When we started Belltower Pictures and set out to make our first film, SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL, we had four goals:
- tell a great story and do it well,
- involve a lot of folks from around the community and give them opportunities to get to know one another as they work together on a meaningful project,
- give hands-on learning opportunities for the next generation of filmmakers, and
- in the process of making the film, model the values of acceptance and inclusion that were the centerpiece of the story.
The audience will ultimately decide if we were successful with the first goal.
I think I can say that we did succeed with the other goals. We had 200 volunteers from a dozen or so churches… and a number who claim no religious affiliation whatsoever. We provided opportunities for 14 interns from universities and high schools throughout Virginia to to learn and improve their skills by working alongside seasoned professionals. The participants reported an overwhelmingly positive experience… forging new friendships, strengthening old ones, learning new skills, and experiencing a positive & collaborative film set.
Continue reading Did we succeed?
I’m excited to announce that the world premiere of SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL will take place March 3, 2016, as the red carpet opening night feature of the Richmond International Film Festival at the historic Byrd Theatre in Richmond, Virginia.
SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL is a satirical faith-based comedy set in south Alabama where a brash, young Jewish film student from New York, Josh Blume (played by Sterling Hurst) tries to help an overly zealous Baptist preacher, Brother Bob Cross (played by Paul Wilson) and his church make a movie about the prodigal son.
It is a story about acceptance and inclusion. As the preacher and his congregation try to accept the “outsiders” who gather to make the movie, they are challenged to expand their “comfortable Christian nest,” as Brother Bob learns by making new friends and re-thinking old relationships.
Trailer and additional information available on the website: www.shootingtheprodigal.com. Like our Facebook page to keep up with new developments, screenings and release dates, which we’ll announce in the coming weeks. But for now, mark the date on your calendar and join us on the red carpet for the premiere March 3. I look forward to seeing you there!
After six years in development and production, SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL is complete. I hope it is the first of many from Belltower Pictures, the non-profit film company we launched in 2012 with the mission to “entertain, inspire and tell great stories that reveal spiritual truth.”
Right now we’re sharply focused on distribution and marketing plans for the film. There will be announcements about premiere & release dates, strategic partners and other news in the coming weeks.
I will use this blog to share some of the stories from the journey. And I also want to engage you in conversation around the themes in the film, the most prominent of which are acceptance and inclusion.
Continue reading It’s a film… and a confession