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Christian Movie Connect Episode 74 – Inspiration Pop 2929 red carpet premiere

The red carpet premiere of the new family film, “Inspiration Pop 2929” was held recently at the Trinity Music City in Hendersonville, Tennessee and Christian Movie Connect was there! With a tremendous turnout for the premiere, anxious attendees lined up in advance in order to get a good seat to see the movie.

CMC’s own Cheryl Ariaz Wicker was the official red carpet interviewer, capturing interviews with Grammy Award-winning artists Jason Crabb and Larry Gatlin and country music legend Barbara Mandresll with sisters Louise Mandrell and Irlene Mandrell who were in attendance in support of Barbara’s daughter-in-law, award-winning Christian singer-songwriter, Christy Sutherland.

“Inspiration Pop 2929” is family film with a musical heart set in a fictional Southern town that follows a diverse cast of characters as they struggle to overcome hardship and in doing so find fulfillment in unexpected ways.

To view the trailer, click here. To know more about the movie visit

Christian Movie Connect Episode 73 – Gary Zelasko

Gary Zelasko is the Director of Marketing for Harvest Ministries, one of the largest and most influential outreach ministries in the U.S. With nearly 30 years of media experience, Gary has served in a variety of capacities including CEO of Luminescence Catalog, a skin care catalog company that he built to become a multimillion dollar entity. He has also held numerous executive positions with major networks and media organizations such as CBS, Cox and Hearst Broadcasting. In 2010, Gary managed the distribution of the Greg Laurie documentary, “Lost Boy: The Next Chapter”. His latest project with Harvest Ministries and Lifeway Films, “Hope for Hurting Hearts”, is due for national release through church organizations in the summer of 2013.


In this interview, Zelasko talks with CMC host, Cheryl Ariaz Wicker, about how documentary film is used to bring hope and faith in Christ.


“Hope for Hurting Hearts” tells the stories of how Greg Laurie, Jeremy Camp, Nick Vujicic and their families dealt with times of extreme suffering. Through this life-changing documentary, these stories are shared to draw others to the truth of comfort, hope and trust in Christ.


To view the trailer, click here. To know more about the movie visit

Christian Movie Connect Episode 72 – Wes and Amanda Llewellyn

Film Producers, Wes and Amanda Llewellyn are the founders of 4LFilms, a production company with the vision of bringing cutting-edge technology to film and television. Wes has been a filmmaker for more than 25 years, with 100’s of productions to his credit. He has also received numerous awards for his documentary shorts, TV and music videos. As a director, cinematographer, writer and producer, Wes, has produced and directed six seasons and over 100 episodes of the syndicated television show, “Sid Roth’s, It’s Supernatural” along with Amanda. Wes and Amanda’s feature films, “The Moment After”, and “The Moment After 2” have received critical acclaim and are currently in distribution with Sony Home Video.

In this interview, the Llewellyns talk with CMC host, Cheryl Ariaz Wicker, about how

film is used to depict the reality of adversity and the experience of persecution for faith in Christ.


Wes and Amanda’s current project, “Sid Roth’s, It’s Supernatural”, is a weekly television program that investigates and reports on people who have experienced extraordinary healings, miracles and personal encounters with God. For more information on the show, visit

Christian Movie Connect Episode 71 – Nicole Abisinio

Actress and producer, Nicole Abisinio, is the founder of Gabriel’s Messenger Films, a production company dedicated to making inspiring true stories for worldwide distribution. Nicole started her career in investment management while simultaneously working as an actress. Her producing career was born out of the merging of both fields. Eventually, Nicole worked in film funding as an Executive Producer for agencies and producers with packaged projects, bringing multi-million dollar deals to the table for films with actors including Terence Howard, Jack Black and Samuel L Jackson. Nicole’s producing, writing and acting projects include the films “Kid’s Café”, “Prime of Your Life”, “Gutter King”, “Broken Flowers” with Bill Murray and “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”. Her latest film, “The Investigator” is due for theatrical release in the fall of 2013.

In this interview, Abisinio talks with CMC host, Cheryl Ariaz Wicker, about the experience of spiritual dynamics during the making of a faith-based film.

“The Investigator” is the true story of a man, who becomes so wrought with grief from personal and professional tragedy, that he gives up his faith in God. Forced into retirement from his job as a veteran police detective, he finds himself taking a job as a high school criminal justice teacher and baseball coach, leading to the most important investigation of his life…the life and death of Jesus Christ.

 To view the trailer, click here. To know more about the movie visit

Christian Movie Connect Episode 70 – Brian Wells

Brian Wells is the Director of Creative Development for Flyover Studios, a production company dedicated to creating great family, prime-time television entertainment. Prior to his assignment with Flyover, Brian worked with Brand Management at Procter & Gamble. He also helped start Crossroads Church in Cincinnati, Ohio which has now grown to over 15,000 weekly attendees. While at Crossroads, Brian created and led their mission to combat child trafficking and exploitation in South Asia and the U.S. As a film producer, Brian has led the development of a variety of film projects such as “Secrets of the Mountain”, “A Walk in My Shoes”, and his newest film, “Return to Nim’s Island” produced for Walden Family Theater on the Hallmark Channel.

In this interview, Wells talks with CMC host, Cheryl Ariaz Wicker, about his new film, “Return to Nim’s Island” and his role in the development of Walden Family Theater, a new project focusing on quality, family entertainment exclusively featured on the Hallmark Channel.

Walden Family Theater is a new Friday-night, family entertainment lineup created in partnership by Walmart, Procter & Gamble, Walden Media and ARC Entertainment. It represents a shared commitment to provide television audiences with premium content suitable for all ages. Walden Family Theater debuts on the Hallmark Channel in March 2013 with the premiere of “Return to Nim’s Island”, the sequel to the successful 2008 feature, “Nim’s Island”.

To view the trailer of “Return to Nim’s Island” for Walden Family Theater, click here. To know more about Walden Family Theater, visit

Christian Movie Connect Episode 69 – Papa Joe Bradford

Joe Bradford is the CEO and co-founder (along with his wife Denise) of Elijah’s Heart, a non-profit charitable and educational organization that serves children and families. As one of the nation’s most respected leaders and advocates for at-risk and fatherless children, Joe serves with his unique ability to unite teams for active service and love to the least fortunate through teaching, speaking and program development. In all circles of influence Joe touches, he is known as “Papa Joe.” Joe seeks to impact people and cities with an unstoppable move of love in action through the National Walk of Love Program and other powerful methods. He also holds the rare honor of having his triumphant life story inspire a major motion picture, “Unconditional,” which was released on DVD in March of 2013.

In this interview, Bradford talks with CMC host, Cheryl Ariaz Wicker, about how the art of film can

depict life change and personal transformation.

“Unconditional” is the true story of transformation where a life-saving encounter with two children leads a young woman named Sam to a reunion with her oldest friend Joe, which begins her journey back toward God’s unconditional love.

 To view the trailer, click here. To know more about the movie visit

Christian Movie Connect Episode 68 – Jason Jones

Producer and human activist, Jason Jones, is the Founder of HERO [Human-Rights Education and Relief Organization], a non-profit organization that promotes human dignity regardless of ability, age, status, race, or geography. As a public speaker, he frequently travels, speaking out against abortion and touching on the value of responsibility in culture.  Jason is the host of “The Great Campaign” on Radio Maria and has made media appearances on ABC’s “Politically Incorrect”, Fox and CNN.

As a film producer, Jason’s films have won several prestigious awards for their message of promoting human dignity including the People’s Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival for the feature film, “Bella.” His film, “The Stoning of Soraya M.” won the Los Angeles Film Festival Audience Award in 2009 and the NAACP Image Award in 2010. Jason’s newest short film, “Crescendo”, has received global acclaim for its pro-life message and has won over 11 international awards.

In this interview, Jones talks with CMC host, Cheryl Ariaz Wicker, about his new film, “Crescendo” and how the medium of film can communicate the essential beauty and dignity of the human person.

“Crescendo” is the story of a young, 18th century woman, who life’s is forever changed through a

series of events that turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary experience.

 To view the trailer, click here. To know more about the movie, visit

Christian Movie Connect Episode 67 – Brent Martz

Producer, Brent Martz, is the creative ministries pastor at Friends Church in Yorba Linda, California, and is no stranger to large-scale entertainment with purpose. With years of production experience, Brent’s work covers both short and feature films, including “Lucky Day” and “Ordinary World”. Brent has also received multiple awards for his films at various festivals including Best Director, Best Production Design and Best Cinematography for, “Day of Reckoning”, and the Audience Choice Award for his documentary, “Deletes”. His most recent film, “Not Today” is due for theatrical release in the spring of 2013.

In addition to film, Brent co-wrote, directed and produced an innovative, interactive musical-drama based on the last week in the life of Jesus, entitled “Jerusalem A.D” with a cast and crew of more than 200 members which ran for 3 years drawing more than 10,000 viewers.

In this interview, Martz talks with CMC host, Cheryl Ariaz Wicker, about the reality of human trafficking and how he hopes to raise awareness through the genre of faith-based films.


“Not Today” is the story of a young man from a wealthy American family who travels to India with the

desire of experiencing the life of a partying jet setter. However, little does he know his life will change

forever when he’s confronted with the reality of the thriving human-trafficking trade.


To view the trailer, click here. To know more about the movie visit

Christian Movie Connect Episode 66 – George Escobar

George Escobar is the Founder of Advent Film Group and Advent Filmmakers, an independent Christian film production company and organization dedicated to raise up a new generation of filmmakers. Prior to founding Advent, George was Vice President of Product Development for Discovery and Executive Director for AOL/Time Warner. With over 20 years of experience in film, television, and interactive media, George holds seven U.S. patents in technology and user-interface design. He has also worked with top executives in the industry including Howard Stringer (Sony CEO), Sandy Grushow and David Grant (Fox), Kit Laybourne (TELE-TV), and Kim Friedman (TV director). His latest film, “Alone Yet Not Alone” is due for theatrical release in the spring of 2013.

In this interview, Escobar talks with CMC host, Cheryl Ariaz Wicker, about how actors with personal

faith in Jesus have a great impact in portraying roles within faith-based films.


“Alone Yet Not Alone” is the true story of two young sisters who are carried away by a band of Allegheny warriors during the French-Indian War in the mid-18th century. Driven by their faith in God and the powerful bonds of family, the sisters hold firmly to the belief that they are never alone, even in their darkest hour, and that they will be reunited again.


To view the trailer, click here. To know more about the movie visit





Christian Movie Connect Episode 65 – Bill Muir

Best-selling author, director and producer, Bill Muir, is the President and CEO of Methinx Entertainment, a studio, production, distribution and publishing company with the vision of creating family-oriented films that are especially attractive to children and teens while positively influencing the entire culture. In addition to being an international award-winning film maker, Bill is a popular speaker and a sought-after consultant. For 30 years, one of Bill’s greatest passions has been working with children and as a foster parent along with his wife, he has greatly enjoyed creating an environment of warmth and love for children to grow in. His novels, “The Lost Medallion” and “A Hidden Treasure” particularly appeal to children and teens to help them find their true identity and purpose in life.

In this interview, Muir talks with CMC host, Cheryl Ariaz Wicker, about his new film, The Lost Medallion and its influence to help children find their identity in God.


“The Lost Medallion” is the story of a man who stops into a foster home to drop off some donations then soon tells the kids a story about two teenage friends who uncover a long-lost medallion that transports them back in time.

To view the trailer, click here. To know more about the movie visit

Christian Movie Connect Episode 64 – Isaac Hernandez

Isaac Hernandez is the Vice President of Programming and Syndication for Parables TV, the world’s first-ever Christian 24/7 HD movie network. Prior to his work with Parables, Isaac was a Programming Executive for the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), the world’s largest broadcast group. For over 25 years, Isaac directed many of the programs produced by The Trinity Broadcasting Network including their live flagship show, “Praise The Lord.” Isaac was also the director for PAXtv’s live flagship program, “Great Day America”, when PAXtv first launched. Isaac has had a phenomenal career with over 30 years of experience in the Christian broadcasting industry.

In this interview, Hernandez talks with CMC host, Cheryl Ariaz Wicker, about the official launching of

Parables TV and its impact as the first ever Christian entertainment network.

Parables TV is a unique, groundbreaking network that feature movies, documentaries, series and original faith-based content. Their mission is to provide the best Christian entertainment and movies with inspired, thought-provoking stories of faith that share God’s message of hope and love, one story at a time. For more information on Parables TV, visit

Christian Movie Connect Episode 63 – 2013 NRB Convention with Steve Taylor

Singer, songwriter, and film director, Steve Taylor, has had an amazing, diverse career in the entertainment industry. His accomplishments have not only garnered him two Grammy-nominations, but he has also made history as the only recording artist to win the Billboard Music Video Award twice for self-directed music videos. Among Steve’s many credits as a music video director, his best-known is the Francois Truffaut homage he shot in Paris for the Sixpence None The Richer’s hit, “Kiss Me.” Steve’s film, “The Second Chance,” marked his debut as a film director/co-screenwriter which was released by Sony Pictures in 2006. His follow-up feature, “Blue Like Jazz,” is an adaptation of the New York Times bestselling memoir by Donald Miller. Steve is also a key workshop contributor to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention.

In this interview, Taylor talks with CMC host, Cheryl Ariaz Wicker, about his transition from musician to

film director through the making of music videos.

The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a non-partisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers and readers. Their mission is to advance biblical truth; to promote media excellence; and to defend free speech. For more information on the NRB, visit