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The award-winning documentary, “The Terri Schiavo Story” from Franklin Springs Family Media, was one of three finalists for an International Christian Visual Media (ICVM) Crown Award for Best Documentary. The Crown Awards are designed to recognize excellence in production and content of films and videos that are created to reflect Christian values in a secular world. Franklin Springs Family Media was awarded the Best Documentary for “An American Adventure: The Living Legacy of Jimmy Gentry” from the 2008 ICVM Crown Awards.

Ken Carpenter, the film’s producer/director, says,

“It’s gratifying to have another film festival recognize the Schiavo film. Our hope is that the result will be more people taking the time to revisit the events surrounding her death.”

In addition to the film’s ICVM nomination, “The Terri Schiavo Story” was given the Jubliee Award for Best Documentary at the recent San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. The film has also been endorsed by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), and was shown in a special screening during NRLC’s recent national convention. Additionally, the Dove Foundation gave “The Terri Schiavo Story” its highest rating of five stars.

Four years after her death, the ethical and cultural implications of Terri’s case are still being felt throughout society and continue to spark debate. Just last year during the Democratic debates, President Obama said one of his “regrets” as a Senator was voting for Congress to intervene to save Terri’s life. Hosted by author and speaker Joni Eareckson Tada, who became personally involved in the case in 2005, “The Terri Schiavo Story” sheds new light on the controversial decision that led to the death of a 41-year-old disabled woman.

Joni Eareckson Tada, herself disabled after a diving accident which left her a quadriplegic in a wheelchair and unable to use her hands, says what happened to Terri continues to affect disabled citizens.

“The story remains relevant because there are countless people like Terri Schiavo whose lives are in grave danger because of unclear custody and guardianship laws. Plus, more states (under futile care policy directives) are quietly removing the feeding tubes from brain-injured people when families abandon their responsibilities. Feeding tubes are providing basic care, not medical treatment.”

Terri’s brother, Bobby Schindler, made a personal appearance during the screening at the National Right to Life convention. Schindler was interviewed at length in the documentary and is now involved in helping families in similar circumstances through The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation. Schindler believes the truth about his sister’s death has been distorted and hidden—until now. He says,

“Our hope is that people will learn the truth about what happened to Terri and realize the atrocity that it was and that anyone who claims that her death was ‘peaceful’ and ‘painless’ is lying. It is because of the truly inhumane nature of death by dehydration that when people are killed this way it is always done behind closed doors in the strictest secrecy. I wholeheartedly believe that if the public had been allowed to witness Terri’s suffering first hand, the outcry would have deafened Florida and the world.”

About Ken Carpenter

Through his Franklin Films production company, Carpenter has produced projects for many of the leading names in Christian entertainment and ministry, including Michael W. Smith, Compassion International, Steven Curtis Chapman, The Gideons, Jeremy Camp, eHarmony, dcTalk, Integrity Publishers, Mercy Me, Big Idea Productions, Casting Crowns, and many others. Carpenter took home the Dove Award for Long Form Video in 2007 for Amy Grant’s “Time Again,” and in 2006 for Mark Schultz’ “A Night of Story and Songs.” Carpenter also recently produced and directed the latest John Tesh television special—“John Tesh Alive.” He is currently producing and directing multiple episodes of a new human-interest television show hosted by author Joni Eareckson Tada.

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