The inspirational drama "King's Faith" is coming to Charleston for a one-night showing and will include professional actors as well as local connections.
The film may be seen at 7 p.m. Thursday at Marquee Cinema at Southridge Centre.
"'King's Faith' is about second chances, especially for those that many have overlooked," said Director Nicholas DiBella. "We wanted to tell the story of these amazing foster kids and their families."
More than 40 national screenings will be presented in partnership with Bethany Christian Services to benefit a campaign called NOW, an acronym for No One Without. The NOW campaign has an initiative of making sure no child goes without a loving family.
The film has local connections.
Executive producer is the Rev. Kirk Dueker, former pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Charleston and current pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Rochester, N.Y.
Kanawha County Magistrate Mike Sisson appears in some scenes and also serves as an advisor.
Dueker and Sisson became acquainted a few years ago when they worked together to present dramas at Redeemer Lutheran. Dueker left Charleston in 2007 after serving as pastor for 15 years at Redeemer.
Jim Pavone, a member of Dueker's congregation in Rochester, is executive producer of the film. Pavone noted that the original screenplay had good content but lacked faith elements. Pavone and DiBella asked Dueker to weave a faith message into the movie.
"They asked me to help bring a Christian theme," Dueker said. "I said I would if it would help teens and adults receive messages of hope, grace and good news. That was 2010 and we started filming in 2011."
Enter Sisson, who was asked to assist with his drama experience as well as his insight into law enforcement. Before becoming a magistrate, Sisson had been a police officer, security officer and process server.
Filming was done in Rochester with a lot of locals appearing as extras.
Sisson, who appears in the credits as an ATF agent, choreographed a drug raid scene in a smoky setting and can be heard yelling, "Let me see your hands. Put your hands up."
In another scene he is the officer interviewing a witness at a motor vehicle accident. He is also seen in a third fleeting scene, and his wife, Amy, is an extra in the movie.
While Sisson sees his roles as small, he believes the overall film is powerful.
"I think it is extremely entertaining with a great message," Sisson said. "It is geared toward teens. However, there is a message for all ages. Whatever is in your past can be overcome."
Dueker helped write a Bible study that goes with the film entitled "Live It Out." He believes the study would be relevant to teens and adults with its emphasis on grace and dealing with suffering.
Thousands have already seen the movie and feedback has been positive, Dueker said. However, advertising the film is challenging because funds are limited.
"We've released it in a number of cities around the country," Dueker said. "We have to be strategic and go to towns where we have a connection or where people demand the movie."
Dueker and Sisson hope the movie will reach countless people.
"I hope people would learn and understand how important it is to stand firm in faith, even in challenging times," Dueker said. "No matter how far somebody has fallen, they are not beyond the reach of God's grace and love."
Rated PG-13, "King's Faith" tells the story of a foster couple caring for Brendan King, who tries to leave a turbulent gang life behind. However, his past continues to threaten his new family as well as his faith and future.
The film is produced by DiBella and Faith Street Film Partners LLC, a Rochester, N.Y.-based collective of filmmakers, churches and investors.
Stars include Emmy Award-winning actress Lynn Whitfield, Crawford Wilson, Kayla Compton and James McDaniel.
Go to www.kingsfaith.com for more information. Tickets for the 7 p.m. Thursday showing are available at the box office and online through Marquee Cinemas.
COURTESY PHOTO Nicholas DiBella, the director of Kings Faith, says the film is about second chances.
Contact writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1246.
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