News Column

Santorum talks 'The Christmas Candle'

November 27, 2013


Nov. 27--Will debut locally Friday in Sayre, Wellsboro

Rick Santorum, the CEO of EchoLight Studios, was busy Tuesday evening promoting "The Christmas Candle," which debuts this Friday in Sayre and Wellsboro.

EchoLight is distributing the film, which can be seen Friday at the Arcadia Theatre in Wellsboro and the Sayre Theatre in Sayre.

The former Pennsylvania senator, who calls the movie a mix between "A Christmas Carol" and "It's a Wonderful Life," said that it's especially fitting for Wellsboro and its Dickens of a Christmas celebration, considering the movie's setting in the English countryside.

"It's one of my favorite towns in the country, that Main Street with the gas lights and the beautiful downtown and the park," he said of Wellsboro. "It's one of the prettiest towns in the state."

"The Christmas Candle" is from bestselling author Max Lucado.

The following synopsis is listed on the movie website:

"Deep in the heart of the English countryside lies the enchanting village of Gladbury. Legend has it every 25 years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches a single candle. Whoever lights this candle receives a miracle on Christmas Eve. But in 1890, at the dawn of the electric age, this centuries old legend may come to an end."

"When David Richmond (Hans Matheson), a progressive young minister, arrives in Gladbury, the villagers discover a new formula for miracles: good deeds and acts of kindness. While David's quest to modernize Gladbury sets him at odds with the old world candlemaker, he finds an unlikely ally in the lovely skeptic, Emily Barstow (Samantha Barks). Now, the fiery candlemaker must fight to preserve the legacy of the Christmas Candle. But when the candle goes missing, the miraculous and human collide in the most astonishing Christmas the village of Gladbury has ever seen."

Santorum said the film has both beautiful photography and music. It features singing sensation Susan Boyle, who is making her feature film debut and sings "Miracle Hymn."

It was no. 1 on iTunes.

With those elements, along with the movie's good quality actors and a tale from the great storyteller Lucado, "you come up with a pretty nice film," Santorum said.

He thinks local audiences will like the movie.

And he noted that it's a PG movie suitable for every member of the family. He thought kids would love it.

He noted the significance of making movies that talk about "the important role of faith in our communities and country."

According to an Associated Press report, Santorum became CEO of EchoLight Studios, a Dallas-based Christian film company that produces and distributes what it calls faith-based family films, in June.

When asked about the difference between the world of politics and movie-making, Santorum said, "by and large, the competing movies don't run negative ads against you, that's kind of a nice thing."

While the latest "Hunger Games" movie may have taken the spotlight last weekend, Santorum said "The Christmas Candle" survived its first week and has picked up theaters, and he hopes it will pick up more.

State Rep. Matt Baker is anticipating the movie.

"I am looking forward to seeing this movie as it is based upon the book written by best selling book author Max Lucado and is an inspiring heartwarming story based in the Victorian era of England at Christmas time and is about hope, family and faith," he said. "This is a timely and wholesome movie to take the entire family to enjoy."

Sayre Theatre Manager Margie Ross was happy that the film was going to be shown at the theatre.

"When we heard it was offered to us, we grabbed it," she said. "It will be a delightful movie."

She said groups are welcome to see the movie, but they should first make reservations or buy pre-tickets.

It will be shown at The Sayre Theatre at 8 p.m. Friday and then with more frequency on the weekend -- 2 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 9 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. Sunday. She said it should run two weeks.

In Wellsboro, it will be shown at The Arcadia Theatre, beginning on Friday. No times were available.

Manager Peter Davis said, "It looks good. I think it will play well."

Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email:


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