Christian Retailing

Birth of Christ reimagined as new animated musical Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Thursday, 05 September 2013 03:39 PM America/New_York

ThePromise-SceneGlorious Films presents Christmas ‘story in song’

ThePromise-CoverTargeted for the Christmas season, Glorious Films releases The Promise, a dramatic retelling of the birth of Jesus using optical motion CGI (computer-generated imagery) animation accompanied by a Broadway-style soundtrack. 

The 44-minute production is a labor of love by Glorious Films founders Todd Shaffer, writer and director, and Ronald Mezey, producer. The film industry veterans started the company in 2010 to provide “creating quality entertainment from a strong biblical worldview that spreads a passion for the message of Jesus Christ.”

During pre-production, the film company team went through the Gospels and studied the birth of Christ in detail. They focused attention on four poetic passages in Luke that provided the basis for the musical. 

“The birth narrative of Jesus as told in Luke is full of musical poetry, describing the human and angelic excitement to the Messiah’s arrival,” said Shaffer. “By telling this story in song—as Luke did—we were able to put a big spotlight on these deep passages, which really capture the gospel message of why Jesus came to Earth. With its beautiful composition, sophisticated animation style and compelling story, we believe families can sit down and enjoy this film together, watching the Christmas story unfold as never seen before.”

The film’s optical animation style blends animation techniques with performances by ballet dancers and stage actors. Composed by James Gelfand and Louise Tremblay, the film’s soundtrack features the Montreal Boys’ Choir. Songs include “Mary and Joseph,” “Nothing Is Impossible,” “I Will Magnify” and “Simeon’s Blessing.” 

Lon Vining, outreach director for the film, believes the mixture of music and animation will help viewers remember key points from the story. 

“Every year individuals read or hear the Christmas narrative, but few pick up on the heart of the story,” he said. “That is where The Promise comes in. We placed great emphasis during the film’s development on blending together animation and music to help provide a connection between the viewers and the story’s historic characters. We feel audiences will get a new perspective for what each person was experiencing.”

Capital Christian Distribution will partner with Glorious Films to release the fall project to Christian retail this month. Greg Bays, executive vice president at the distributor, said he is “thrilled” to join the company in the release of The Promise and called the film “a first-of-its-kind animated musical in the Christian market.” 

To order, call Capital Christian Distribution at 800-877-4443 or go to

New drama details family’s recovery after tragedy Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Monday, 05 August 2013 04:05 PM America/New_York

DVD_ForLovesSake-Scene‘For Love’s Sake’ addresses issues of mental health in the wake of a father’s sudden death

In the new inspirational film For Love’s Sake (727985015088, $19.99), a family torn apart by tragedy turns to faith in Christ to be restored. 

Releasing this month from Vision Video, the film tells the story of the Walkers—Peter and Mary with sons Paul and James.  When Peter’s life ends in a tragic auto accident, Mary then finds herself overcome with suicidal depression, leading British human services to remove the boys from her home. The film details the sons’ perspective as they cope with their new lives. At the same time, Mary begins to recover through an encounter with a Christian therapist, Dr. Clement Lloyd, played by actor Bruce Marchiano. 

Known for his portrayal in the 1994 film The Gospel According to Matthew as “the smiling Jesus,” Marchiano said that playing a nonbiblical character was a refreshing experience. 

“I have acted in several films as Jesus and was in danger of being typecast for Jesus parts,” he said. “I am honored and blessed by that, and I hope I get to do it many more times! But to play the part of a modern and everyday person was a blessing for me, in that there was so much less pressure.” 

DVD_ForLovesSakeFor Love’s Sake was written and directed by Andrew Walkington and is based on the events of his own childhood. He founded True Films, which co-produced the film with Vision Video, to promote Christian values. 

“The film is based on my own life experience and is offered in hopes that it inspires others to trust in Jesus,” he said. 

Walkington’s wife, Claire, a trained actress, plays the part of Mary. William Wenlock and Luke Foxall make their film debuts as Mary’s sons. Additionally, the film includes veterans of British television and film, such as Ray Lonnen, Tara Ward, Nina Stratford, Christopher Lee-Power and Richard Brimblecombe, who co-wrote the screenplay. 

The film is releasing simultaneously in retail shops in the United States and the United Kingdom and is scheduled to air on Britain’s United Christian Broadcasting in the near future. 

To order, call Vision Video at 800-523-0226 or visit

New drama explores the impact of youth camp ministry Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Monday, 08 July 2013 02:53 PM America/New_York

CAMPcandidDVDAn abused child and a misguided counselor become unlikely friends in feature film

Lives are changed and unconditional love is modeled when a troubled towhead meets a clueless counselor in new drama Camp (818728010368, $19.98, Word Films/Word Distribution). 

Produced by Roebuck Media, the 111-minute film released to theaters in February and makes its home video debut Aug. 7. With a budget of $200,000, the film tells the story of Ken Matthews (Michael Mattera), an investment advisor, who signs up to be a camp counselor to impress a client. He is paired with 10-year-old Eli (Miles Elliot), an abused boy who has become bitter and hateful. As the story unfolds, the reluctant counselor manages to break through the walls of Eli’s heart to make a connection that changes them both. 

Jacob Roebuck, writer and director, said the film was inspired by events in his own life. While serving on a local church staff, he was required and initially reluctant to participate in a mission trip to help abused and neglected children at the Royal Family Kids Camp. 

“In my heart, I felt the call to go help these kids,” he said. “The call went against my wiring. I did not work with kids. But I also knew better than to ignore what could be a divine prompting. I still resisted interaction with children, many orphaned, who desperately need contact with loving, caring adults.”

CampDVDThe film not only focuses on the special ministry of youth camps and personal evangelism, but also addresses themes of abandonment, abuse and neglect, especially the need for men to step into their roles as fathers and father figures. 

“The camp experience, learning to care for the fatherless, has become the heart of the story we want to tell with our film,” Roebuck said. “Why was it so hard for me to connect with kids? Where did the wall come from? Why is so hard for men to step into the place of father?”

Roebuck said he hopes the film will “inspire people to open their hearts to forgotten children who need adults in their lives.” 

Camp is rated PG-13 for brief language, mature thematic elements, brief violence and a crude gesture. 

To order, call 800-876-WORD (9673).

DVD Beat August 2013 Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Monday, 08 July 2013 02:56 PM America/New_York

UnderstandingRevelationIn60MinutesDVDLast Days: Bible prophecy expert Ed Hindson is featured in Understanding Revelation in 60 Minutes, releasing Aug. 1 from Harvest House Publishers. Promoted as a “60-minute panoramic overview” of the Bible’s oft-discussed book, the DVD covers the main events, characters and predictions of the Last Days in a format designed for church and home study groups. It will retail for $19.99. Call 800-547-8979 to order.

PassionPursuitDVDSex study: Moody Publishers will release Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making? ($29.99) this month. A 10-week study led by Bible teacher Linda Dillow and Dr. Juli Slattery, formerly of Focus on the Family, the DVD addresses the issues of sexual intimacy from a female perspective. The study is structured from Scripture, especially the Song of Solomon, encouraging women to embrace passion in their relationships with their husbands. It also addresses topics such as temptation and holiness. Call 800-678-8812 to order.

iworshipDVDVisual worship: Integrity Music will release iWorship Visual Worship Trax Volume 1 on Aug. 13 for $39.99. It features popular worship songs in an “all-in-one” lyrics projection resource for churches and other settings. The lyric video uses the original artist recording with backgrounds and words for a user-friendly performance track. Songs come in original stereo, split-trax and click-track versions. The two-disc combo includes Darlene Zschech’s “Victor’s Crown” and Planetshakers’ “The Anthem.” Order through Provident Distribution.

‘Prank battle’ goes afoul in latest VeggieTales release Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 05:22 PM America/New_York

MacLarrySS-BadSheepHaircut-screenshot‘MacLarry and the Stinky Cheese Battle’ offers kids lessons on getting along with others

Big Idea’s latest release in the VeggieTales franchise tells the story of a land flowing with beards and kilts, where two clans who are locked in a longstanding feud lived.

In VeggieTales: MacLarry & the Stinky Cheese Battle, the Roman and Scottish Barberbarian tribes plot against each other with various pranks, including water balloon ambushes, pies, bad haircuts and a host of other hijinks.

Larry the Cucumber stars as MacLarry, a well-meaning young inventor who just wants to make kooky gadgets. Try as he may, he has never mastered the art of pranking, even after much training from the chief prankster himself—his father, Chog Norrius. 

Discouraged, MacLarry sets out on a journey to find the great inventor Archie-medes in hopes of finding a place he can belong. Meanwhile, the feud is escalating and Chog’s clan is plotting their biggest prank yet—releasing the loathsome-smelling Limburger cheese in the land on their rivals.

But when the cheese caper goes afoul, Chog and the people realize that they need MacLarry’s special skills to save the day by helping both pranking tribes to overcome and resolve their differences for good.

MacLarryAndTheStinkyCheeseBattleSet for release July 27 and July 30 in Christian and general market stores respectively, MacLarry & the Stinky Cheese Battle (820413131791, $14.99) aims to help kids work towards peace and unity, Big Idea officials said.  

“With MacLarry & the Stinky Cheese Battle, the fun storytelling and animation that VeggieTales is so well-known for are amped up in this tale of a very silly ‘prank battle’ that delivers the important message of getting along with others,” said Laura Neutzling, director of marketing for Big Idea. “This can be a tool for parents to impart this key idea to their kids, which extends into other core values, including acceptance and community.”

The 45-minute video, which features the silly song “Stilts and Kilts,” will be distributed by Word Distribution. To order, call 800-876-WORD (9673).

DVD Beat July 2013 Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 05:33 PM America/New_York



Spiritual warfare thriller: In Divination, spiritual forces collide in a supernatural battle between good and evil. Jason and Jessica are filled with joy at their first pregnancy, until the uncanny return of their mysterious friend, Dee. But Jason is tormented by Fear, who continually whispers nightmares and horrific visions into his mind. Releasing this month, the 98-minute drama, described as “a spiritual warfare thriller like no other,” retails for $19.95 and is distributed by Bridgestone Multimedia Group. 



Only one wiener: In Wiener Dog Nationals, an underdog and her family ban together to advance through the cutthroat world of the nation’s greatest dachshund race. The family-friendly movie stars Alicia Witt, Jason London and Morgan Fairchild. Releasing July 2 and distributed by Word Distribution, the G-rated, 82-minute comedy retails for $26.98. 



Redemption and restoration: Loosely based on true-life events, Unexpected Places tells the story of Cody, a troubled son who continues making bad choices into adult life, and his mother, Pam, who suffers almost unbearable grief as a result. But God intervenes to open their eyes to redemption and restoration. Releasing this month, the 112-minute drama retails for $19.95 and is distributed by Bridgestone Multimedia Group.