A Fork in the Road

12375233_10208225852984748_2333248504309808376_oWould you like some fresh ideas and methods to effectively reach your community and fulfill the great commission? That’s where I found myself in 2008, and God answered that question for me in an amazing way in my life.

I was born and raised in Hollywood. Not the Hollywood of Southern California, but the Hollywood District in Portland Oregon. In 1983 I became a follower of Christ and my desire was to fulfill the great commission in some form or fashion. In 1993 I graduated from Multnomah University and I was ready to embark on the journey to make a difference in the world. Over the years, I have been able to fulfill that desire with many mission trips, two church plants and numerous years as a pastor to youth and children. I have definitely had numerous mountain top experiences and a few low points of desperation along the way. But all in all the first few chapters have been exciting and fulfilling in so many different ways.

The next few chapters were about to be written in my story. In 2008 the story of my life was about to make a major change in the midst of uncertainty. I was facing a fork in the road and did not know what I was going to do and how I would continue to fulfill the great commission. Well, an opportunity was presented to me. But not in Portland or the Hollywood District this time, instead the Hollywood in Southern California.

The opportunity was to help spread the gospel through the medium of film and over the last twelve years I have had the privilege of working on the marketing teams for over 55 feature films. This opportunity has allowed me to continue to fulfill the great commission.14889989_793656094108018_8680511736822919009_o-1  With stories of lives challenged and changed because of films like Warroom, October Baby, Hacksaw Ridge, Woodlawn, Soul Surfer, The Star, Paul The Apostle of Christ, Breakthrough and I Can Only Imagine. The stories have been nothing short of inspiring and they reminds me that God can use anyone and anything to fulfill the great commission. I am so thankful for the door that the Lord has opened for me to be used in the “other Hollywood”.

film-movies-600xx3157-2105-0-233Currently I am working on two incredible films that deliver a powerful message that will encourage the church and will provide the opportunity to laugh and learn to love through the pain of life. The first film is “I Still Believe” and the second is a family comedy called “Selfie Dad”.

I Still Believe opens in theaters nationwide March 13th and is an inspiring love story for the ages. It’s based on the real-life story of chart-topping singer Jeremy Camp and is a powerful reminder that in the midst of life’s storms, true hope can be found. The film stars Gary Sinise as Jeremy Camp’s father and he does a fabulous job bringing insight to the story.

On June 12th, 2020 Selfie Dad hits theaters one week before Fathers Day. Some films have an inspiring faith-based message and others are fall-out-of-your-chair funny, but I don’t think there has ever been a faith film that was both? I believe Selfie Dad is that movie. Watch for the launch of the official Selfie Dad trailer on Tuesday February 25th, 2020.

Both I Still Believe and Selfie Dad are films that will inspire the church and cause people to reflect on their personal journeys. I hope and pray these films will play a part in stirring renewal and personal revival throughout America.

My journey continues and allows me to fulfill the call the Lord put on my life many years ago ‘to go into all the world and preach the gospel’ with some fresh new ideas using the medium of film to impact culture with the good news.

If you are interested in learning more about these two films and how you can utilize them to impact your community, please email me or give me a call.

David Almgren
dave@faithandfamilyflms.info
503-333-1026

 

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I Still Believe movie website
https://istillbelievemovie.com
https://istillbelievemovie.com/share-tools

 

Selfie Dad the Movie Website
The Selfie Dad official trailer is coming Tuesday February 25th, 2020.
https://selfiedadmovie.com
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A Breakthrough Year for Your Community

By Pastor Jason Noble

jasonheadshot#2Every pastor and church leader I know is looking for creative ways to reach their community, and engage their congregation. In our world today it seems like it’s getting more challenging to creatively reach people in our communities who do not normally attend church. So much is vying for their time and attention. From social media to family to work to entertainment, life has gotten increasingly crazy. Cofilm-movies-600xx3157-2105-0-233uple the craziness and bombardment with the idea that church isn’t even on people’s radar and as a result we definitely have our work cut out for us. The good news is that there are incredible tools at our disposable today to creatively reach our community. This is an exciting time to live. Where we can leverage all of the tools and technology to reach people in our communities. We just have to think different, possibly change the method (we never change the message) and get creative.

Over the last two years I have traveled the nation working on the movie Breakthrough. Not only am I the real pastor in the story, I also have had the opportunity to work on the Church marketing and Engagement team. My passion and focus has been on helping pastors and congregations creatively use this movie as a tool to reach their community. The results have been incredible. Churches have literally had a $15 million-dollar tool paid for by a major Hollywood studio to reach their communities. Did you know that 70%-80% of your community have been to a movie theater? The outreach potential is amazing. People may come to the theater for a movie, before they would ever come to your church.

Hundreds of churches bought out theaters and took groups across the United States to Breakthrough. Churches literally had the opportunity to share the gospel in the theaters and people responded. The result is thousands of people were saved and introduced to local churches in a very creative way. Film impacts people in a powerful way. A great film with a powerful story can reach the heart of a person like nothing I have ever seen before. It’s an incredible tool. Breakthrough came out right before Easter, and answered the question that many pastors have which is “How can I creatively reach my community with the Easter message different than I have before.” Many churches took advantage of Breakthrough and used the movie to promote their Easter services and saw many people came back on Easter Sunday.

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Using film as to reach your community and engage your congregation is easy. The ROI or Return on investment is massive. Most of the work is done for you. All you have to do is setup the showing and arrange it group sales, promote the film, recruit volunteers to help welcome people, recruit a prayer team, and show up. The rest of the work is done for you. You don’t have to worry about concessions or even cleaning up. It’s an easy outreach that will have big impact.

Great tools are created to help you promote and plan for your film outreach. Most faith-based projects provide promotional resources, sermons series, small group curriculum, and video clips to promote the film and make it easy for churches and pastors. Churches also have the tools to equip and empower their congregation members to invite their friends and family to be their guest and come with them to the movie. A movie outreach at the theater becomes a great opportunity for your church families to engage in reaching people in their lives. Asking your friends and family to come to a movie is a very easy thing to do for most people. It’s a great tool to place in their hands to reach people.

You can also use a film to build community in your congregation, or even rent out a whole theater to take your volunteers for a volunteer appreciation. Churches can use a film for many opportunities to make an impact on their congregation and the people in their community.

There was a 15-year girl in Medical Lake WA who had the idea to use “Breakthrough” to reach all of her friends. For her birthday she asked her parents if she could rent out a whole theater. Her birthday was right around the opening weekend. She wanted all of her friends to hear the message behind “Breakthrough”. Her parents rented out the whole theater for her birthday and show “Breakthrough” to a full crowd of all of her friends. A couple of days later she died in a car accident. The kind of impact that she had will only be known when we get to heaven some day. But I promise you this 16-year girl knew what it meant to use a tool like “Breakthrough” to reach the people in her life.

SD poster 12_6_19Currently, we are working on a new movie called Selfie Dad  and it hits theaters June 12th, 2020. One week before Fathers Day.

So what is Selfie Dad all about?

Well some films have an inspiring faith-based message and others are fall-out-of-your-chair funny, but has there ever been a film that was both? Enter Selfie Dad.

Meet Ben Marcus, a husband and father who finds himself caught in the throes of a mid-life crisis. Ben has a lot to be thankful for, but despite everything he has achieved, he simply isn’t happy. He decides that the best way to fill the hole in his life is to fulfill his long set aside dream of becoming a comedian. And what better way to jump start his comedic career than with a YouTube channel? Much to his surprise (and his daughter’s embarrassment), a video of Ben goes viral! Just like that, his new career as “Selfie Dad” takes off, and before Ben knows it, he’s a social media phenomenon!

So why is he still unhappy?

Meet Mickey, a brash IT guy who’s studying to be a pastor. He knows exactly what’s really missing from Ben’s life. Will Ben be open to hearing the Word, and we he allow his heart and life to be truly changed?

At its heart, Selfie Dad is an inspiring story about the power of the Bible told through humor and compassion. Traditionally, faith based films with a strong message are dramas; however, Selfie Dad aims to bring healing and understanding through laughter. After all, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, right?

Selfie Dad stars comedian Michael JR, and Chondra Pierce. The movie is a great family movie that encourages dads to dig in deeper to their relationship with God. It’s a powerful movie that helps dads be better dads by digging into the Bible. The movie will be a great tool for churches to use. Pastors and Church leaders don’t miss the opportunity to reach your community and your congregation this spring with the movie Selfie Dad The movie will be a great follow-up for families right after Easter. It’s easy to promote the movie during your Easter services and then a couple of weeks later go as a congregation. Churches and groups are able to buy-out theaters, and take groups to the theater.

If you have any questions go to selfiedadfilm.com or if we can help you strategize to reach your community with Selfie Dad or any other movie, please email me at jason@advanceteamfilms.com or David Almgren at dave@advanceteamfilms.com.

We are praying  for you and your church and that 2020 is the most incredible BREAKTHROUGH year ever for reaching your community!

Pastor Jason Noble is featured in the highly successful Fox theatrical release of the movie Breakthrough.

It’s A Beautiful Day to Be Kind!

The new movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood hits theaters Friday November 22, 2019 (the Friday before Thanksgiving).  This is a must see movie for everyone that is high school age and beyond. Why you say? Because we need to be reminded what it is like to live in a world that is kind and respectful. The culture we live in today needs a fresh dose of kindness and I believe Mister Rogers delivers that message with precision in this movie.

Fred Rogers was one of the most influential Christians of the 20th century. He conveyed Gospel principles to millions, using stories instead of sermons.

In the film, Fred’s love for Jesus is made self-evident through his ability to see the inner child in everyone. He makes his friend Lloyd feel known and heard. He sees and accepts Lloyd as a child of God.

As Mark 12:31 says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
(The Holy Bible, NIV) In today’s world, we all need to be reminded of the power of love and the importance of saying, “Won’t you be my neighbor?”

Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Here are a few suggestions on how to demonstrate kindness from the Beautiful Day website:

 

  • Write a thank you note to the people in your life who have loved you into being.
  • Complete random acts of kindness in your community. Possible ideas: leave encouraging notes for others to find, post a positive review for a company, befriend someone new.
  • Offer someone a genuine compliment today.
  • Volunteer with a local nonprofit and give back to your neighborhood.
  • Coordinate a donation bin for people in need.
  • Check your road rage at the car door and practice being neighborly on the road.
  • Visit with the elderly at a nearby retirement home.
  • Participate in a neighborhood clean-up to inspire others to care for the environment.
  • Is someone moving into your neighborhood? Greet them with a knock on the door and perhaps a small housewarming gift.
  • Make an anonymous donation to a charity of your choice.
  • Host a neighborhood gathering (like a dinner party) to bless your immediate community.

 

It’s a beautiful day to be kind! Let’s put the fruit of the spirit into practice everyday and not just during the holidays. 

Thanks for your time.

Dave Almgren – Faith and Family Films


Here is the official synopsis from the Sony / Affirm Web site.

Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love and forgiven

Check out the official trailer for the movie;

 

Here is the Heart of the Story video for some back story on the film;

 

 

Resources:

Here are some resources you can use to bring the message of neighborly love to your church and community! http://resources.abeautifulday.movie/

Lessons Of Grace

graceFrom early on in my adult life I knew deep in my heart that my travels through Life would be a little different from ‘the norm’.  I married later than all of my friends, started a family later, and then was blessed to have a daughter who happens to have Down Syndrome.  We had the name ‘Grace’ picked out years before she came along (it is the meaning of my name) and appropriately it means ‘Gift’.  For that is what Grace has been to our family.  It has indeed been a Journey. Grace is now 15 years old and although we get to experience the tween attitude now, we would not trade her in for anything.

Here are some of the Lessons of Grace that we have learned over the years:

  1. IT IS OKAY TO TALK TO PEOPLE ON THE ELEVATOR OR IN LINE… We all tend to avoid eye contact or just stare straight ahead.  Grace, however, loves to meet everyone and socialize with them.  We have met so many strangers over the years because of her.
  2. WHEN PEOPLE ARE SAD, THEY JUST WANT TO BE HUGGED… She is always concerned when someone is crying or sad and wants to hug and console them. Personally, I have a tough time hugging others and do not always know what to do or say when someone is sad.  Grace is teaching me that it is okay to embrace others more.
  3. IT IS IMPORTANT TO SAY “I’M SORRY” IF YOU HURT ANYONE… There were many times that Grace was the reason why other little girls (usually the emotional ones) would be crying.  She went through a long stage of pulling hair when she was young.  I think she was just fascinated with long, golden hair and would reach out to touch it, causing the owner to pull away in shock and get her hair tugged.  Yet Grace always said “Sorry..” and would then try to hug them tightly.  She did not make many close friends during this stage.LessonsfromGrace#1
  4. PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN TOYS… I have been asked multiple times what Grace’s interests or favorite toys are.  It has always been people.  She came out a social butterfly and chats away with anyone she engages with.  However, she has also embarrassed me at times with her strong opinions.  One time someone we met was so excited to get our girls together and Grace took one look at the daughter and said “I don’t like her!” They eventually did become friends, yet that was quite humbling.
  5. SOMETIMES WE JUST NEED TO STOP AND TAKE A NAP… Anywhere. Anytime.  Enough said.
  6. IF YOU ARE SAD, JUST SAY “I AM HAPPY” AND FORGET ABOUT WHAT WAS UPSETTING YOU… Of my three kids, Grace gets over a foul mood quicker than any of them and flashes a smile to let us know that she is happy again.  If only it was that easy for the rest of us!
  7. IT’S IMPORTANT TO WAKE UP EACH MORNING WITH A SMILE… Grace has always been a morning person and now that she is getting older we hear “what’s next?” a lot.  This is tough when we have no plans or she is not excited about “what’s next”.  Yet, unlike her older brother, she always starts the day in a great mood, ready to conquer the Day.
  8. WE ALL WANT FRIENDS WHO LOVE US AS WE ARE AND DO NOT STARE AT US IF WE MAY BE ‘DIFFERENT’… Being my social bug, Grace has made lots of friends over the years.  Bless the ones who have patiently listened to her passing obsessions (over and over again).  We all just want to have people listen to our hearts, don’t we?
  9. WE NEED MORE OF THE ‘OH, WOW SYNDROME’…That is what I call it when Grace is next to me one second, and then missing the next.  What was so fascinating that caused her to say in her head “Oh, wow!” and then take off after it? This was not always logical and yes, we ‘lost’ her temporarily a few times in stores and in our neighborhood.  Now she at least looks back at me like, “Oh, yeah..I’m supposed to check in with you first”.  I need to look around more and find wonderful things that attract my attention.
  10. TO BE CONTENT IN LIFE IS A GREAT THING… There is a stereotype with these wonderful kids with Down Syndrome. The stereotype is that ‘They are always so happy’.  Always happy?  No.  Content?  Yes.  I long to be content with what is going on in my Life, to embrace each day and each person I encounter and to be content.

Grace has been a wonderful gift and is teaching us about living life with a different perspective as we move forward in our journey in life as a family.

“Grace is a pleasant surprise…Grace is a kind gesture.  Grace is something you did not expect.  Yet Grace is something you would never turn down.”  Max Lucado

Have a grace filled day!

Karis Almgren

Stand with Coram Deo Studios

Brad Silverman and Russ Rice of Coram Deo Studios are launching a new film and they are enlisting support from the Christian community. They are attempting to make the boldest Gospel-centered family film ever.  Take a look at the video below to hear more about this new endeavor from Brad and Russ.

Here is a synopsis of the new movie from Coram Deo Studios.

“This touching & poignant family film traces the story of husband, father & author Scott Dempsey who calls himself a Christian, but his life simply doesn’t reflect it. He can talk the talk – but doesn’t walk the walk. That is until Al Watson (a seventy-five-year-old African American who happens to be the Jackie Robinson of NASCAR) befriends Scott’s young family and lives out a loving, Christ-like example before them. Over time, Al presents Scott with the true, Biblical, regenerating gospel of Jesus Christ… then the real journey begins.” The film will go into production early next year and plan for Summer2015 release.

If you would like to know more about this project and to support the movie with your dollars, click on the link below.

click here to find out more information. 

Produce is Coming To Theaters!

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You Never Know Where Hope Grows

This year has been the year filled with movies based upon the Bible. The new year seems to be no different and may even deliver many more faith films than 2014.  There is a new film called “Produce” that is slated for theaters in the Spring of 2015. This is a film that not only entertains, but leaves you inspired. You will appreciate the simple things in life and gain a greater understanding of how to view the world with a little different perspective. Check out the trailer and keep your eyes open for “Produce” the movie.

Veggietales MacLarry Coming Soon!

Veggietales-Maclarry-Stinky-Cheese-Battle-Christian-Film-Movie-DVDBig Idea is set to delivery a new episode from the award winning kids series VeggieTales. This time Larry The Cucumber takes the lead as “MacLarry” and brings us a lesson in getting along with others. Always a great reminder for kids and adults for that matter and as always audiences are served a brand new Silly Song (caution, may cause extreme laughter and singing unexpectedly in the car). The bad news is that you will have to wait until July 27th to secure your own copy.  The good new is that we have the trailer for you to view. Oh, and by the way you can pre order your copy from http:///www.kidzonearth.com.

 

Overview of  MacLarry:

A long time ago, in a land flowing with beards and kilts, there lived two clans who were locked in a longstanding feud! The tribes plotted against each other with various pranks, including water balloon ambushes, bad haircuts, and a host of other hijinks! Dwelling amongst these perpetual pranksters is “MacLarry” — a well-meaning young inventor who just wants to make kooky gadgets!

Try as he may, he has never mastered the art of pranking, even after much training from the Chief prankster himself; his father, Chog Norrius. Discouraged, MacLarry sets on a journey to find the great inventor “Archie-medes”, in hopes of finding a place he can belong. Meanwhile, the feud is escalating and Chog’s clan is plotting their biggest prank yet; releasing the stinkiest cheese in the land on their rivals! When the cheese caper goes afoul, Chog and the people realize they aren’t able to solve the situation on their own — they need MacLarry’s special skills to save the day! Will Chog and the tribe find MacLarry in time to convince him that his unique and God-given gifts are just what is needed to help both clans from being overcome by the loathsome Limburger and resolve their differences for good?

Pre order from http:///www.kidzonearth.com

Home Run The Movie Hits Theaters Today!

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The long awaited release of the new baseball themed movie Home Run hits theaters across the nation today ( check the films web site for theater listings). Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and freedom are apart of America. Well freedom is also the central theme in this new theatrical release from Samuel Goldwyn Films. Home Run takes you on a journey of a man with a bright future, but is haunted by a troubled past. Home Run is a must see film that will entertain and inspire audiences and will also remind us all that there is hope in our  journey of life. There are multitudes who are living life without hope and their addictions have completely overtaken and ruined their lives. My hope is that this movie will not only entertain, but will cause many to look inside and deal with their hurts, habits and hang ups that are keeping many from experiencing FREEDOM!

PLEASE NOTE: The movie is rated PG13 and is for junior high and above. The movie deals with some challenging topics and is not a movie for younger children.

HERE IS A SYNOPSIS OF THE MOVIE FROM THE HOME RUN WEB SITE:

Baseball all-star Cory Brand knows what it takes to win in the big leagues. But off the field, with memories of his past haunting him, his life is spiraling out of control.

Hoping to save her client’s career and reputation after a DUI and a team suspension, Cory’s agent sends him back to the small town where he grew up. Forced to coach the local youth baseball team and spend eight weeks in the only recovery program in town, Cory can’t wait to return to his old life as quickly as possible.

As his young players help him experience the joy of the game, Cory discovers his need to find freedom from his past and hope for his future … and win back the love he left behind. With this unexpected second chance, Cory finds himself on a powerful journey of transformation and redemption.

Based on thousands of true stories, HOME RUN is a powerful reminder that with God, it’s never too late … freedom is possible.

Check out the Home Run Movie trailer and than buy a ticket and go see Home Run this weekend!

Not Today The Movie – In Theaters April 12

This Friday is a BIG weekend for a few films that will deliver a poignant message that is sure to impact the psyche of our culture. The movie “Not Today” is most definitely one of those films and was birthed out of a desire to educate and challenge society to do something to stop slavery.  This is a giant issue to tackle and can be a challenge to really understand what a person can do to make a difference. Some may just ignore the issue and miss this movie altogether. So here’s a cliff note version of what your actions can do and simply start right here. First,  please understand that as you support the film and spread the word this helps create a successful opening weekend. As a result more people will be hearing about the movie and this issue and will explore their roll in helping to fight against slavery. Secondly, your ticket to see the movie is their ticket out of slavery. As a result of spending your money you are partnering with Friends Media and the Dalit Freedom Network who have committed to building 200 schools that will assist in rescuing thousands of children out of the human trafficking business and will give them a new life full of hope.

Not Today is a film that will grab your heart and leave you compelled to do something well beyond the credits. Please check out the movie, invite some friends, talk about the issue and how you can make a difference. Please note that Not Today is not necessarily a family movie because of the subject matter ( PG-13).

SYNOPSIS OF THE MOVIE:

Caden Welles has the world at his disposal. With the resources of his wealthy father, he’s living life as large as any 20-year-old could dream. But what happens when that dream becomes a nightmare halfway around the world?

Traveling with his friends to Hyderabad, India on a whim, Caden’s expectations of a never-ending party crash hard. But not as hard as his conscience when he refuses to help a starving man and his little girl. Haunted by the images of Kiran and Annika, Caden attempts to right his wrong—only to discover Kiran has been forced to sell his own daughter.

Caden’s eyes are now opened to a world few Americans know still exists: a thriving human-trafficking trade. Add the dehumanization of Kiran and hundreds of millions of other Dalits due to India’s caste system, and Caden could easily turn his back.

Yet spurred by a true purpose, an unlikely new friendship, and the prayers of his mother and girlfriend back home, Caden chooses to help in Kiran’s unlikely search to find his daughter.

Starring Cody Longo, Walid Amini, Shari Rigby, and John Schneider, NOT TODAY challenges moviegoers with a purpose that goes beyond its gripping story. The movie was produced by Friends Church Yorba Linda, a congregation committed to educating the Dalits and ending human trafficking in India.

NOT TODAY is a powerful reminder that change is possible if we’re willing to open our eyes … today.

“If not now, then when? If not me, then who?” Jewish leader, Hiller the Elder

Thanks for reading!

Peace

Dave Almgren