This Little Light of Ours
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 received nominations for Best Picture, Most Inspirational Picture and Best Score, and received a special Honorable Mention. 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
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.