Christian Retailing

Good battles evil in timeless story of biblical heroism Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Tuesday, 30 April 2013 04:04 PM America/New_York

Book of Esther_wedding movie stillDramatic but relatable story ‘The Book of Esther’ emphasizes ‘courage, faith and obedience’

A new film based on the Old Testament book of Esther offers “a delightful retelling” of the biblical story, emphasizing the values of courage, faith and obedience, according to the movie’s director.

Good battles evil in The Book of Esther, which tells the timeless story of biblical heroism. David A.R. White, who directed The Book of Esther (857533003318, $19.99, June 4), which is distributed by Pure Flix Entertainment, said Esther is “one of the most beloved female characters in the Bible,” and the film is “done as a palace intrigue with drama and suspense.”

“Recently, we have seen a resurgence of interest in biblical characters and how the things they dealt with then, still resonate with us today,” he told Christian Retailing. “We wanted to make sure the film stayed true to biblical history, but was also relatable to our audience.”

When Esther (Jen Lilley) becomes King Xerxes’ queen, her cousin, Mordecai (Robert Miano) and the despicable Haman (Thaoo Penghlis) engage in a dangerous game of intrigue for control of the young Persian King Xerxes (Joel Smallbone).

TheBookofEstherDVDHaman plans to exterminate the Jews, including Mordecai and Esther. It is up to Esther to win the affection of Xerxes, unmask Haman’s treachery and save the Jewish people.

“We have a film that centers on a woman who is faced with major decisions that could have long-lasting ramifications and has to consider what her culture would have her do against what she believes God is leading her to do,” White said. “Her choice required her to stand firm in her beliefs and to walk in obedience, despite the risks. We see a wide range of emotions in each character.”

The film’s cast includes Lilley (General Hospital) and Smallbone, lead singer of For King and Country and brother of singer Rebecca St. James. Miano has appeared in many mainstream films, including Donnie Brasco

“Audiences can trust the theme and integrity of this project,” White said. “I believe this updated story of Esther will attract not only new audiences and a younger generation, but those who are familiar with the story and find Esther to be one of the most intriguing and inspiring women of the Bible.”

The 90-minute film, approved by The Dove Foundation, is not rated. 

To order The Book of Esther, go to or call 480-991-2258, or order through Send The Light Distribution at 800-289-2772, New Day Christian Distributors at 800-251-3633 and Anchor Distributors at 800-444-4484.

DVD Releases: June 2013 Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Tuesday, 30 April 2013 04:07 PM America/New_York

TheConfessionDVDA heart divided: Based on the Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group novel of the same title by best-selling author Beverly Lewis, The Confession tells the story of Katie Lapp (Katie Leclerc, Switched at Birth), who was raised by an Amish family, but starts on a quest to find her birth-mother, Laura Mayfield-Bennett (Sherry Stringfield, ER). Along the way, two men try to help her overcome a devious scheme to steal her rightful inheritance and divide her heart between two worlds. Distributed by Provident Distribution starting June 11, the 88-minute DVD from Provident Films retails for $19.99. 


wonderblimp2Blimp-sized answers: In the latest from Phil Vischer’s “What’s in the Bible?” series, Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge 2, takes off for the skies to answer seven “big questions about God.” Questions like “Why should I pray?” and “Does God tell the truth?” are answered in a way that’s fun and easy for the whole family to understand. To be released June 18 by Jellyfish Labs and distributed by Capitol Christian Distribution, the 60-minute video retails for $12.99. 


TheAugustineStoryDVDA voice for truth: The dramatic story of St. Augustine, who rejected fame and fortune in fourth-century Rome and Milan to become one of the greatest theologians of the church, is chronicled in The Augustine Story. The latest 30-minute animated biography in “The Torchlighters: Heroes of the Faith” line is distributed by Vision Video. The series is aimed at children aged 8-12. Retailing for $14.99, the DVD, released this month, comes with a four-lesson leader’s guide, reproducible study materials, English and Spanish tracks, and subtitles.

‘Charming’ Southern Tale Shows the Value of Every Child Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Tuesday, 02 April 2013 04:25 PM America/New_York

Jimmy-trailer-still‘Jimmy’ encourages viewers to look past the obvious in relating to the mentally challenged

Based on a best-selling novel by Robert Whitlow, Jimmy (095163885410, $19.95) tells the story of mentally challenged 14-year-old Jimmy Mitchell (Ian Colletti). Jimmy  is “slow,” according to the people in his hometown of Piney Grove, Ga.

However, Jimmy has an uncanny ability to see and hear a lot, including angelic beings he calls “Watchers.” When his lawyer father Lee Mitchell (Patrick Fabian) asks Jimmy to testify in a crucial trial, the town’s residents are amazed when his testimony saves a man from going to jail, while leading to far-reaching consequences for himself and the people he loves.

Directed by Mark Freiburger, the movie features the tag line: “Once you see the world through Jimmy’s eyes, it will never look the same again.”

Jimmy is a charming story with heartfelt performances, reminding us to value each and every child,” said brothers Jon and Andy Erwin, who directed last year’s pro-life drama October Baby.

Singer-songwriter Matthew West added: “As a storyteller myself, I always look for a movie to tell a great story and move me. Jimmy did just that.”

JimmyThe film has garnered some strong reviews, including one reviewer who said it has its “share of thrills, drama, compassion, love and perseverance.”

 Another reviewer added: “Filled with Southern characters at once familiar and unexpected, Jimmy is an extraordinary tale about growing up in the midst of real struggle. From the first encounter with Jimmy to the last triumphant goodbye, Jimmy will enthrall and delight.”

 After the movie was screened for the first time in Charlotte, N.C., where it was filmed, Whitlow said, “there weren’t many dry eyes in the crowd by the time the credits started to roll.”

Jimmy has always occupied a special place in my heart, and it is a thrill to see the characters come to life on the screen,” he added. 

Releasing this month, the 95-minute, Dove Foundation-approved film is distributed by Bridgestone Multimedia Group. For more information, visit

To order, call Bridgestone at 800-523-0988.

DVD Releases April 2013 Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 11:29 AM America/New_York

MeantToBeDVDRight to life: A mother’s search for redemption and a son’s quest to find his birth mother is the story told in Meant to Be. The film shows that even when we choose to go our own way, God can show us what was meant to be. The film stars Dean Cain, Bradley Dorsey, Della Reese and Michael Gross. Released last month by Pure Flix Entertainment, the 90-minute DVD retails for $14.99. 

RingTheBellDVDLeague of his own: In Ring the Bell, big-city sports agent Rob Decker is on a mission to sign a high school baseball superstar, but becomes stranded in a small town where the simplicity of life and faith stands in stark contrast to his own win-at-all-costs mind-set. The story features Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman and Matthew West, along with baseball all-stars Rick Sutcliffe, John Kruk and Ben Zobrist. From Provident Distribution, the 96-minute Provident Films DVD releases this month and retails for $14.99. 

RevelationRoadDVDThe beginning of the end: In Revelation Road, a traveling salesman with a history of violence foils a robbery by The Barbarians, an outlaw biker gang. Then an unnatural flash comes across the sky, followed by a series of earthquakes. It could be the rapture, but the salesman’s only goal is to get home to his family—a dangerous journey to the center of his soul. The film stars Brian Bosworth, Steve “The Sting” Borden, Ray Wise and David A.R. White. Released last month by Pure Flix, the 88-minute DVD retails for $19.99.

Redemptive story tackles the hard question of suffering Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 11:27 AM America/New_York

Director of ‘Unconditional’ sees the film as a ‘mainstream’ movie like ‘The Blind Side’UnconditionalTrailer-MeetingGod

UnconditionalDVD“Papa Joe” Bradford’s life was in shambles, but today he ministers in Nashville’s inner city. Unconditional is the story of how someone who grew up in rural Tennessee ended up with a following among the underprivileged.

Released last month to Christian retail, Unconditional tells the story of Samantha Crawford (Lynn Collins), whose storybook marriage is wrecked by a senseless act of violence. “Papa” Joe Bradford (Michael Ealy), Crawford’s childhood friend, leads her on a journey toward unconditional love.

Produced by Harbinger Media Partners, the film is based on the real-life Joe Bradford, who serves seven at-risk communities in Nashville through his Elijah’s Heart ministry.

Unconditional is a wonderful true story about the power of faith, hope and love,” Director Brent McCorkle said. “The big spiritual question the film asks is, ‘Where is God when I’m suffering?’ Also at the heart of this redemptive drama are themes like acts of service, transcending cultural barriers and never underestimating the power of a true friend. While it carries indelible spiritual themes, it is definitely a film that people from all walks of life can embrace and be touched by.”

Unconditional wasn’t a hit when it was released in theaters last fall, but the film’s director hopes the Christian-themed drama will find an audience on DVD.

“Unfortunately, most people didn’t even know about our film,” McCorkle told Christian Retailing. “The amazing news about our theatrical run was that the film garnered an extremely high audience rating. On, it hovered at around 90%. That’s a pretty big deal. … I think that our little movie could totally have a life of its own as a DVD sleeper hit.”

Rated PG-13 for some violent content and mature thematic elements, Unconditional is “simply a mainstream movie with some faith elements and no offensive content.”

“It’s a redemptive story with spiritual themes that are easily embraced by Christians,” McCorkle said. “But at the same time, my intent and conviction was to craft a film that wasn’t exclusive to that audience—very much like The Blind Side.

“There’s a place for this type of content on [Christian retailers’] shelves, even though it is mainstream,” he added. “I have heard from many, many folks who have [said] that the film is resonating with them on a fundamental spiritual level in their Christian lives.”

Unconditional, which retails for $17.99 and runs 98 minutes, is distributed by Provident Distribution. To order, call 800-333-9000.

DVD Releases March 2013 Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Thursday, 07 February 2013 09:56 AM America/New_York

OrdinaryPeopleDVDChanging thousands: Ordinary People, a follow-up to Faith Like Potatoes, the story of Angus Buchan, an African farmer who became an author and evangelist. To be released March 19 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and distributed by Provident Distribution, the film tells the story of three troubled men in desperate need of faith who find themselves on a transformational journey to a gathering of a Mighty Men Conference led by Buchan. Rated PG-13 for some violent content, the 115-minute drama retails for $22.99. 


Solely for God: In the second film of her “True Beauty: Finding Your Identity in Jesus” series, Lisa Chan—wife of best-selling author and pastor Francis Chan—explores a way of life that is full of contentedness and joy. In Deny Yourself, Chan inspires Christians to let go of the lies that keep them trapped in bondage to earthly accomplishments. The 20-minute DVD, which retails for $14.99 and can be used for small groups or individual study, releases this month from David C Cook and Flannel. DenyYourselfDVD


SecretsintheSnowDVDSecrets revealed: In Secrets in the Snow, six familiar strangers are the only students remaining at school as the conditions outside worsen and doors to the school are locked. An impromptu talent show and feast ensue, when a knock from outside brings a whole new element to the evening. Wills are tested, friendships are created, and secrets are revealed as the students realize they must rely on each other to make it through the stormy night.
Released last month, the 88-minute, Dove Foundation-approved film retails for $19.95 and is distributed by Bridgestone Multimedia Group.