Beloved. That’s the word that Gary Schneeberger, the senior vice president of publicity and communication for Grace Hill Media, used to describe the new motion picture “The Good Lie”. It appears his description may be spot on.
Rick Warren has called the movie “Academy-Award worthy.” Focus on the Family says it’s “moving, filled with hope, heart and sacrificial love.” Reviewers have described it with words like “terrific,” “uplifting,” “life-changing,” “unforgettable” “brilliant,” “entertaining” and “joyful.”
I had the chance to “e-meet” Mr. Schneeberger on yesterday and get the inside scoop on this new blockbuster film currently in theaters.
Tell us a little about yourself and Grace Hill Media.
I’m Gary, the senior vice president of publicity and communication for Grace Hill Media . Here at Grace Hill we’re in our 15th year as the preeminent name in faith-based marketing, having completed over 350 movie and television promotional campaigns since our inception, on movies like NOAH, THE MONUMENTS MEN, LONE SURVIVOR, MAN OF STEEL, GRAVITY, THE BLIND SIDE, THE DAVINCI CODE, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, LES MISERABLES, THE HOBBIT. So this really is a dream job for a guy who loves Jesus and movies.
Tell us about the film.
THE GOOD LIE tells the true-life story of the Sudanese Lost Boys. These children, thousands of them, suffered horribly during their country’s civil war, many of them losing their parents and winding up in refugee camps. The movie tells that part of their story – but also the inspirational part about how their hope and faith allowed them to persevere and then, when a ministry arranged to bring them to America, allowed them to flourish and bless others. The movie is about the power of faith and love to turn brutality into beauty, and embraces a life-changing truth: when you help and bless others, you’re the one who is helped and blessed the most.”
Sounds like a great story line. Who are the stars in this film?
Academy-Award winner Reese Witherspoon plays a woman who helps the Lost Boys find jobs once they get to America – and they change her life. The real stars of the film are the three young actors and one young actress who play the Sudanese refugees: Arnold Oceang, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal and Kuoth Wiel. Ger and Emmanuel are actual Lost Boys themselves – they lived through the tragedies and triumphs the movie depicts.
It’s pretty cool that the Lost Boys get the chance to tell their own story. Many times the director would just have a seasoned actor play their role. Did you have the opportunity to interact with the cast?
Because our company has been working on marketing the film, I’ve done a lot of tweeting about it – the great reviews it’s gotten, the feature stories and interviews that tell the story of the Lost Boys. And every single time I posted something on Twitter, all the young actors – Arnold, Ger, Emmanuel and Kuoth – would “like” and “retweet” it. That tells me they’re pretty special: actors in a major motion picture but not at all thinking of themselves as “stars.” Very sweet people.
What have the reviews for the movie been like thus far?
What’s perhaps most impressive is the audience reaction to the movie. Audiences polled by Cinemascore, the industry standard for gauging filmgoer opinions, rated THE GOOD LIE an “A+” – just the 53rd movie in the last 30 years to receive that honor.
Wow that is impressive! What would you say to convince moviegoers who wouldn’t normally choose to
see a drama like the Good Lie in theaters to purchase a ticket to see the film?
This is an important and challenging movie. It will entertain you, for sure. The acting is wonderful and the story is harrowing sometimes, heartwarming other times. And it’s really funnier than you’d think it would be. But even more than all that, it’s the kind of film that will inspire you to do something to help those around you who are less fortunate. It’s a movie that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
What message do you think movie lovers to take away from the film?
Through faith and hope, anything is possible.
It was great to e-meet you Gary and I look forward to seeing The Good Lie.
Check out the trailer for the film below.
Have you seen the Good Lie? Are you planning to see the Good Lie while in theaters? Tell me your thoughts on the film below.
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