Christians who like to go to the movies can help decide what movies are shown in local theaters, thanks to Seatzy.com. Each advanced ticket reservation is a "vote" for a movie with biblical values, sending a message to Hollywood about the continuing interest in faith-based films.
This interactive opportunity to support Christian-oriented, family-friendly movies is a new path for independent Christian filmmakers to have their movies shown in theaters more affordably than traditional ways.
Seatzy.com, which is a film distribution and reservation platform, is an answer to prayer for independent filmmaker Josh Mills, who directed the new movie Brother's Keeper that opened nationwide on May 29.
Creatively mixing elements of the prodigal son parable and Cain and Abel story, Brother's Keeper is a powerful story of how God's redemptive love and forgiveness frees twin brothers from the overwhelming claustrophobia of small town evil. The unexpected choices these brothers make will change their lives and overturn the corrupt power structure of their town.
To watch the trailer of Brothers Keeper, please click here.
The road to this movie's opening in theaters this weekend has been long, windy and rough—and even tinged by a drought and tragedy.
In 2013, Brother's Keeper was ready for its nationwide theatrical release when suddenly its primary investor died, leaving the production without funding for its advertising campaign. Mills describes that time as one of prayer and questioning, both of God's will and each other.
Making a faith-based film can test the faith of any Christian filmmaker. Perseverance is needed, and according to Mills, when their movie was close to falling apart, they took a break for a time, got into prayer, cleared their heads, then came back together and figured out how to address the situation.
Prayer was a cornerstone on the movie set throughout the making of Brother's Keeper. Before shooting a 1957 high school prom scene, a local minister led a group prayer. Hundreds of people were rushing around, creating an audible roar, but the moment he started, everyone fell silent.
"You could feel God's presence there with us as Brother Carl led all of us through that prayer... I'm getting chills just recalling that moment," says producer Steven Camp.
During filming, a daily scripture was displayed on the big board, and spontaneous prayer groups regularly formed among cast and crew.
"Romans 8:31 and 8:38-39 are written on glass windows in my office," says Mills. "They're my branded verses."
Filming in Cairo, Georgia, during a five-month drought, the script called for rain. After shooting the scene, they knew they missed the shot and there was not enough time for the water trucks to refill. Suddenly, rain started pouring and fifteen minutes later, after finishing the take, the rain just as suddenly stopped.
It turned out that it only rained in a half-mile radius. Mills wondered if God was part of the film production team and was directly involved in "divine intervention." God's timing is perfect as far as the Brother's Keeper director is concerned.
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