Christian Retailing

End-times film ‘a human-interest action adventure’ Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 02:05 PM America/New_York

TheMarkDVD‘The Mark’ ‘creatively weaves’ in revelation predictions of the tribulation

With 15-plus years experience in the entertainment industry, James Chankin is literally hoping to leave the mark with his latest project.

Producer and director on 60-plus projects, including movies, live concerts, one-man shows, television series, commercials and documentaries, Chankin directed The Mark (8-57533-00304-2, $19.99), which released last month and is distributed by Pure Flix Entertainment.

“I was excited to work on a project that is a broad, human-interest action-adventure story, and one that we could creatively weave in the revelation predictions of the tribulation into the storyline,” he told Christian Retailing. “The Mark is a film that can appeal to the masses, and getting this message out is very important.”

The 98-minute movie is described as “an ordinary overseas flight [that] turns into an extraordinary mid-air battle between the forces of good and evil.” On a flight from Bangkok to Berlin, Chad Turner (Craig Sheffer, A River Runs Through It), a former soldier who has abandoned his faith, carries hope for the world—a biometric microchip implanted in his arm that is capable of revolutionizing global trade.

Turner is accompanied by Dan Cooper (Eric Roberts, The Dark Knight), head of the Avanti Corporation, inventors of the new technology. Also on the flight is a group of mercenaries, led by Joseph Pike (Gary Daniels, The Expendables), with plans of hijacking the plane and stealing the microchip for the group’s leader, Philypp Turk (Ivan Kamaras). But in the midst of a catastrophic worldwide event, the true nature of the chip is viewed as civilization’s salvation or a powerful weapon to be used for evil.

“This is a story of choice, and if you do not have a chance to choose, what would you do?” Chankin said. “The Mark has a cast of seasoned actors that present the story in a realistic and suspenseful manner. The action, cast and even the [DVD] cover should grab the attention of consumers.”

The Mark joins the ranks of end-times Christian movies such as the “Left Behind” film series, Revelation: The Book Has Been Opened and In The Blink of an Eye.

“I believe a film like The Mark is an incredible tool to introduce those with questions and doubts that God really exists, without truly having to ask the questions out loud,” said Chankin, who produced the faith-based films Jerusalem Countdown and Christmas With a Capital C. “It’s a perfect way to create a self discovery of the truth in a non-threatening manner.”

For more information, go to or call 480-991-2258. Order through Send The Light Distribution at 800-289-2772, New Day Christian Distributors at 800-251-3633 or Anchor Distributors at 800-444-4484.

True story of compassion inspires Christmas film Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 02:07 PM America/New_York

TheHeartofChristmasDVDTrue story of compassion inspires Christmas film

It takes an entire community to make a little boy’s dreams come true in The Heart of Christmas (0-14381-76432-1, $27.97), a heartbreaking yet hopeful film about a family faced with losing a child, giving him one last Christmas in October.

The movie was inspired by the song “One Last Christmas,” written and recorded by singer-songwriter Matthew West who was moved by a true story he received in a letter.

In 2010, West asked his fans to send him their inspiring true stories so he could turn those stories into songs. Among the thousands of submissions he received, there were three separate letters about the Locke family and the community that came together to support them.

“I never thought the song would be made into a movie,” said West, who was nominated this year for a Primetime Emmy Award for Best Original Music and Lyrics for the song.

The Heart of Christmas tells the inspirational story of 2-year-old Dax Locke, whose struggle with Leukemia sparked a worldwide outpouring of support for his family. Despite treatment, the doctors tell Dax’s parents, Austin and Julie Locke, that he will not live to see Christmas Day.

Driven by their faith and determined to give their son one last Christmas, the couple decides to decorate early and celebrate the birth of Jesus.

The Heart of Christmas’ cast includes Candace Cameron Bure (Make It or Break It, Full House), Jeanne Nielson (Faith Like Potatoes), George Newbern (Father of the Bride), Erin Bethea (Fireproof) and West, who is featured in his first film.

Making its debut on GMC in December 2011, the film attracted more than 3.6 million viewers, making it the highest-rated, world-premiere movie in the history of the television network. The Heart of Christmas was released last month by Image Entertainment and is distributed by EMI CMG Distribution.

For more information or to order the 89-minute DVD, go or call 800-877-4443.

DVD Beat November 2012 Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 02:10 PM America/New_York

CliveandIansWonderBlimpDVDAirship-sized answers: In the latest from Phil Vischer’s “What’s in the Bible?” series, Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge 1, sets sail through the skies to answer six “really big questions about God.” Questions like “Is God as powerful as a superhero?” and “Does God tell the truth?” are answered in a way that’s fun and easy for the whole family to understand. Released last month by Jellyfish Labs and distributed by EMI CMG Distribution, the 45-minute video retails for $12.99.

LovesChristmasJourneyDVDA yuletide miracle? The first Christmas story inspired by the popular “Love Comes Softly” series by Janette Oke (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group), Love’s Christmas Journey tells the story of Ellie Davis (Natalie Hall), who seeks peace and healing at her brother Aaron’s (Greg Vaughn) house after her husband dies. After a suspicious fire, Ellie finds herself playing detective to clear the name of a good friend with help from a deputy (Dylan Bruce). She must trust her faith to bring a miracle at Christmas. Released by Fox Faith last month, the film retails for $22.99 and is distributed by Provident Distribution.

ClancyDVDA child’s faith: Christina Dawn Fougnie (1 Message, The Perfect Gift) plays title character Clancy, an 11-year-old girl whose grandmother pours love and faith into, seeking to counter her home situation. Despite living with an abusive and addicted mother, that faith not only stays alive in Clancy, but helps to bring a spiritually dead, homeless war veteran back to life. Produced by Kelly’s Filmworks and distributed by EchoLight Studios, the 118-minute Clancy, which retails for $19.98, was released last month.

ChristmasMiracleThe real meaning of Christmas: An uplifting holiday story from the late Thomas Kinkade, Christmas Miracle shows the real meaning of the season—kindness, understanding and love. Due to an unforeseen road closure, eight strangers are forced to take refuge in an abandoned church during a snowstorm. They learn from one another how to manage through various personal dilemmas, working together to see miracles happen. Released last month by GT Media and distributed by EMI CMG Distribution, the 92-minute, Dove Foundation-approved film retails for $14.99

RescueDVDComfort and hope: When a magnitude 7.0 earthquake strikes Haiti in 2010, leaving more than 300,000 dead in its wake, emergency teams jump into action. Rescue chronicles the odyssey of military and civilian responders, captured with unprecedented scale and impact, to provide comfort and hope. Releasing this month, the 46-minute documentary retails for $19.98 and is distributed by Image Entertainment.

ChristmasComesHomeToCanaanDVDTo love again: In Christmas Comes Home to Canaan, Daniel Burton (Billy Ray Cyrus) learns to love again when he meets Briony Adair (Gina Holden), the rehabilitation specialist treating his son, and invites her to spend Christmas with his family. The sequel to the Hallmark Channel’s highest-rate film of 2009, Christmas in Canaan, the movie was released last month by GT Media and is distributed by EMI CMG Distribution. The 88-minute, Dove-approved film retails for $14.99.

NoLostCauseDVDNever lost: No Lost Cause tells the story of Beth Ann Collins, a pretty young woman who is tragically paralyzed after being hit by a drunk driver—forcing her to live with her estranged father, Billy. Doctors give her little hope of recovery, but Billy refuses to give up on her, enlisting the help of youth at his church who befriend Beth Ann. Released last month, the 103-minute film retails for $14.99 and is distributed by Destiny Image Films.

Evangelist's ‘Undaunted’ faith didn't come easily Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 09:49 AM America/New_York

Undaunted_DVDJosh McDowell's childhood 'an unforgettable story of redemption' reveals how he overcame a difficult childhood

Josh McDowell, best-selling author of Evidence That Demands a Verdict and More Than a Carpenter, is one of the most well-known evangelists in the world, but a new film will shed light on his dramatic spiritual transformation.

Based on McDowell's memoir of the same title published this month by Tyndale Momentum (see Book News on page 30), Undaunted: The Early Life of Josh McDowell (7-04400-01614-1, $19.99) chronicles the true story of a Michigan farm boy who carried unspeakable memories of an alcoholic father and a male housekeeper’s sexual abuse, leading him to deny the existence of God. Yet He redeemed the situation with unbelievable grace, resulting in McDowell's undaunted faith.

“Never before has a film been released that strikes at the very heart of the unspoken secrets of culture and the church—sex abuse, alcoholism and family violence,” he told Christian Retailing. “The church cannot remain silent any longer. Undaunted will create an uneasiness, hope and a deep joy.”

Produced and to be distributed by EchoLight Studios, the DVD will be offered exclusively through Family Christian Stores on Oct. 16, and will be available elsewhere Dec.18.

Filmed in Michigan, where McDowell grew up, and in Europe, where he searched for truth, the docudrama stars John Klicka as a young McDowell and Allen Williamson as the future evangelist in his teens and 20s, as well as Tom Emmott as Wilmot McDowell Sr.

"Undaunted is an unforgettable story of redemption that is going to bring vision and hope to the most wounded generation in our nation's history,” said Dennis Rainey, president of FamilyLife. “Millions are going to see it and conclude: 'God can use me.' "

Written and directed by Cristóbal Krusen, Undaunted won two Crown Awards in the Best Documentary and Best Evangelistic Film categories at the International Christian Video Media Conference, held in July prior to the International Christian Retail Show in Orlando, Fla., where it was screened for attendees. It also was approved for family viewing by The Dove Foundation.

To order the 68-minute DVD, call EchoLight at 972-537-0831. For more information, visit

DVD Beat September 2012 Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 09:54 AM America/New_York

TimTebowOnAMissionBeyond Tebowing: Tim Tebow: On A Mission is an in-depth look at what makes Tim Tebow the popular and polarizing sports figure he is today. The 60-minute DVD chronicles how his hard work and steadfast faith have guided him to collegiate success and NFL stardom. From being born on the mission field through his playoff run last season and trade to the New York Jets, the film explores his life through insightful interviews and rare footage. Released this month by Screen Media Films and distributed by EMI CMG Distribution, Tim Tebow: On A Mission retails for $9.99.

Civil-LoveTo love again: Civil Love tells the story of Rachel Taylor, who lost her Union soldier husband in the Civil War—blaming the South for his death. When a wounded Confederate soldier named Daniel takes refuge in her barn, she reluctantly helps him and soon must protect him. Rachel must discover the strength to do what's right, protect her family and muster the courage to open her heart again to love. The 92-minute film, produced by SunWorld Pictures and released last month, retails for $19.99 and is distributed by Bridgestone Multimedia Group.

WomanThouArtLoosed-OnThe7thDayAgainst all odds: Blair Underwood, Sharon Leal, Nicole Beharie and Pam Grier star in Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day. Rated: PG-13, the 101-minute film is a suspenseful, race-against-the-clock thriller that takes audiences on a seven-day journey inside the souls and secrets of a married couple fighting to save their kidnapped child, while relying on their faith, strength and convictions to rebuild a broken marriage. Released this month by Codeblack Studio and distributed by EMI CMG Distribution, Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day retails for $19.97.

BeStillCaught up in busyness? In Be Still: Finding Your Identity in Jesus, Lisa Chan—wife of best-selling author and pastor Francis Chan—explores the pressures, perceptions and expectations that women face, encouraging them to release the cultural lies that keep them frantically busy instead of being with Christ. Part of the “True Beauty” series, the 20-minute DVD, which retails for $14.99 and is ideal for small groups or individual study, releases this month from David C Cook and Flannel.

LettersToAnUnknownDaughterRedeeming life's pain: A mother's story of adoption gives way to the bigger story of God extending hope and healing in Letters to an Unknown Daughter from Vision Video. Having grown up in a loving but strict Christian home, 17-year old Anita Keagy discovers that she is pregnant by her boyfriend and considers having an abortion. Instead, she gives up her child for adoption. Years later, married and raising four children, Anita feels compelled to write letters to her unknown daughter. Releasing this month, the drama retails for $14.99.

TheSoundOfTheSpiritStill small voice: The Sound of the Spirit tells the story of Rivka, a precocious 12-year-old Messianic Jewish girl whose life is shattered when her father, her last remaining parent, dies. Forced to live with her aunt and uncle, a traditional Jewish couple who have broken their relationship with her father because he viewed Jesus as his Messiah, Rivka begins to prepare for her bat mitzvah. Along the way, she finds her calling and learns lessons that stir her to listen carefully for the still small voice of God. Running for 128 minutes, the film, which releases this month and retails for $19.95, is distributed by Bridgestone Multimedia Group.

RenegadeTruth revealed: Renegade tells the story of life, love and gold mining. Mattie, a young lady living in a Southwest mining camp, falls in love and unwittingly marries a claim jumper, even though an ethical gold miner wanted to make a life with her. The gold fields of the old West bring her tragedy, confusion and the hard reality of her claim-jumping husband. Family and friends reach out to Mattie and teach her that trouble brings out the truth in people. Released this month by GT Media and distributed by EMI CMG Distribution, the 88-minute Renegade retails for $14.99.

StandStrongTrue success: Stand Strong tells the tale of Matt Webster, who measures his success by his possessions. Though he appears to have it all, pride of ownership does little to fill the void of a purposeless life. Broken relationships, isolation and pain are the result. Through financial and family crises, Matt and his family are stripped of all they own and are humbled enough to learn what true success really is. Released this month, the 91-minute inspirational drama retails for $19.95 and is distributed by Bridgestone Multimedia Group.

‘Really good timing’ for VeggieTales' superhero release Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Tuesday, 11 September 2012 02:39 PM America/New_York

LeagueOfIncredibleVegetables'League of Incredible Vegetables' follows this summer's comic-book blockbusters 

Call it serendipity but some faith-based superheroes are hot on the heels of high-profile Hollywood blockbusters from this summer such as The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises.

Big Idea's latest release in the VeggieTales franchise, The League of Incredible Vegetables features LarryBoy, while introducing four new superheroes played by Bob the Tomato (ThingamaBob), Petunia Rhubarb (Vogue), Junior Asparagus (Ricochet) and Mr. Lunt (S-Cape)—all with humorous superhero abilities.

Set for release Oct. 13 and Oct. 16 in Christian and general market stores, respectively, The League of Incredible Vegetables (8-20413-12589-9, $14.99) is the fourth title in the “LarryBoy” series and the first since LarryBoy and the Bad Apple in 2006.

Based on Ps. 6:3, which says, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You,” the forthcoming release helps teach a lifelong lesson in handling fear, as the superheroes battle the villain Dr. Flurry, who is freezing all of Bumblyburg's citizens in fear.

Distributed by Word Distribution, the video includes a catchy League theme song by GRAMMY-nominated and Dove Award-winning group Newsboys.

"The superhero genre is enormously popular, delivering such hits as The Avengers, Spider-Man and the Batman trilogy,” Greg Fritz, Big Idea's senior vice president of sales and marketing, told Christian Retailing. “The League of Incredible Vegetables is a superhero story that will delight with its action-packed scenes, engaging characters and clever dialogue. And best of all, fans will be reminded that there is ultimately only one who has the power to quiet our fears and save us from our enemies."

Big Idea will also release an extensive line of products in conjunction with the DVD, including a six-character play set, LarryCopter, God’s Super Hero Costume Play Set, a game app themed to the video and an Adventures of the Good Guys book.

The League of Incredible Vegetables drew a capacity crowd during a screening at this summer's International Christian Retail Show in Orlando, Fla.

Jessalyn Valk attended the screening with her mother, Lorraine Valk, co-owner of Parable Christian Store of St. Joseph in St. Joseph, Mich.

Valk, 21, said that she noticed “some of the nods to The Avengers,” which she saw three times this summer. “That was cool,” she said. “This was really good timing with all the superhero movies out now.”

Her mother agreed: “It was long overdue for a new LarryBoy release. VeggieTales are still strong sellers. I absolutely think this will do well for us and other Christian retailers.”

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