Posts By: Cheryl Wicker
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
These popular reality stars have become international celebrities from the moment a television show about their bearded duck hunting husbands, Duck Dynasty on A&E, captured the attention and hearts of people everywhere. The Women of Duck Commander are using their platform to speak on a subject very dear to them at the inaugural “Heart to Home Women’s Conference” in Monroe, Louisiana Feb 6-7, 2015.
Dr. Joneal Kirby founded “Heart to Home Ministry” (H2H), a multi-generational mentoring program, at the home church of these ladies. Alan Robertson, the beardless brother, was the pastor when H2H was initiated and these women have been a part from the beginning. Miss Kay, Korie, Missy, Jessica, and Lisa are eager to share their experiences with generational mentoring and the impact it has had on their lives.
The Heart to Home Conference will have many speakers, but also other activities like a fashion show, vendors, book signings, and more. Three films which also reflect the core values of faith, prayer, mentoring, and discipleship are partnering with the conference for its initial meeting, and you will learn more about “War Room”, “The Drop Box”, and “Old-Fashioned” at the conference and for a bit more of movie news from National Christian Movies on Examiner.com…
The Kendrick Brothers, (“Courageous,” “Fireproof”) are currently working on their fifth film, “War Room,” which is due to be released later this year. The theme of “War Room” is prayer, mentoring and discipleship. The mentoring theme of the Heart to Home Ministry led the film to partner with this ministry for their inaugural Heart to Home Conference in Monroe, La. on February 5-6, 2015. The conference will feature the Women of Duck Commander, Dr. Joneal Kirby, Mary Beth Chapman, Tracey Eyster, Jace Robertson and many more.
To read more, click here.
To order tickets or learn more about the H2H Conference go to www.hearttohomeconference.com
Imagine my surprise to receive an email that Christian Movie Connect has been nominated for a podcasting award! The iPDb sponsored award is a fan-based award so YOU are the ones responsible for us winning. A super big thanks goes to all of you who have faithfully watched through the years and those of you who voted. When I learned, we had won, I struck out for L.A. to attend the Pan Pacific Film Festival and the Stellae Awards!
It was three years ago on July 27, 2011 that we posted the first Christian Movie Connect. Since that time, we have literally traveled from coast to coast attending film events and interviewing the personalities behind the movies. Now with 95 interviews in the can, the Pan Pacific Film Festival (PPFF) was one we had never attended. After all, Los Angeles is a little ways from Monroe, LA! But I had some free Amtrak train miles which gave me a chance to see the sights along the way en route. It was a super duper journey.
The PPFF went “all out” on the Stellae Awards, but that fits since they are known as the “Oscars of Christian Film.” They provided makeup back stage for the hosts, presenters and awards recipients. I had already had my hair done that day but appreciated the makeup touch up…make me feel like a star! They also treated the awards recipients to a complimentary VIP dinner. The hosts for the evening were the beautiful Jenn Gotzen, who changed clothes about 6 times during the awards ceremony and Dr. Drake Travis, who looked very dapper in his fedora on the red carpet. They were very funny together.
Entertainment was provided by The Recipe Men. Wow, those guys can move! The Excellence in Podcasting Award was presented to me on stage. What a great feeling to hear them say “Christian Movie Connect” and begin playing the intro to the show as I approached the stage. It was a moment many of us dream of…to be standing on stage accepting an award for something you have worked very hard for! I decided not to bring notes but nevertheless, remembered everything I wanted to say. You can view my acceptance speech at the Stellae Awards here.
Since I did not have time to enumerate all my thank you’s at that time to the crew who made it all possible, I will thank them here. These are professionals who have volunteered their time…some for only one event, and some ongoing:
Angie DeBlieux Bryan – Consulting Producer
Leah Waite – Associate Producer
Rob Skiba – Director
Donna Botts – Production Coordinator
Cortney Matz – Motion Graphics/Editor
Harold Hay, Patrick Rea, Jeffrey Worthington, David Nickel, Mani Sandoval, Tim Romero – Videographer
Kenneth Sutton, Rusty Hogue, Eddie Carillo, Arledge Armenaki – Videographer/Editor
Phillip Wade – Music Composer
Eric Lincoln, Gina Sheer – Photographer
Miranda Waite, Kristen Myers, Abby Taylor, Jeb Bennett, Mason Taylor, Keisha Johnson – Production Assistant
Cindy Navarro, Kim Renga – Writer
Charlotte April Co, Chastity Hebner – Administrative Assistant
Kelsi Guidry – Website Developer/Consultant
Jarred Keller – Graphic Designer
Special thanks to CDR Communications, Inc.
There is actually one person I forgot to mention in my acceptance speech and that is my sweet husband Neill Wicker who has supported me in so many ways while I’ve “pursued my dreams.” He is the best husband in the world and without his cooperation and help, CMC would not exist. I only wish he could have been present with me at the Stellae Awards…but I guess somebody has to work!
Of course, CMC was only one small award presented on the stage of the Aratani Theater at the Stellae Awards. To see the full list of winners from the Stellae Awards, click here.
Here are some additional photos from the PPFF:
Photos Top-Bottom; Left to Right:
(1) David “Shark” Fralick with CMC; (2) Actress and Stellae Awards host Jenn Gotzen poses with Cheryl Ariaz Wicker; (3) Stellae Award winner Bradley Dorsey discusses Best Feature “Taken By Grace”; (4) CMC host Cheryl Ariaz Wicker on red carpet; (5) and (6) PPFF attendees; (7) Documentary filmmaker and CMC videographer Patrick Rea pitches his project “Leonard: The Story of Salvation Mountain and Leonard Night”; Coffee break with Keurig at PPFF
You can read the PRWeb press release about CMC’s award here.
For more information on iPDb, go to: www.ipdb.net.
For more information about PPFF, go to www.ippff.com.
The 10th Christian Women in Media (CWIMA) National Conference will be held April 3-5, 2014 in Dallas. Women who work within the field of media and entertainment will be traveling from across the nation to be a part of this yearly opportunity to learn from their peers, hear inspiring messages, be encouraged and rejuvenated, and network with others within their field. There are also evening events to socialize, ending with the more formal Excellence in Communication Awards Gala. The finale event is part of the conference, yet separate. Both men and women are invited to attend the Awards Gala unlike the other activities that are for women. This year’s honorees are executive producer/actress Roma Downey (Son of God, The Bible) and gospel recording artist Babbie Mason. Founder and president of Movieguide®, Ted Baehr, will be the keynote speaker for the evening.
Other speakers scheduled for the conference include Carol Swain, political analyst, TV host and executive producer of Be the People; June Hunt, author, and radio host of Hope for the Heart; Thelma Wells, TV host, author; former Armani model, author and film personality, Jennifer Strickland; and Karol Ladd, best selling author and renowned Bible teacher. CWIMA leaders Suellen Roberts, founder and president of CWIMA; Robin Bertram, CWIMA Regions Director; Tracey Mitchell, Tracey Mitchell Ministries and Director of CWIMA-Dallas Region; Wendie Pett, Visibly Fit and CWIMA-Minneapolis Region; and Director of Local Networks, Carole Brewer will be speaking and teaching and CWIMA Music Showcase Director Erica Lane of Nashville country music fame will sing for the ‘Jeans and Bling’ Dinner Party.
Hollywood Regional Director, Carol Doyel, will be leading the 1:15 Friday Media Seminar on “Taking Your Brand From 0 to 1,000,000 in a Matter of Months”. I am honored to be one of three other women who will be on the panel for this one. So, if you will be attending, I hope to see you there. The educational seminars scheduled are widely varied to meet the needs of the attendees and are taught by leading experts in their fields. Most of these will include a moderator along with a panel of others with expertise on the topic. Included are:
- Pitch to the Experts, Moderator:Tracey Mitchell
- So, I Have Written a Book … Now What?, Moderator: Mary Hollingsworth
- Be an A-List Speaker with Income to Match, Moderator: Marina McLean
- How to Ask for a $1,000,000, Moderator: Teri O’Connor
- Maximizing Your On-Air Presence, Moderator: Suzanne Niles
- How to Soar in the Entertainment Industry, Moderator: Naima Lett.
- How to Succeed in Hollywood (Without Losing Your Soul), Moderator: Ted Baehr
President Suellen Roberts trusts the event will connect and refresh women in communications.She believes that mobilizing Christian women who are active in the different aspects of media will create a force that truly does make a difference as they work independently while relying on the fellowship and experiences of their peers.All women are invited who impact our culture in media, entertainment and leadership. Membership is not required, although there are benefits to being a member. To learn more about this event and to buy your ticket, visit the CWIMA website at www.cwima.org
The “Mom’s Night Out” screening was one of the big draws of Day 3 at the 2014 NRB Convention. This is a comedy featuring Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, Patricia Heaton, Andrea Logan White, and Trace Adkins set to open in theaters on May 9. “Mom’s Night Out” is a family film that takes a humorous look at parenting.
Christian Movie Connect had a tentative interview set with Patricia Heaton following the screening. We were getting ready for the interview in the ballroom when I saw Patricia leaving with her entourage. I was told by her publicist they had another appointment to make and the only way we could get the interview was “talk and walk.” I ran back go get my videographer, Kenneth Sutton, and my PA/photographer, Miranda Waite, and we all took off running through the convention center to catch up with them. By time we reached them, I was so out of breath from my little “jog,” I could hardly talk but I jumped in the middle of the group next to Patricia and did my thing in a paparazzi-style interview! It was totally crazy but great fun. We’ll be posting this interview in the next couple of days so you won’t want to miss that!
We also had an interview with Victoria Jackson, most remembered for her stint on Saturday Night Live. She has also appeared in a number of films. I loved her role in the Pure Flix movie, “Marriage Retreat.” In fact my favorite part of that movie is the campfire scene where she played her ukulele and sang. Victoria had ukulele in tow today, so we put it into commission and asked her to share a song on video. What a fun interview! She is a delightful lady. Special thanks to Torry Martin for lining this up for us.
David Mullins, brother of the legendary late Rich Mullins also stopped by to talk about the movie “Ragamuffin,” the story of Rich’s life. Rich Mullin’s music has so impacted Christian music but there is also an incredible story of his life that will make this a must-see movie. George Escobar of Advent film group also gave an update on “Alone, Yet Not Alone” as well as made an EXCLUSIVE announcement about his new projects. (Yep, exclusive. You’ll hear it first here on CMC, folks!)
An unexpected treat was the opportunity to meet and interview Chonda Pierce, the “Queen of Clean” comedy. I ran into her publicist and was able to slip a quick interview into the schedule. She talked about her DVD “Girl Talk” which is hilarious!!!! The Spanks stories will leave you rolling on the floor! And she talked about some of her work in movies. Chonda made a big deal about my hair. She said she wanted her hair cut like mine! So if the next time you see Chonda and she’s sporting my new “do,” you’ll know how that happened!
This year’s NRB featured a first ever Film Pitch-A-Thon. It gave filmmakers a chance to pitch their film or idea to distribution and production companies, which included Mission Pictures, Bridgestone Multimedia, Movie to Movement, Parables TV, WORD Network, TBN and many others. I decided to participate in this one myself to pitch my client Scotty Sanders’ book, “Quest of the Keys.” It was different making a formal pitch like this than the informal approach like what I am used to. It felt a little like auditioning for a movie role or doing pageant interviews to me…standing outside the door, rehearsing the pitch, take a deep breath and then go in and sparkle! I had a very positive experience myself and found it to be a great addition to the NRB offerings this year. I highly recommend filmmakers come out to NRB next year to participate in this.
Media consultant Phil Cooke led a panel discussion on the controversial “Noah” movie starring Russell Crowe. Phil, who worked as an adviser on the film, said that Paramount worked hard to be as accurate as possible, making sure to make the ark to spec. However there was a bit of creative license used which many will take issue with. He recommended that Christians use this movie to open the door to meaningful conversations about the Bible.”
There was an evening event called “A Conversation with Eric Metaxas and Ben Carson.” Eric is an award winning author, speaker, and founder and host of Socrates in the City and Ben is a brilliant neurosurgeon, columnist, and sought-after speaker. Both were recent speakers at the National Day of Prayer ceremony. They challenged people to speak out the truth with grace and love. On a lighter note, Eric Metaxas began the session with a group singing of the Hee Haw song “Where O Where Are You Tonight”. Hope no one got spit on!
Today, I made quite a bit of room for hanging with friends, missing a few evening events in order to do so. My good friends Mike and Paula Parker were in town for the day met with me, Gary Ray Moore, Francine Locke and Denny Brownlee. We also visited briefly with Kenny and Erica Saylors beforehand. It was sort of like a Gideon Film Festival reunion!
After dinner, Fatima Eid and I decided to relax and chat over cocoa. We were soon joined by Marcy Grams, Brad Mix, Tim Wilson, Gary Moore and Deborah Ann Sweezy, and Scott Link until we had a table full! Then for the real night owls, there was another Late Night Film Talks. This one feature Jason Jones of Movie to Movement. I loved him hearing him speak about what he does…he is very passionate about his work! One more day to go!
The highlight of Day 2 of the 2014 NRB Convention was the opening of the exhibition hall. They made quite a ceremony of the opening with a fully costumed bagpipe player walking in a processional fashion onto the floor. We decided this was a perfect spot to begin our interviews which included media guru Phil Cooke and his wife, Kathleen, of Ascend Women. They gave input on some of the upcoming faith-based film releases and gave perspectives on trends in Hollywood and the faith-based film industry.
We also interviewed Mark Cochran who wrote & directed the upcoming film, “First Do No Harm”. This is a short film dealing with the issue of abortion.
Multi award winning filmmaker, Gary Wheeler (“The List”, “Jimmy”) talked with CMC about “Mountain Top” and other films of his soon to release. We also talked with actor, Alec Rayme, who discussed his role in “Left Behind,” set to release in 2014. Alec related how he started out doing stunts, but has turned more to acting. He will be making his directing debut in 2014 with “Let’s Be Cops” which will also be released in 2014.
We also spoke with Rick Eldridge of ReelWorks Studios, known for “The Ultimate Gift” and now the follow up, which is also a prequel, “The Ultimate Life.” Dan Paris, a very passionate young producer who shot a documentary about the poverty in Africa called “What Matters Now”, is another I interviewed.
The ICVM (International Christian Visual Media) Catalyst Conference sponsors an ice cream social every year. This is the “go to” spot for hanging out with those in the film industry. Admittedly by this point in the night, I was just about too tired to speak coherently, but I had a great time nonetheless and hopefully everyone was forgiving.
One big event of the evening was a session with Ken Hamm of Answers In Genesis–this was open to the public. His recent Creation vs Evolution debate with Bill Nye–‘The Science Guy’ has been a world-wide topic of conversation. Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to enabling Christians to defend their faith and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively.
As usual, there are a variety of events to choose from but the evenings take a lighter note. For those who wanted to let their hair down, there was a family game night that featured audience participation games, like “Name That Tune.” I snuck in long enough to grab some popcorn (my all time favorite snack!)
I got a chance to spend a few minutes in the hymn sing with Joni Eareckson Tada. It was a moving, sweet experience. The song she sang, “Alone Yet Not Alone” (from the film “Alone Yet Not Alone”) has also been been the focus of a lot of attention when it was nominated for an Academy Award, only to have the nomination later revoked.
There was also an opportunity to see the advanced screening of the movie “Son of God”. This is the movie produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett…a very dramatic presentation. One of the perks of attending events like this is the opportunity to see films before they hit the screens. This one is going to be huge! It opens in theaters on February 28th and there are already many sold-out screenings.
The 2014 NRB has already exceeded my expectations and it’s only Day 1. There are so many new aspects of the conference, beginning with a first ever pre-conference, Digital Media Summit. I attended that and was overwhelmed with the level of speakers: top representatives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google. It was a plethoria of information ready to give ministries, organizations and companies an edge in the digital world!
Also new this year is a big film emphasis. The NRB added a film committee led by Movieguide’s Ted Baehr. There is now a film educational track, film screenings, film networking events and even a film Pitch-A-Thon where filmmakers can pitch their films to distributors.
Another really neat thing about this year is that my sister, Leah Ariaz Waite, and her 15 year old daughter, Miranda, are on my crew. Other than the fact that my sister is causing a bit of confusion as my lookalike, she is doing a great job as an associate producer and my niece is quite a little photographer! Also glad to have Kenneth Sutton from Monroe, LA, back on the crew. We also had the pleasure of joining up with friends Denny and Sandy Brownlee for lunch. I was interested to learn about their work in the new field of transmedia and was excited to learn of Sandy’s recent appointment to the Nashville Film Television Transmedia Council.
Because our decision to attend NRB was a last minute decision, we only a handful of interviews booked, going in, and none booked for the first day. However, we began booking on the fly and ended up doing seven interviews today. We caught up with comedian/actor Brad Stine who was promoting his new film, “Persecuted,” due for release in May. I also spoke with the writer/director of the film, Daniel Lusko, and producer, Jim Higgins, who also plays the role of the President of the United States.
The ever-busy, Gary Moore, who was recently seen on “House Of Cards” and whose award-winning film “Return to the Hiding Place” will also be releasing in May, graciously spent a few minutes chatting with me about several of his projects. Other interviews you can expect to see soon on Christian Movie Connect podcasts are Andrew Walkington, a UK director whose recent critically acclaimed film, “For Love’s Sake”, was funded by Vision Video. Also, I spoke with Tracy Trost and Scotty Curlee about “Letting Go”.
Good friend, Francine Locke, also took time to talk to me about her recent roles. Her leading role in the film, “Stand Your Ground“, had much success in its initial run in 17 cities. A wider release is scheduled later this year.
The evening event was the installation of the new NRB president, Jerry Johnson. The keynote was Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Michael W. Smith provided the entertainment. Also, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett presented about their upcoming “Son of God” movie. I can hardly wait to see the screening scheduled to be seen at the convention this weekend.
The evening was topped off with the industry receptions. What can be more fitting for “topping” off the evening than a scrumptious sundae bar? Am I a foodie? Yes! It was a fun ending for a day filled with family, food, filmmakers, films, and friends. More to come later…
The NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) Convention in Nashville, TN is coming up, and I am excited for the opportunity to attend. This international event that networks thousands of Christian communicators is the “don’t miss” event on the Christian communicator’s calendar. NRB will last Feb. 22-25 and is filled with a plethora of speakers, film screenings, film pitching sessions, and late night film talks.
Friday I will be attending a Social Media Summit with top experts in the field of social media. There are some amazing speakers lined up from a variety of social media platforms and I can’t wait to learn the latest from these experts. Check my Premier1 Studios page where I will post updates and share some good tips from the conference.
They have really ramped up the film experience this year with the newly created ‘Film Standing Committee’ group whose members are committed to using their talents to help impact the world for Christ through film. The group’s first Chairman is Dr. Ted Baehr, Founder and Publisher of Movieguide®. Other members of the committee include: Erik Fritjofson (Vice-President of Media; Cordova Media, Love Worth Finding Ministries), Isaac Hernandez (Vice President; Parables.TV), Honnie Korngold (Founder and President; CineVantage), Scott Link (President; Pup Tent Media), Torry Martin (Co-Founder and President; Torrent Brothers Productions), Nina May (Producer, Director, Writer; Renaissance Women Productions), Guy Noland (Executive Producer/Director; SAVN.TV), Matthew Pickart (Freelancer; Pick-art Productions), Paul Sirmons (Independent Filmmaker), Bill Stevens (General Manager; CHRI), and Andrew Walkington (Director, Executive Producer, and Writer; True Films Ltd.). This distinguished group is certain to shape the future of faith-based films.
Other highlights of this year’s convention will include some of the most innovative thinkers and speakers giving keynote and general sessions. The encouragement you will receive is certain to renew the commitment you have to using your God-given talents to the best of your ability. Training and Boot Camp experiences will also be a tremendous asset as you learn from some of the leaders in the broadcasting field. Whether it is networking with academics for peer reviews, checking out exhibits and learning about new tools of the trade from vendors, pitching your film idea to Christian distributors, or seeing a few of the other films that are creating buzz, the NRB Convention is going to be an incredible event. Make sure you check back for the interviews and updates I will be posting.
Since 2011, Cheryl Ariaz Wicker of Christian Movie Connect (CMC) has been interviewing Christian film personalities and keeping film lovers informed about the latest faith-based, family-friendly and redemptive films, gaining a foothold as the industry’s premier interview podcast. Now, with several syndication deals finalized at the 2013 National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) Convention in Nashville, CMC will be thrust into a much expanded audience through syndication with Parables.TV, ChristianCinema.com and ChristianPress.com.
The 24-hour Parables TV Christian movies network has been keeping an eye for some time on Wicker’s Christian MovieConnect. “We’ve been looking for short segments like this for filler content,” said Isaac Hernandez, Parable TV’s General Manager. “I expect our audience to find CMC’s segment informative and entertaining.”
To read the rest of the article, click here.
It was a beautiful day in Hendersonville, Tennessee for the red carpet premiere of “Inspiration Pop 2929” held at the TBN Studios, known as Trinity Music City. This faith-based film is filled with country and gospel music performers, seasoned actors and newbie actors as well. The production team was present, including writer, director and producer Ryan Ramos, producer, Rochell Simmons. Tim Enochs, author or “The Street Sweeper,” the book that inspired the movie, was also in attendance.
I arrived at 3:30 for “marching orders” and then left for dinner, arriving back at 5:00 for backstage interviews. My role was as the official reporter for the production company’s behind the scenes, as well as for TBN who will be featuring the movie on PTL in August, and for Christian Movie Connect.
My crew consisted of my own sister, Leah Ariaz Waite who was my personal assistant and my 15-year old niece, Miranda Waite, who was my social media photographer. Tim Romero of TBN was the videographer. We had a great time. I was so impressed with Leah and Miranda’s work; I am ready to take them on the road with me!
There was a tremendous turnout for the movie. A crowd of anxious attendees lined up in advance in order to get a good seat to see the movie. The auditorium was packed so I’m sure the producers were happy about that.
The movie has such a huge cast, so there were lots of interviews to do…but what fun it was! We visited backstage and in the green room with some of the cast before moving to the red carpet. The red carpet was lined with videographers, photographers and reporters from all over the region. CMC was stationed next to Homecoming Magazine.
Our red carpet interviews started with Jason Crabb, followed by Larry Gatlin. It ended 45 minutes later with the Mandrell sisters–Barbara, Louise and Irlene. The Mandrells were there to support Barbara’s daughter-in-law, Christy Sutherland, an award-winning Christian singer-songwriter who has appeared on the 700 Club and Hour of Power as well as taped her first Gaither & Friends video. This was her film debut.
Some of the more highly credited actors include: Jackie Stewart, who has appeared in 25 motion pictures and TV shows; Whitney Goin who may be recognized by Christian film fans from her role in “Letters to God” and “Renee;” Britt George who has appeared in numerous feature films and TV shows, including “From the Shadows,” which he also produced and faith-based film; “Faith Happens;” Joshua Childs, who is also a writer, producer and director of “The Nothing” and appeared in “Blue Like Jazz” and “Hannah Montana: The Movie;” and Regina McCrary, who has performed on stage with Tyler Perry.
It was a delightful movie set in a small country town that shows the lives of several characters in difficult times whom each has learned invaluable lessons through the 7 Revelations shared by a street sweeper.
When the movie was over I caught reaction interviews from the attendees. The concensus is, folks, that everyone loved the movie! I had already seen a preliminary screener of the movie myself before attending the premiere…which I enjoyed; but the finished film on the big screen was far more powerful.
It was a long but exciting night. All I can say is that I’m just glad I had my sister around because after 2 hours in 4 inch platforms, we had to resort to the ole “sister shoe switch.” (Sorry I had to pawn the agonizing silver foot killers on her but that’s what sisters are for, right?)
The film will be shown in select theaters and on DVD. For more information on Inspiration Pop 2929, go to the website: inspirationpop2929movie.com.
To find out how to arrange for Christian Movie Connect to attend your movie premiere or to schedule a set visit, please contact us for more information!
Today was the first full day of the CWIMA National Conference, which began with 7:45 Morning Prayer, followed by the Opening General Session with music by Carole Brewer and worship led by Rachel Mann. Danna Demetre and Thelma Wells had an informal chat called “Table Talk.” When Thelma was asked by Danna about the greatest influence in her life, she told of her great grandmother who was the Godly influence in her life during the years she endured abuse at home. Ruth Graham, daughter of Billy Graham, brought a message of encouragement based on Psalm 143.
This was followed by a panel of the five regional connection directors sharing news and stories from their region. And before you knew it, we were at lunchtime. I was admittedly a little surprised to discover that the main entrée that looked a whole lot like salmon, really WAS salmon and not chicken. it was a scrumptious meal.
So now feeling “fat and happy,” I was able to get ready for my “Putting the Power of Social Media and Branding to Work for Your Brand” workshop. We had a room full of ladies eager to learn about social media. I got so excited about presenting my material, I lost track of time and almost cut into my co-presenter’s lecture. Carol Doyel of LivingBetterat50.com did a great job of sharing how they build a powerful fan base for her online publication. Special thanks to Ryan Bunting for videotaping the workshop.
There were other media seminars in the afternoon as well: author Debra Pegues on “Fighting the Fears that Foil Your Future.” Also an Expert Evaluation Seminar featuring Linda Olson, Karol Ladd, Wendy Pett, and Tracey Mitchell offered attendees a chance to practice their pitch for critique by the panel.
And no self-respecting gathering of women would be complete without a shopping expedition, which is exactly what took place following the workshops…a trip to Sam Moon. Although I was not able to make the trip, the word is many shopping bags made their way onto return shuttle. I had an outside meeting with a couple of film friends who were in town during the free time.
The evening event was a western bling shindig so everyone was decked out in their shinest western attire in true Texan form. We all thoroughly enjoyed the Mexican buffet as we were treated to the beautiful voices of Erica Lane and Rachel Mann. They sang a patriotic song they co-wrote. Erica ended the evening with an accapella version of “The Lord’s Prayer.”
Keynote speaker Pat Smith shared her story as first runner up in Miss America, wife of a Dallas Cowboy, Emmett Smith (“Dancing with the Stars”). She dealt with insecurity over her husband’s career and disappointment over her own. During this time, God led her to start a women’s conference, Treasure You Girlfriends Christian Retreat. She then got an invitation to join Women of Faith as a speaker. After hearing a sermon urging her not to give up on her dreams, she finally got a chance to host a “The View” type TV show entitled “The Broadcast.” She encouraged the women to “Be a light. Use your platform for good.”
So thus ends Day 2 at the CWIMA National Conference. Look for more news tomorrow and photos from the Gala Awards dinner.