SEASON OF MIRACLES
For more than 30 years, MOVIEGUIDE® has championed the foundational belief that the media, be it movies, television, books or art have a profound impact on our culture. While there have been dark times during those years, the ministry has been steadfast in shining a light on Hollywood. To a great degree, the entertainment industry is beginning to see a brighter future than ever before.
In 2006, with the support of the John Templeton Foundation (templeton.org), MOVIEGUIDE® embarked on an important journey not only to shed light, but help ensure truly outstanding faith based, faith friendly and family-centered films find a path to production with the Kairos Prize for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays. Six years and seven annual competitions later, that path is taking shape in a remarkable way with two winning scripts having just completed principal photography and at least three others slated for production before year’s end. This, on top of last year’s release of JOHNNY, the Kairos Grand Prize winning script from its inaugural year, is quickly making the Kairos Prize a competition to watch.
Christina Denton of Martinsville, VA nabbed the Kairos Grand Prize for her script A MATTER OF TIME in 2009 and was excited to see her script head into post-production last month. With Kevin Sorbo (SOUL SURFER,HERCULES), Shelley Long (THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE, CHEERS) and Jason Burkey (OCTOBER BABY), the romantic drama brings to life the story of a young man so blinded by a bitter broken heart that he is unable to see the love of his life right in front of him. Shot in 5K and set to be released in early 2013, executive producer Chuck Howard is quoted as saying that it is the best movie he has ever made.
A SEASON OF MIRACLES, written by Kairos Prize 1st Runner Up Rusty Whitener of Pulaski, VA has had an extraordinary journey to the big screen. Winning in 2009 with his script TOUCHED, screenwriter, actor, novelist and pastor - Rusty Whitener turned his script into the novel, A SEASON OF MIRACLES (available through Amazon.com, Christianbooks.com and Barnesandnoble.com), garnering two Christy Award nominations and a Gold Medal – Book of the Year Award from Foreword Magazine along the way before being picked up by Elevating Entertainment Motion Pictures to bring this inspiring family friendly story to the screen.
Traveling down memory lane into the deep south of the 1970s to a place where Little League is all that matters, Zack Ross learns from his autistic friend during a championship baseball season lessons that are not so much about winning and losing, but about living and dying. Bringing the characters to life are veteran actors John Schneider (DUKES OF HAZZARD, SMALLVILLE, OCTOBER BABY), Grayson Russell (TALLADEGA NIGHTS, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID) and Nancy Stafford (MATLOCK, BAYWATCH) with an amazing ensemble of young actors from Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, the Carolinas, and Arkansas.
“We’re excited with how things are turning out,” reports producer/director Dave Moody “We have truly been blown away by the performances.”
Even as Whitener was fine-tuning the script, he was also putting the finishing touches on the novel of the same story.
'I actually wrote the script and the novel simultaneously and entered the novel in the Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel competition the same year I entered the Kairos competition,” Whitener reports.
After his 1st Runner Up in the Kairos Prize, a few months later the novel was one of four Finalists in Operation First Novel.
“I didn't win, but that opened the door to getting a publishing contract with Kregel in Grand Rapids, Whitener adds. “I honestly didn't know if I was better at screenwriting or the more expansive story-telling in a novel. I still don't know, but it's all good.”