SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL
David Powers – Director, Executive Producer, and Writer – wanted to tell a great story and bring a little love, humor, & hope to the world. So he and his writing partners sat down and wrote a script! The result was Shooting the Prodigal, a feature screenplay that will be brought to life by Belltower Pictures on June 23rd when principal photography begins.
At its core it is a faith themed film, but it’s also a quirky comedy with lovable, outrageous characters. The heart of the story emphasizes that our greatest fulfillment in life comes when we love God, love our neighbors, and love ourselves.
“Cynicism, polarization, and judgment pollutes society. As Christians we are called to meet all with grace and acceptance. Yet even the church has gained a reputation for judgment and hypocrisy. I believe we are all children of God, blessed by the Father and forgiven. This little film portrays a small church in Homer, Alabama in its struggle to love and accept one another. The quirky characters make us laugh… partly because we see ourselves reflected in their attitudes and situations,” David says.
During the course of the production, we want to train the next generation of filmmakers. To do this we have provided a number of internship and apprentice positions on the crew. We also want to provide an opportunity for people from many different segments of society to work together and build relationships, so we are undertaking a comprehensive audience engagement campaign.
Shooting the Prodigal depicts our ability to grow as human beings and the delightful surprises that we encounter when we look beyond the surface to find the value in others.
We invite you to join us on this journey… to tell this story of acceptance and grace… and to provide a fresh, new, positive voice of faith and hope in our culture.
Meet Brother Bob Cross, the pastor of Eternal Hope Baptist Church in Homer, Alabama. In his burning desire to reach young folks with the Gospel, he gets the idea to produce a movie. But there’s no money, no script, no crew, no cast, and no director.
Josh Blume, a nominally Jewish 25-year-old New York Film School student, needs to find the inspiration for a final thesis film to complete his degree. His financial benefactor, wealthy widowed Aunt Judith who resides in Homer, wants to get her beloved nephew to finish school and grow up.
When Aunt Judith hears of Bob’s idea to make a movie, she sees an opportunity: she offers to fund the film if her nephew directs it and fulfills his graduation requirements.
To fulfill his vision, Brother Bob must turn over his dream to this brash young outsider. And Josh is forced out of civilized Manhattan into south Alabama to make a Christian movie.
Meanwhile, Emily, the preacher’s daughter, wants nothing more than to “get out of Podunk.” Josh and Emily quickly realize there’s a spark between them. And that adds fuel to the fire for jealous Noah Thatcher, Bob’s young associate who’s been attracted to Emily since they were in the church’s youth group together.
The whole congregation joins in playing out suggestions for what kind of movie they should make: a western epic, a Kung Fu action adventure, or a Mobster thriller. They agree on a modern version of Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son. But Josh gets resistance from some in the church because of his cast and crew choices… a gay costume designer, an African-American cameraman, and a Muslim who’s cast in the role of the “God-like” father character.
Josh and Brother Bob struggle to find common ground and work together, while the church board bristles at the presence of so many “undesirables” in their comfortable Christian community, and jealous Noah tries to sabotage the budding relationship between Josh and Emily.
Just when it appears that everything is coming together, tragedy strikes and the whole project is in jeopardy. It looks like the movie’s going to have to be shut down for good.
With all the obstacles and distractions, will Josh stick with it long enough to actually deliver a first-rate film? Can Brother Bob and his church find the true meaning in the story of the prodigal and realize that acceptance is the key to God’s grace?
We’re planning for a hybrid distribution model that will focus heavily on audience engagement strategies and include not only theatrical release, but also a major emphasis on DVD and VOD.