Posts By: Cheryl Wicker
Following a successful limited theatrical release, Vision Films has released faith-based family movie “Yellow Day” on VOD platforms in North America. There are also special community church screenings across the country, with DVD release anticipated in a few weeks. “Yellow Day” is a love story and spiritual adventure intertwined with beautiful animation sequences that give it a contemporary, yet magical fairy-tale feel.
Camp Grace celebrates miracles, faith, and community on ‘Yellow Day’ but this one is no ordinary celebration day… at least not for one young man. The chance to find true love his young man takes him on an imaginative adventure, with the help of a mysterious guide, witnessing true heroes, daring feats, and learning great lessons. His quest for true love becomes much more, as he learns how hope and love conquer all.
Inspired by true stories of real life heroes in the special needs, chronic illnesses, and survivors of domestic abuse communities at the extraordinary Camp Grace in Mobile, Alabama, “Yellow Day” was written and created by G.P. Galle Jr, directed by Carl Lauten and produced by Robert Gros, and with Marsha Posner Williams and Blake Hester. The film stars Drew Seeley (“Another Cinderella Story,” “High School Musical”), Lindsey Shaw (“Pretty Little Liars,” “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide”) and Ashley Boettcher (“Lost in Oz,” “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street”).
“Yellow Day” is 98-minutes long and will be available to rent or own from all major VOD platforms on December 27, 2016, courtesy of Vision Films. Learn more at yellowdaymovie.com
“Remember the Goal” is a sports film about a girls cross country team. Directed by Dave Christiano, a former high school and collegiate cross country runner, this inspirational drama presents a message about self-image and having the courage to help a friend who is struggling with issues like disobedience or drug use. The story follows a new female coach, just out of college, who is taking over the cross country program at a private. all-girls, Christian school. Her goal is for them to go for the prize of winning their first state title.
“Remember the Goal” is a family friendly film starring Allee-Sutton Hethcoat, Quinn Alexis, Sydney Marks, Lacy Hartselle, Margaret Tant, McKensie Miller and Jayla Palmer. Christiano, who also wrote the film, says that he also drew on his past cross country coaching experience to lend reality to the technical side of the production. One thing that will be different is that “Remember the Goal” is coming to “theaters only” from the Christiano Brothers. Opening on August 26th in 10 southeastern states, there will be no DVD, VOD, or TV release on this movie. The movie is being planned for expansion to other states beyond that in 2017 (and 2018). There will be no DVD, VOD, or TV release on this movie. You can check Facebook for movie screening events near you or look for a theater in your area at fiveandtwopictures.com
Variety is bringing back PURPOSE: The Family Entertainment & Faith-Based Summit. On July 29th, 2016, innovative and pioneering leaders, directors, actors, and producers who are successfully filling the demand for family and faith-based entertainment at studios, networks, digital media, and brands will be meeting at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.
The day will kick off with a Faith and Culture in Entertainment panel featuring Moderator:DeVon Franklin, President & CEO, Franklin Entertainment and Producer (Miracles from Heaven and The Star) with Speakers Quinn Taylor, EVP, Movies, Miniseries & International Co-Productions, NBC Entertainment; Tara Montgomery, EVP, Programming, Development and Production, OWN; Michael Van Dyck, Agent, Paradigm; and Mike Miller, Executive Producer, (The Story of God with Morgan Freeman). They will explore the executives and creatives portraying religion in film and television, including characters, storylines and more. What are the artistic and commercial goals of these projects? What types of content are proving especially engaging with audiences? Top film and TV chiefs will explain their vision for religion in entertainment.
Keynote Conversation with Multiple Grammy Award Winner Michael W. Smith is next on the schedule. Composer/singer/songwriter/actor, Smith is featured in Fox TV’s The Passion.
The day will be filled with a variety of speakers (just a few pictured above) who are all experts within their field. Topics include “Succeeding in Faith-Based Finance and Production,” “How to Win An Audience and Make Money” with Ted Baehr, “First Look! Family Entertainment and Faith-Based Projects Revealed” and “Creative Trendsetters.” There will also be several networking breaks available to give each attendee ample opportunity meet and mingle with their peers.
PURPOSE: The Family Entertainment & Faith-Based Summit is also made possible through the generous sponsors and partners listed above. These are some wonderful organizations that work to bring some of the best in faith and family values to media projects. To find out more about this Variety event, check out Events.Variety.com/Purpose
The ICVM Crown Awards were filled with too many moments and memories to capture it properly in one blog post, so I am giving you just a few highlights. I led a “Selfie Moment” at the #ICVMOhio Crown Awards–taking a photo on stage with the emcee Heinz Winckler, winner of South African Idol and actor.
Continuing with the “selfie” mode, ICVM board member, and Best Comedy Silver Crown winner for “Heaven Bound” posed with Cameron & BJ Arnett.
Best Curriculum went to friend Rick Garside of Side By Side Productions for FAITH HAPPENS SERIES. He is pictured with 2008 Crown Award – President’s Award recipient, photographer Victor Ng of Cru Singapore.
Best Youth Film Gold Crown Award was presented to Chad Burns of Burns Family Studios for “Beyond the Mask.” The film also won a Bronze Crown Award for Best Evangelistic Film and a Silver Crown for Best Picture.
Another film that went home with multiple awards is Mainstreet Production’s “Providence,” a silent feature film written and directed by Sharon Campbell Wilharm and edited and produced by her husband, Fred Wilharm. “Providence” was awarded the Gold Crown for Best Drama under $250,000, a Silver Crown for Best Evangelistic Film, and Bronze Crowns for Best picture and Best Youth Film.
The Gold Crown Award for both Best Picture and Best International Film was “Sabina K.” Filmed in Bosnia and Herzegovina by Messenger Films, the movie is inspired by a true story. Director Cristóbal Krusen was present to accept the awards.
Prayer, Worship, Devotions, Coffee and Networking has moved more from getting caught up or introductions to a gathering of familiar faces of people who have bonded and are here to support one another. This was a shorter day due to the huge finale—The Crown Awards.
Kevin Downes led a seminar called, “But Seriously… How Do I Get My Project Made?” Lots of great tips!
Beverly Holloway and Claire Hutchinson led”Movies That Matter” and Marc Harper and Jared Geesey led the “Distribution Essentials” seminar.
Next up was Lunch with Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis. This was co-sponsored by Parables TV and Crown Entertainment.
We followed that with a screening of the multiple-nominee film, “Sabina K.,” with director Cristóbal Krusen in attendance.
One of the fun things about being at a film conference is occasionally you get recruited to be in a film project. Here Is a little impromptu cast & crew for a Daniel Knudsen project. I played a news reporter. Shocking, huh?!!! Lol!There will be another separate blog for this year’s Crown Awards. Come back tomorrow for more on my reports LIVE FROM CINCINNATI!
Day 3 was an exciting day with seminars, interviews and a trip to the world famous Creation Museum!
It was so exciting meeting and interviewing Doug Jones…who is famous for his monster & alien roles over the last 25 years. He may play some scary roles, but super nice in real life. Doug also led a seminar on “Acting from Head to Toe” and gave us an example of mime. I did not know he started as a mime and contortionist. Other seminars were Timothy Mahoney – “Why I Started a Micro Studio and 7 Tips I Learned Along the Way” and Dale Mason, Barbara Mudge & Edward Geach: “Finding Success in the World Markets.”
Kevin Downes spoke on “Finding Your Lane” during lunch, which was sponsored by Bridgestone MultiMedia Group. Then, we loaded up to go the the Creation Museum.
Just a couple of photos to whet your appetite. Look for more on Christian Movie Connect and ICVM Facebook pages.
I missed the Bridge Walk with fireworks and other excitement, but had to spend some time prepping for the Saturday night Crown Awards finale! More to come tomorrow!
Day 2 of the conference started with worship, prayer and breakfast!! A cup (or two) of coffee and it’s time for the morning seminars to begin.
Seminars leaders and topics were Dallas Jenkins, “Thick-Skinned Critique”; Tosca Lee, “Unforgettable Characters”; Cindy Bond & Simon Swart, “Chaos and Disruption in Media Creation and Distribution.” You can see photos and videos at OfficialICVM.
After lunch we watched the director’s cut of “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone” — with director, Dallas Jenkins. It was funny, very touching and inspiring at the same time. I really liked it. From there, we had Roundtable Networking! It gave everyone a chance to sit and talk with different groups of people and share what we have going on.
After dinner, we listened to the inspiring story of Olympian Eric LeMarque – “Ice, Guts and God” After being lost in the Sierra Mountains for a week, both of Eric’s feet had to be amputated due to frostbite.
We ended with another Popcorn Night of short clips and info about projects and organizations. Tomorrow is going to bring more seminars and an eagerly anticipated ICVM Field Trip to the Creation Museum!
Early morning arrivals to the International Christian Visual Media (ICVM) Conference in Cincinnati started the day off with prayer before moving on to 2 diffferent movie screenings, with a lunch break in between. First up was “Priceless,” starring Joel Smallbone of FOR KING & COUNTRY and, after lunch, the first viewing of “Heaven Bound” with Nancy Stafford, Michael Joiner, Torry Martin, and Victoria Jackson. The rest of the afternoon was spent with meeting up with old friends and introducing yourself to new people. This time to “Get Acquainted” helps build the relationships that bond our community.
After a delicious meal sponsored by Frans Cronje (pictured above with Barbara Sunstrom), director of the upcoming film, “The Roar,” there was an opportunity to interview best-selling author, Tosca Lee! She had some great advice for creatives when working on a project.
Worldwide Faith Entertainment on Demand sponsored the Wednesday Night Popcorn Night. Instead of seeing a movie, we saw clips from or heard a description of 24 different films and projects. It is exciting to see what everyone else is involved in right now…especially sneak peeks at new movies in the works.
To top the night off, several of us joined in a Night Owls Networking Bridge Walk with Torry Martin. We walked across the Covington-Cincinnati Suspension Bridge. Bridges are not my favorite thing, but with good friends to pray with me and support me through it, the night ended on a victorious note as we enjoyed our time together. And, isn’t that what our community is all about? This will be a special ICVM Moment I will always remember.
The International Christian Visual Media conference, known simply as ICVM, will be held in Cincinnati this week as media organizations, directors, actors, writers, distributors, authors and more—including people who support the Christian film industry in other ways gather for an opportunity to network, attend seminars, see some of the new films coming up, and to connect with friends. This year’s theme is “Be Community: Inspire and Be Inspired,” which is perfect for the faith-based film industry. Many of us consider one another as family and gather to both be inspired and to be an inspiration and encouragement to our peers.This year Christian Movie Connect has been given a wonderful opportunity to LIVE Blog on behalf of ICVM. This will be a mixture of photos, Facebook Live reports, and perhaps a few videos like the one below from the 2011 ICVM event:
Each day there are scheduled seminars, speakers, networking opportunities, movies like “Heavenbound” and “Priceless,” trips to the nearby Creation Museum. You will have a chance to learn more of what they have to say, meeting new friends, plus catching up with good friends like Torry Martin who will be having Networking Bridge Walks. And, of course, we are all excited about the final event—The Crown Awards! It’s not too late to register and daily passes are available, too. But, if you are going to have to miss all or part, you can keep up with highlights and feel almost like you are there when you visit the ICVM Facebook page at OfficialICVM.
Lifeway hosted the scheduled Nashville Faith in Film Breakfast Club meeting as a part of #NRB16 week. The speakers this month were filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick whose second film, “Facing the Giants,” gave them more public exposure when it unexpectedly landed in the Top 10 the week it opened. They shared stories, beginning with their early days of filmmaking, on to the increasing success with “Fireproof,” “Courageous,” and “War Room.” Each film they have made has reached out to a wider audience and even that first project, “Flywheel,” has sold more than a million copies to date.
Alex Kendrick remarked, “When we went to Sony to mention “War Room,” about a prayer room, they thought we were nuts. The major studios have never understood what we do, which is fine. We get hundreds of scripts a week, but if we’re going to be spending a year on a project, we want to make sure it’s where God is leading us. We can follow some idea that we really like, and God can say ‘that’s great, knock yourself out’ while He commissions someone else to do the film He wants to do.” Prayer is a key factor in choosing the movie’s theme and even the actors. We want to make sure by lots of prayer were doing the film he wants. “We have sometimes picked an actor that we like and who looks the part, then find out God is saying, ‘No, use this other person.’ In other words, ‘This is a Saul, here’s David.’”
Stephen Kendrick reiterated the importance of prayer surrounding all aspects of their films. “We spend enormous amounts of time in prayer. Often at 1:00, each day, we would have a teleconference specifically to pray together about our film.”
Back at the NRB Convention Center, the film, “The Young Messiah” was screened during the early evening, followed by a panel discussion that included Moderator Dr. Ted Baehr, MOVIEGUIDE®; Phil Cooke, Cooke Pictures; and Cyrus Nowrasteh, director of the film.
Nowrasteh shared, “This was based on an Anne Rice book. We wanted to focus on one year, since it was best for the narrative.” “The Young Messiah” is a fictional account of Jesus and His family as they take the dangerous journey from Egypt to Nazareth and on to Jerusalem.
Film professionals look forward to the annual Dessert Social sponsored by ICVM. After a couple of days of lectures, films, learning new things, pitching projects, and trying to absorb it all, attendees are ready for a bit of relaxation and restoration. Enjoying the sweet treats as they catch up with friends they only get to visit with at times like the NRB Convention, makes this a sweet time in more ways than one.
A lot to see and people to meet today as the exhibit floor opened. One exhibitor, Christian Cinema, which features 1800 Christian movies is promoting their new digital platform which is available on Roku and Apple TV and web app, enabling movies to be viewed on mobile devices, computers and TV. They can be rented or purchased. It is the only transactional digital platform for Christian movies—think Christian iTunes!
Today was a busy day with Church Media, Radio and TV Summits. For filmmakers, there was a film screening of Bible Idiots. Director, Chris Danielson, remarked, “I would like to believe God has a sarcastic sense of humor. Look at when he named Simon Peter in the Bible. It is commonly held belief that Peter means the rock but if you look at the original Hebrew meaning, Peter means “pebbles”.”
June Hunt, who is part of the “Bible idiots” film, is best known for her organization, Hope For the Heart. Established in 1986, this is a Texas-based Christian counseling ministry built on the foundation of the 100-topic Biblical Counseling Keys Library. Hope For The Heart is also on the radio with a live 2-hour call-in counseling program, heard on over 360 radio stations with more than 1.3 million listeners. Ms. Hunt commented, “I get constant emails on how our organization touches people. I’ve had young women, younger than 15 years old, writing to tell me how our organization has helped them.”
Hobby Lobby is the largest privately owned arts and crafts retailer in the world. Steve Green started in 1986 as the Store Operations Supervisor, was promoted to Executive VP in 2000 and named President in December of 2004.The Green Family obtained their first biblical artifact in 2009, and now The Green Collection is one of the largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts with more than 40,000 biblical antiquities. The Museum of the Bible will be unique, according to Green, and he spoke of the need for charitable donations for this endeavor.
The President’s Award was presented to Kim Davis, the Kentucky Court Clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage license because of the conflict with her Christian beliefs.
Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church talked about how your ministry can grow quickly to a point that you can lose sight of Who is really in control. On the topic of his church, he said, “I felt like Saddleback Church was growing too fast. It had started with just my wife and myself, and the next year we had over 100 people. I felt overwhelmed and took a trip to get away. I said ‘God, you’re blessing me too much. I don’t deserve this blessing.’ God answered, ‘You don’t. No one does.’ I knew that God was handling everything.”
Our final event for the evening was another soon-to-be-released film. Pat Boone introduced the movie, “God’s Not Dead 2,” which opens nationwide on April 1, 2016. Boone, a multi-talented singer, composer, author, and actor has appeared on television and film for six decades. His character in GND2, Walter Wesley, is his 28th movie appearance.
Russell Wolfe, managing partner of PureFlix Entertainment, lost his battle with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) on May 27, 2015. Diagnosed in late 2013, Russell became a staunch advocate for others with this debilitating disease, while continuing to encourage all to keep their faith in Christ and their hope for a cure. Russell was quoted in Movieguide, ” God didn’t give me ALS. I believe we live in a fallen world, and as such, bad things happen to good people. . . . What I do believe is that God can take any of those bad things and turn them into good. My message is to keep your faith. God is good all the time. He will turn things that are bad to the good. So, look for the hope in that.”
A producer of “God’s Not Dead” and 20+ other Pureflix films, Russell continued to keep a public profile with appearances at the MovieGuide Awards, an ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” video that went viral, and cameos in several Pure Flix films… including “Dancer and the Dame”–after he was already experiencing the effects of ALS.
I became acquainted with Russell while I was working on “Finding Normal” and found him to be a warm and sincere person. He was very passionate about his work in the rising genre of faith-based films. Always down-to earth, and willing to go the extra mile to help others, he was truly a Godly man who lived his faith to the end.
Russell has moved on to his eternal reward, but he has inspired courage in those who knew him and left a legacy of inspiring films to be enjoyed by generations to come. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, co-workers and business partners. He will be missed.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” – 2 Timothy 4:7