A Filmmaker’s Journal


This Little Light of Ours

(Update: Over-the-Rhine, now titled Healing River, went on to become the highest rated independent inspirational film in the history of Amazon Prime.)

Two years ago I pitched a compelling story of forgiveness to a faith-based production company in Ohio. They liked it and agreed to make it one of five feature films they would distribute primarily via video-on-demand and DVD. The following spring, I wrote, directed, and produced the movie, with the help of a wonderful cast and crew.

“One of these things is not like the others.” Then late last year, while we were in post-production, it became apparent that Over-the-Rhine, named for the urban Cincinnati enclave where its story takes place, was darker, earthier, and more universal than the other four films. When a Hollywood distribution rep saw it, he said, “This should be seen at as many movie theaters as possible, not just on video.”

So we tested Over-the-Rhine at ICFF, the largest Christian film festival in the world, where it was nominated for Best Picture, Most Inspirational Picture and Best Score, and received a special Winner (Honorable Mention) award. More importantly, however, the audience claimed it as their own; many called it the most powerful faith-based movie they’d ever seen.

Two months later, OTR had its official Premiere at Cincinnati’s historic Memorial Hall. The audience, made up of people from all faiths and walks of life, cheered as the end credits rolled. The next day, Dan Andriaco of The Catholic Telegraph, wrote, “Over-the-Rhine isn’t just a great Christian film; it’s a great drama with Christian DNA. The script, acting, and music are all top-notch. Most importantly, it’s true to life. The emotions are so pitch-perfect that we know the characters are reacting as we would in their circumstances. This isn’t a Hollywood production, but it could have been.”

Finally, last weekend, OTR screened, as part of the Burbank International Film Festival, at one of the AMC theater chain’s flagship venues. I held my breath, praying 21740632_10213789901082575_14309947781967832_n
nothing would go wrong, as my little light appeared on the giant, curved cinema screen, accompanied by 7-track Dolby. The result was spectacular: once again the audience wept, laughed, and when the credits rolled, cheered this intense journey of forgiveness.

The Festival Board agreed. The next night at the Awards Gala, Over-the-Rhine was proclaimed the Best Faith-based Film of 2017!

So now we’re faced with a wonderful challenge: how to get this compelling story into “as many theaters as possible.” Distribution is not the issue—we have one of the best distributors out there. The issue is promotion. It costs money to place ads and trailers. So we’ve begun meeting with investors and donors to raise the funds to do just that. Will you pray for us? Perhaps you’ll even feel led to play a further role. But that’s between you and the One who inspired…

…this little light of ours.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Movies, Popular Culture & Entertainment, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to A Filmmaker’s Journal

  1. atimetoshare.me says:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on the award!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations to you! Prayers abound 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Barbara Runck says:

    Can,t wait to see it!congratulations on the film,s success!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations!!!! What an amazing journey so far – can’t wait to see what The Lord does next. I’ll definitely be praying for you guys as you move forward. Looking forward to seeing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ekurie says:

    Wow! Very happy for you. And people with the wisdom to award your film. I hope to see it someday.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. WOWIE-WOW-WOW-WOW!!! YES, DOUBLE YES! I am so very happy and pleased to pray for you… for Supernatural, Miraculous answers from our Almighty God! I pray He brings in funds from ‘the least expected sources’ and that He literally knocks your socks off with MORE than ABUNDANT PROVISION to get this film in theaters EVERYWHERE!!! To GOD be the GLORY!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. smzang says:

    Congratulations. This is as it should be. You make us all proud! Prayers in abundance, and a sure faith in your success.

    I would hope that every follower of your blog would find an extra ten or twenty toward this cause. I think people hesitate because they think small donations wouldn’t help.
    It is small donations that carry the load. Is there a Go Fund Me page set up where we can make our small donations? That is a great way to do it. Their home page is at https://www.gofundme.com/ I think it is pretty sure that every one who has seen the movie, everyone who has read your blog, and most likely everyone who has had contact with you would contribute if they knew small donations will help the cause. I know for sure I would.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      Thank you so much for your unwavering support, Sarah! The production company hasn’t decided yet to do the GoFundMe approach. We’re hoping to raise a substantial amount (up to $5 million), so we’re focusing on larger-scale investors and arts donors at the moment. But I’ll definitely keep y’all posted if we decide to do crowd funding!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful news! Have you considered a Kickstarter Fund or something similar?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: A Filmmaker’s Journal | Mitch Teemley | Smart Christian.net

  11. thewayonline says:

    Congratulations and God Bless EVERYTHING you put your hands too!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congrats, Mitch. You and this endeavor will be in our prayers. There is a phrase used in Rev 14:6 and it’s the eternal gospel. This is the story of God’s love and forgiveness that must be told.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. BelleUnruh says:

    How wonderful God is using you to spread his message to the world. I will be praying for you and your film.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. That’s wonderful. You have my prayers, just maybe God has already undertaken for this film’s future.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Finally, an update! Congratulations – this is indeed exciting news! FOR SURE, you will receive your funding. God has ALREADY surprised you with Best Faith picture for 2017… the funding will be the easy part. I will pray/light candel for you! Put up your vision board — BIG things will start happening!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Mike says:


    Liked by 1 person

  17. sniderjerry says:

    As the great Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
    “If you believe, all things are possible.” Mark 9:23
    Way to go, Mitch. Keep up the fire!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Wow! Awesome post. Beautiful trophy. Congratulations! 🙂 I always pray for you and your success.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. ellie894 says:

    That’s amazing! I’m so happy for you. My prayers are with you for all good things ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Congratulations again Mitch and praise God. May God bless and prosper the work of your hands and give you favour in financial areas.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. chape says:

    Congratulations!! I´m very happy for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. revruss1220 says:

    How awesome is THAT! Congratulations and prayers for the continuing evolution of this saga. This is something I have always dreamed of doing, but have never mustered the vision, courage, or talent required to move it from dream to reality. Can’t wait to see this movie!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Pingback: Greedy Love | Mitch Teemley

  24. PRAYING!!!! and hoping this story will find a venue here in the metro DC area… i’d like to see it on Netflix, too…

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Ann Coleman says:

    That is so awesome!!! Good for you for believing in yourself and making such a powerful movie. Of course I’ll pray, and I hope to also get to see that movie!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Jennie says:

    I am so pleased for you and for OTR. Really. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch,

    I am so excited for you. I can pray for you and the success of your film. My personal contact information is: Gary Avants garayavants66@gmail.com or even a text when you need it: (951) 833-1608. I totally understand about getting a door into the industry. Many Christian films have been lacking in areas that help them be taken seriously. However with the Kendrick Brothers films, and other film makers like yourself it is changing. I do pray that you have open doors to places to show your film, the impact is there, and hearts hear about the Lord.

    Pray for me as I am learning how to market my Sci-fi book with a Christian message. It can be very daunting where to to and how to build connections with the right people.

    Have a great week,


    On Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 10:31 AM, Mitch Teemley wrote:

    > mitchteemley posted: ” This Little Light of Ours Two years ago I pitched a > compelling story of forgiveness to a Catholic production company in Ohio. > They liked it and agreed to make it one of five feature films they would to > distribute primarily via video-on-demand and DVD. Th” >

    Liked by 1 person

  28. carhicks says:

    Congratulations Mitch and team! I pray that you are successful in this endeavour and that more people will get a chance to view your movie. There can never be enough faith based movies out in our world.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Ellie P. says:

    Congrats, Mitch! I haven’t read all preceding comments, so maybe others have said this, and I’m sure you know this already, but – a lot of promotion is free. Time-consuming, sure, but free. It means sending a ton of PR material out to influential types. I mean emails with all sorts of goodies attached. Tweets galore. Instagram posts. Etc. etc. Also, Kickstarter-type campaigns could work for you. Sorry… I’m sure you know all that already, but… just in case. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Wow! Congratulations, Mitch! Blessed to be able to use your gifts!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Congratulations! This is fantastic news! Kathy recommended your blog and I’m delighted I found it. Will love to hear the progress of your promotion!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Pingback: A Filmmaker’s Journal | Mitch Teemley

  33. Pingback: More Greedy Love | Mitch Teemley

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