Industry News

The Good Lie

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.

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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.

Thanks for joining us on the Gospel Impact Radio blog where we bring you great content, beyond the music!

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Local & Abroad

He Saw The Best in Me: A Stage Play

Today we had the opportunity to interview Princella Beasley-Smith, the playwright and director of the hit stage play “He Saw the Best of Me”coming to the Granville Art Center in Garland, TX on Saturday October 18, 2014.

He Saw the Best in Me: A Stage Play

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a mother of three adult children and a MeeMee of four (girls) and one on the way.  I love to see people flourish, especially the underdogs.  I believe that we all are kings and queens of the most high God.  We are royalty! I am Royalty, that’s who I am! 

 How many plays have you written and directed?

I have written 3 plays and directed 2 plays.

That’s pretty awesome. What compelled you to write this story?

I have always written, but didn’t have the faith to go forward.  I would start it and never finish it.  Until one day I had gone to a play and it was a play and a dinner, well the dinner lasted longer than the play.  At that point, I decided to step out on faith and trust God and He hasn’t failed me yet.

Has it always been your dream to be a playwright/ director?

Yes, back in the 80’s I went to my very first stage play in Savannah called “ How I Got Over”.  It was just amazing to see and becoming a playwright/ director has been in my heart ever since.

Tell us a little about the play.

The play is about a woman named Constance Miller who finds herself living on St Helena Island, SC after being in and out of foster care. Constance’s early years of abuse and being shuffled from one foster home to another leads to much more abuse as an adult. After meeting TreMaine her life began to spiral out of control with years of prostitution, alcohol and drug abuse. Constance’s friend Paige decided enough is enough and offer’s Constance a helping hand, but Paige is dealing with her own demons.

In this story you will see how God is always the answer, no matter what others may think. Annie the owner of the Purple Rose flower shop will prove prayer without ceasing is the key. You will see when fighting your battles you must fight them on your knees with prayer. With God all things are possible if you only believe!

We have an amazing cast!  National recording artist Trent CoryTommye Young West ; Jackie Boyd-Watkins former Kurt Carr Singer ; Cherrie Thompson-Scott are just a few of the talented artist in this play. Our leading lady, Josette Ables, has written 2 original songs and will be performing them.

We also have a number of other great actors:

  • Rachelle Wilson who plays Paige~ look out!
  • Big C the Encourager plays Pastor Hart who really doesn’t have a heart for God’s people
  • Brandon Dillard plays the role of Tyrone a Godly man
  • Jackylon Payne plays Sister Lynette; I am sure every church as a Sister Lynette
  • Alex Carson (plays Officer Spalding)

This play will also introduce Chiquita Moses who debut as Dr. Buzzard the witch doctor.

 That is an amazing cast! I wouldn’t mind hearing them sing. How long have you all been preparing for the show?

                Well over 6 months. I like a lot of details.  Most importantly I like to work with excellence, giving God my very best.

  What was it like working with this all star cast?

 I have a great group; from the cast to the crew they are truly a blessing.  It’s a blessing to be able to write and have a group of talented individuals to bring it to life with such professionalism.  It’s a blessing and honor to have  others  believe in your vision.  I am one grateful playwright!

What would you say to convince a person who wouldn’t normally choose to see a faith-based play to come out to see your play He Saw the Best in Me?

I would say, it’s not about religion it’s about REALITY.  We live in a world of good and evil and we are faced with decision everyday and it’s up to us to choose to do what’s right.  I would encourage them not shy away because it’s faith based, these characters are acting out REALITY on the stage.  To see how God can take a situation and turn it around!  I am living proof that He can and He will if we would only trust HIM.

What message would you love for people to take away from your play?

Not all stories end happily ever after.  Again, the REALITY is not all will make it into HEAVEN however that’s our hope and prayer.  I pray that when they walk away, they would truly examine their own hearts and come away from anything that would hinder them from hearing the words from the Father saying “Well done my good and faithful servant”! 

Thanks for taking the time to interview with us Princella! We wish you much success with your play.

If we were in the Dallas/ Fort Worth metroplex, we would definitely check out this play. If you are in the DFW you can purchase your tickets to this event on eventbrite.com. Princella has also been generous enough to gift one awesome reader with a free ticket to her play.

To enter, you must be an email subscriber to this blog.  You must also leave a comment down below with the words “He Saw the Best in Me”. The winner will be announced next Tuesday October 14! Winner must claim their prize within 24 hours of being notified or another winner will be chosen. 

Thanks for following us as we continue to bring you great content beyond the music!

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Local & Abroad

Festival Of Praise Tour Kicks Off this Week

If you haven’t heard by now, two of our favorite gospel artists Fred Hammond and Pastor Donnie McClurkin will begin their 17-city Festival of Praise tour this week. We don’t know about you all but we are excited. The first stop will be at Fallbrook Church in Houston, Texas this Wednesday September 17th and the final stop on their tour is slated for October 25th in Atlanta, GA.  Today the seasoned singers made a stop into the Potter’s House of Dallas where Fred Hammond led an awesome praise and worship service before inviting Pastor Donnie to grace the stage. In an interesting turn of events, it was announced that Pastor Donnie McClurkin was currently recovering after recently having vocal chord surgery to remove cancer and scar tissue AND that Mr. Fred Hammond was having knee issues. As Fred humorously stated “I can’t walk and he can’t talk.” This tour will be a bit interesting to say the least.

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Although their physical bodies maybe ailing them, they have not allowed this to stop them from blessing God’s people with their gift. We love their faithfulness to God and their ministry. We pray that God’s gives them the strength and health needed for the journey. As the book of Luke chapter 1 verse 37 tells us, “for with God nothing shall be impossible” and we believe that the success of their tour will be a powerful testimony to the glory of God.

Are you as excited about this tour as we are? Will they coming to a city near you? Do you already have tickets to see this gospel duo in concert? Let us know in the comments below.

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