the mortgage and keep food on the table for his wife and daughter. And he’s haunted by his past. You see, Jacob used to be a boxer, a real “up‐and‐comer,” and he left the sport just as his star was ascending. No warnings. No discussions. Just up and vanished.
Since ducking out just minutes before he was going to enter the ring for the fight of his life, Jake hasn’t been able to get things back on track. Now, several years later, he finds himself depressed and locked in a dreary job, with a marriage under stress and the bank about to foreclose on his home. Jake has 30 days to come up with the mortgage, or he and his family will be homeless. At work, his boss, Strauss, gives him a week to hit his sales quota or he will be out of a job.
He trusts that God can provide, but doesn’t see it happening. Just when Jake thinks he can’t get up one more time, his trainers track him down. Will one more round in the ring bring redemption? Will Jake find the strength to go “One More Round”?
Chip Rossetti is an award winning writer, director and producer, with 9 documentary films, five short films and 12 completed feature films to his credit. Chip has received distribution for all of his projects thus far, and they are reportedly being sold worldwide.
Official Facebook page: facebook.com/OneMoreRoundMovie
After nearly 3 years in the making, POLYCARP will be available May 5, 2015 on Christian bookstore shelves and online stores where you find Christian media, including Family Christian, LifeWay, CBD, and many more, and from the producer HenlineProductions.com.
Although set in the 2nd Century, the story of religious persecution, courage, faith and brutal oppression could be taken from today’s headlines about mass killings and persecutions of Christians. It promises to tell the historically accurate story of an early Christian martyr, Bishop Polycarp, who was burned and stabbed to death for refusing to renounce his faith in Christ and worship Caesar.
This feature length drama (93 minutes) is told through the eyes of a 12-year-old girl, Anna, and has been given the “Family Approved” seal for all ages by The Dove Foundation. POLYCARP was awarded Best Feature Film, Audience Choice Award and Best Original Music Score at the 2015 Christian Worldview Film Festival.
“It challenges Christians of all generations to stand boldly on the gospel in the face of persecution. In the Western world our faith is increasingly coming under attack from our secularized society, so this movie is very timely for us today,” said Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis and founder of the Creation Museum in Hebron, Ky. “Based on real history and real Christians suffering real persecution, it’s a message we all need to be reminded of.”
“This is a moving story of second-century persecution, reminiscent of the persecution many believers face today,” said Alex and Stephen Kendrick, producers of hit films “Courageous” and “Facing the Giants” that sparked a growing trend of Christian movies.
“Through the use of realistic sets and talented actors, ‘Polycarp’ brings to life the Biblical truths presented in Luke 17:33, 1 John 4:18, and Philippians 1:21 and reveals what it means to be fully dedicated to Christ and His Kingdom, even to the point of death.” —Samaritan Ministries
“Garry Nation gives a compelling performance as Polycarp” —Dove Foundation
Bill O’Reilly and National Geographic’s Bible-themed project produced by Ridley Scott (“Exodus”) rated only 3 out of 5 stars by Faith Driven Consumer
“Killing Jesus” is a National Geographic Channel miniseries chronicling the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Premiered on March 29, 2015, it is based on the 2013 book of the same name written by political pundit and author Bill O’Reilly and historian Martin Dugard (published by Henry Holt and Company). The book remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 52 weeks. Faith Driven Consumer™—the consumer advocacy organization representing Christian consumers who spend $2 trillion annually, is rating the faith compatibility of Hollywood films, measuring how they will resonate with faith-driven audiences, and predicting box office performance. The group’s Faith-Friendly Film Review system serves as another resource for consumers to evaluate entertainment choices.
According to them, the National Geographic/Scott Free Productions television movie “Killing Jesus”—which examines the life of Jesus Christ from three different perspectives—rates 3 out of 5 stars.
Chris Stone, founder of Faith Driven Consumer and Certified Brand Strategist, has issued the following statement:
“‘Killing Jesus’ failed to earn more than thee stars because it largely ignores the divinity of Jesus Christ—a non-negotiable for the faith audience. This offering from Ridley Scott and National Geographic has strong production values and is entertaining, but its humanistic depiction of the Son of God—void of the divine essence of His life—lacks appeal to audiences who hold this as the pivotal and most important story in all of history and in their personal lives.”
Faith Driven Consumers and Christians overall: What they want in entertainment
96% of Faith Driven Consumers (FDCs) say that their faith has a major influence on their entertainment choices, compared to 47% of Christians overall. 61% of FDCs rate faith’s influence as a 10, compared to 18% of Christians overall.
87% of Faith Driven Consumers are much more likely—58% very much more likely—to choose entertainment options that promote Christian-compatible values, compared to 54% of Christians overall, while 73% of Faith Driven Consumers avoid watching television and films that conflict with their Christian worldview, compared to 41% of Christians at large.
81% of Faith Driven Consumers are likely to recommend a movie to others, compared to 79% of Christians overall. 49% of FDCs are very likely to recommend a movie, compared to 39% of Christians overall, while 61% of Faith Driven Consumers are likely to discourage others from seeing a movie, compared to 49% of Christians overall. 31% of FDCs are very likely to discourage a movie, compared to 17% of Christians overall.
78% of Faith Driven Consumers say it would have a significant influence on their decision to see a film if their church encouraged it, compared to 55% of Christians overall, and 57% of Faith Driven Consumers” churches encourage members to see specific faith-based films, compared to 36% of Christians overall.
Faith Driven Consumers and Christians overall: Importance of specific attributes
On a scale of one to five, Faith Driven Consumers rate biblical accuracy as the #1 factor in considering a film. Below is how all factors were rated.
60% gave “how accurately the movie reflects the Bible” a 5 (4-5: 84%), compared to 28% of Christians overall.
59% gave “compatibility with Christian values” a 5 (4-5: 89%), compared to 23% of Christians overall.
56% gave “how appropriate the film is for children” a 5 (4-5: 78%), compared to 30% of Christians overall.
51% gave “faith-compatible characters and relationships” a 5 (4-5: 83%), compared to 21% of Christians overall.
51% gave “faith-compatible situations” a 5 (4-5: 83%), compared to 20% of Christians overall.
50% gave “entertainment value” a 5 (4-5: 83%), compared to 36% of Christians overall.
For further details on the poll, see AmericanInsights.org
April 2nd, 2015 | Articles | Comments »
The family-friendly, action-and-adventure film BEYOND THE MASK hits theaters April 6, 2015 and has already generated good reviews and a new record for debuting on the most screens in the history of on-demand theatrical distribution.
Reviewers praise the film for its compelling story and for reaching new heights, for faith films, of production values and computer-generated special effects. Tickets are on sale now at BeyondtheMaskMovie.com.
“We’re thrilled the advance excitement we’ve seen has turned into action in the form of screens reserved to show BEYOND THE MASK,” said Producer Aaron Burns. “Now we want fans of action films appropriate for the whole family to buy tickets and fill theaters.”
Partnered with Gathr—an on-demand theatrical film distributor—BEYOND THE MASK producers Burns Family Studios activated an extensive network of fans to request local screenings. BEYOND THE MASK has already surpassed the 146 opening-week screen count of “Girl Rising”—Gathr’s most successful film to date. BEYOND THE MASK fans have reportedly reserved more than 25,000 tickets.
A sample of reviews shows the appeal of BEYOND THE MASK:
“This is a turning point in Christian filmmaking. People are going to remember BEYOND THE MASK as a great movie, with a great story.”
Del Tackett—The Truth Project
“Finally, a Christian movie that remembers to be fun. Assassins, explosions, Ben Franklin and a modest love story. Not your typical Christian movie.”
Ken Morefield—Christianity Today
“Takes you on a wild ride with a driven cast to bring this story to life—complete with heroes, villains and a faithful twist. A definite must see for all!”
Jim Rankin—Cross Point Magazine
BEYOND THE MASK is a family-friendly swashbuckler of a tale complete with hero, heroine and dastardly villain, played by John Rhys-Davies known best for THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.
The story? Will Reynolds, the leading mercenary for the British East India Company, has just been double-crossed and now is on the run in the American colonies. To redeem his name and win back the affections of the woman with whom he’s never been fully truthful, Will takes on a new mask to thwart his former employer. As his past closes in on him, Will must somehow gain the trust and the help of his beloved Charlotte—as well as Ben Franklin—racing against time to defuse a plot of historical proportions. The revolutionary BEYOND THE MASK brings history to life in a faith-filled adventure celebrating grace, liberty and the true freedom found only in Christ.
“BEYOND THE MASK is a groundbreaking, fast-paced action adventure with computer-generated images rivaling anything out of Hollywood,” Michael Foust of The Baptist Press said.
Producer Aaron Burns and his cousin, Director Chad Burns, are from a family of home-schooled kids who made a family affair out of what typically takes a Hollywood army to accomplish—write, produce and distribute a big-screen film. After making their first film as a family/school project, their second—PENDRAGON—moved into the action-adventure landscape, won awards and played nationally.
Now they step it up with the crowd-driven, crowd-pleasing BEYOND THE MASK—staking out new territory for faith and family movies.
Christianity Today summed it up:
“A fun mash-up of NATIONAL TREASURE and ZORRO—with a Christian twist.”
BEYOND THE MASK is from Director Chad Burns and Producer Aaron Burns, with a script co-written by Stephen Kendrick (COURAGEOUS, FIREPROOF) and Paul McCusker (Adventures in Odyssey). It stars Andrew Cheney (SEASONS OF GRAY) and Kara Killmer (Chicago Fire) and John Rhys-Davies (RETURN TO THE HIDING PLACE, THE LORD OF THE RINGS).
BEYOND THE MASK debuts in theaters nationwide April 6, 2015.
About Burns Family Studios
Burns Family Studios happened when families with a passion for creative storytelling aimed to share the joy of Christ. Its first feature film, PENDRAGON: SWORD OF HIS FATHER, a historic epic, was set in the Dark Ages of Britain. Since its 2008 debut, PENDRAGON has been recognized at 15 film festivals, purchased by the world’s largest Christian TV network, distributed across North America and dubbed by foreign distributors into Spanish, German and Portuguese.
“I have a lot of respect for Ridley (Scott) and Darren (Aronosfky),” says director Tim Chey. “But they’re both avowed atheists. So you wonder what attracted them to do Bible movies in the first place.”
Chey emphatically states the film will put God first.
“God is in almost every scene,” he continues. “This is why the Hollywood studios passed when we screened it for executives. So many of them were put off that so much of the film was about God, front and center.”
In fact, one studio executive said, “You mention God in almost every scene.”
Pastors around the country support the film and several large churches are buying out tickets. The film is also being shown worldwide simultaneously in countries such as Canada, Norway, and the Philippines.
The film stars unknown actor Miles Sloman who beat out several thousand actors to get the part of David. And Jerry Sokolosky who is the tallest man in Canada at 7’8.
“David and Goliath” is considered one of the big three Bible movies hitting theaters after “Noah” and “Exodus: God’s and Kings.”
“David and Goliath” looks at one of the most powerful and beloved Bible stories of all time. The film will focus on the early life of David who fought against the Philistine giant, Goliath against all odds.
“David and Goliath” opens in theaters Friday, April 3, 2015.
See our previous article on this movie: “David and Goliath” drama premier”
If you have viewed this film, please share your comments with our Christian Spotlight on the Movies readers.
“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.