Could this Christian film win an Oscar?
December 21, 2013
Academy declares movie made by WND exec eligible for golden award
Sitting in the recording studio, Joni Eareckson Tada, a quadriplegic paralyzed since 1967, confessed her weaknesses before God.
“We are the ones who run to You when we are weak,” she prayed. “This is a quadriplegic body that is broken, my lungs are limited, but there’s this fine balance between presenting to You all of my weakness and thinking that it can’t be done. I don’t want to think that it can’t be done.”
She then prayed for her voice, her breath and to find the strength of God – and the song that flowed next from those limited lungs, WND has learned, has now been declared eligible for an Academy Award.
Tada loaned her voice and her prayer to singing “Alone Yet Not Alone,” the title song from the faith-themed movie of the same name. The original song by Bruce Broughton (music) – who received an Academy Award nomination for his score for “Silverado” – and Dennis Spiegel (lyrics) joined a list of 75 songs chosen from the roughly 6,000 films made in 2013 to be eligible for Oscar nomination.
A video made of the song, including Tada’s prayer, can be seen above.
“I so resonate with the words, with the tune, the melody,” Tada said of “Alone Yet Not Alone.” “Maybe it’s because I’m a quadriplegic, maybe because I sit down in a ‘stand up’ world and sometimes I can feel a little alone. And so to sing it from the heart and to sing it with that kind of personal passion, I hope does the melody and the lyrics proud.”
The movie “Alone Yet Not Alone” was co-directed and co-written by WND’s Vice President of Film and Television George D. Escobar, who also served as a producer in the movie. Escobar, co-founder of the Advent Film Group, has directed several top documentaries for WND Films, including “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” and “The Rabbi Who Found Messiah.”
Earlier this year, WND hosted Advent Film Group’s annual film workshop at the WND Studio in Chantilly, Va., where Escobar and Advent co-founder Michael Snyder train and raise up the next generation of Christian filmmakers. Many Advent students and interns worked on the production of “Alone Yet Not Alone.”
“According to the Motion Pictures Association of America, in 2012 there were 726 films released in the U.S. both theatrical and non-theatrical, which were rated by the MPAA. About the same number of will be released in 2013. Thousands more films are released annually that are ‘unrated’ by the MPAA, totaling approximately 6,000 films produced worldwide each year,” Escobar told WND. “For 75 songs out of these 6,000 films to be selected as eligible for an Oscar nomination by the Academy is an accomplishment in itself and places ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ on a short list indeed.”
As WND reported when “Alone Yet Not Alone” made its limited theatrical run in October, the film is based on the true story of a frontier family caught in the throes of the French and Indian War in 1755. Nationwide release of “Alone Yet Not Alone” is set for Feb. 21, 2014.
The movie is based a novel of the same name written by Tracy Leininger Craven, which tells the struggles of her ancestors in the mid-1700s when British and French forces were fighting for control of the American continent.
The Leiningers, immigrants from Germany who sought freedom to worship in the New World, began to carve out their homestead farm around Penns Creek at the outskirts of western Pennsylvania. Despite the arduous work, the Leiningers labor joyfully, nourished by God’s promises, which they memorize during their daily reading of the cherished family Bible.
Then the unthinkable happens: In a terrifying raid, Delaware warriors kidnap the two young Leininger daughters, Barbara and Regina, taking them captive hundreds of miles away and adopting them into their native culture. Yet through their captivity and eventual escape, they never lose hope and “their faith becomes their freedom.”
Watch the trailer of the film below:
The movie’s screenwriter James Richards said, “Our ancestors built an amazing, wonderful country here. Now we’re charged with handing it off to our children and grandchildren. You cannot do that well if you don’t know where you came from and what your ancestors believed, why they overcame amazing struggles they had to overcome in order to survive and build this nation and hand it over to us.”
Author Tracy Leininger Craven adds, “I’m really thankful to the Lord and for my parents in the way that they passed on our family heritage, but it’s so much deeper than just a family heritage – it’s the faith in Christ and the personal relationship with Him.”
“Alone Yet Not Alone” further garnered the “Family-Friendly Seal” (12+ years) with a five-Dove rating from the prestigious Dove Foundation, an organization that provides online family movie and video reviews and ratings.
Dr. James Dobson, renowned evangelical Christian author, psychologist and founder of Focus on the Family, challenges moviegoers to see “Alone Yet Not Alone.”
He said, “There is such wickedness in the entertainment industry today. You can hardly go to a movie that doesn’t have sex and violence in it and use God’s name in vain. Now here comes one that is an uplifting story based on biblical truth and a family that experienced some horrible things and yet God brought them through it.”
Executive producer, Ken Wales, (producer of “Amazing Grace” and the “Christy” TV series) added, “It is really perhaps the most definitive, exciting film ever done about the pre-revolutionary time in America.”