A faith-based period drama with a modern-day purpose and explosive sports action is headed to theaters nationwide October 16, 2015. WOODLAWN, is said to be an exhilarating high school football story about revival and reconciliation, offering hope for overcoming the racial crises facing America today.
The movie, an Erwin Brothers film produced by Kevin Downes, tells the true-life story of Tony Nathan (newcomer Caleb Castille), who lands in a powder keg of anger and violence when he joins fellow African-American students at Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, Alabama, after its government-mandated desegregation in 1973. The Woodlawn Colonels football team is a microcosm of the problems at the school and in the city, which erupts in cross burnings and riots, and Coach Tandy Geralds (Nic Bishop) is at a loss to solve these unprecedented challenges with his disciplinarian ways.
It’s only when Hank (Sean Astin), an outsider who has been radically affected by the message of hope and love he experienced at a Christian revival meeting, convinces Coach Geralds to let him speak to the team that something truly remarkable begins to happen. More than 40 players, nearly the entire team, black and white, give their lives over to the “better way” Hank tells them is possible through following Jesus, and the change is so profound in them it affects their coach, their school and their community in ways no one could have imagined.
The Colonels make a run at the state playoffs led by Nathan, who achieves superstar status in Birmingham and attracts the attention of legendary University of Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant (Jon Voight). It’s the miracle, Hank says, of what happens when God shows up. Director Andy Erwin says,
“It is the story about the redemption of a cynic through a reluctant hero with the influence of an unabashed optimist. And these three men mixed together in the midst of this spiritual awakening that really hit America in the early ‘70s called the Jesus Movement. Something special happened, and a city healed.”
Adds Producer Kevin Downes:
“It’s a special film that’s really going to touch the lives of many people across the country and around the world. I think it transcends different backgrounds in such a way that it can bring healing. People have separation and brokenness in their lives—and this film can really help people in ways that are unexpected.”
A trio of books will also be released in conjunction with the film: Woodlawn: Dare to Believe, written by Todd Geralds (son of Tandy Geralds), on which the movie is based; and Touchdown Tony: Running With a Purpose, Tony Nathan’s autobiography, are both available September 15, 2015 from Howard Books. A devotional book, When God Shows Up, releases October 1, 2015 from Broadstreet Publishing.
WOODLAWN, distributed by Pure Flix in conjunction with Provident Films, stars Sean Astin (“Rudy,” “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “Mom’s Night Out”), Nic Bishop (“Covert Affairs,” “Body of Proof”), Caleb Castille (in his feature film debut), C. Thomas Howell (“The Outsiders,” “Red Dawn”), Sherri Shepherd (“The View,” “Precious”) and Academy-Award winner JON VOIGHT (“Ali,” “National Treasure,” “Coming Home”). It is directed by The Erwin Brothers (“October Baby,” “Mom’s Night Out”) from a script by Jon Erwin and Quinton Peeples and is produced by Kevin Downes (“Faith of Our Fathers,” “Courageous”).
To learn more about the movie, visit www.woodlawnmovie.com