News Column

Ex-candidate Rick Santorum promotes 'authentic faith' film

October 26, 2013

YellowBrix

Oct. 26--Former U.S. presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who won the Oklahoma Republican primary in 2012, was back in Tulsa on Wednesday, this time promoting an inspirational film produced by Tulsan Tom Newman.

Santorum addressed a group of pastors and other church leaders Thursday afternoon at Victory Christian Center, across the street from Oral Roberts University's Mabee Center, where the largest event of his campaign was held.

Santorum is chief executive officer of EchoLight Studios in Flower Mound, Texas, a company that produces and distributes family and faith-based films.

He was approached by Newman about distributing "The Christmas Candle" film, and agreed to do it.

After his unsuccessful presidential bid, Santorum thought the entertainment world was "a great place to put my oar in the water."

"I'm fighting on another front, which is just as important," he said. "There's a political front, but as we all know, culture has a huge impact on what goes on politically in this country.

"Our country is less and less influenced by facts and figures, and more and more influenced by stories and narratives, particularly on the big screen, and the small screen," he said.

"If we aren't out there with our values and our ideas, ... showing them the truth, real authentic faith," he said, then those values will be chased out.

"You get shunned, as a politician, for talking about faith," he said.

His children rarely see people like themselves depicted in movies, and when they do, they are depicted negatively, he said.

He said "The Christmas Candle" is an "absolutely beautiful film, and it has a beautiful message ... about the real meaning of Christmas."

Newman said he has been working on the project since 2002, when best-selling author Max Lucado told him about an idea he had for a book. Newman said if Lucado wrote the book, he would make the movie.

Newman said he was excited about the script, and the cast of the movie, which was filmed in England.

The screenplay was written by Tulsan Candace Lee, also an associate producer, and by Newman's son, Eric Newman.

ActorsincludeHans Matheson ("Sherlock Holmes"),SamanthaBarks ("Les Miserables"), Leslie Manville (Disney's "A Christmas Carol") Sylvester McCoy ("The Hobbit" trilogy and "Doctor Who"), John Hannah ("The Mummy") and James Cosmo ("Braveheart").

British singing sensation Susan Boyle has a part, her film debut.

Bill Scheer, of Guts Church, said he had seen the film, and it has the feel of a Christmas classic.

"The message is very direct, but it doesn't patronize us, nor is it sophomoric or cheesy," he said.

"The Christmas Candle" will be shown the weekend of Nov. 15 in five selected cities including Tulsa, and will open nationwide on the weekend of Nov. 22 in hundreds of theaters, Newman said.

The film is a production of Impact Productions and Big Book Media, presented by Pinewood Pictures.

Bill Sherman 918-581-8398

bill.sherman@tulsaworld.com

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