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Moviegoers Have Two Great Reasons to Cheer

So, who is going to win big at the 20th Annual MOVIEGUIDE® Faith & Values Awards Gala next February, 2012? I have two top picks.

Soul Surfer

Brave Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in
a shark attack

My first pick is Soul Surfer due to open in 2,000 U.S. theatres Friday, April 8. If you ever wondered if Hollywood could get it right, the answer is a resounding “yes!” I had the privilege of reading the Soul Surfer screenplay 18 months ago, and watching a sneak preview of the movie itself this past Tuesday. The movie is a dream come true for one of the most inspirational young Christian women I have ever interviewed, Bethany Hamilton.

Here is a synopsis of Soul Surfer provided by Affirm Films and TriStar Pictures.

Soul Surfer is the inspiring true story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack and courageously overcame all odds to become a champion again, inspiring millions worldwide through the love of her family, her sheer determination, and her unwavering faith in Jesus Christ. The film features an all-star cast, including AnnaSophia Robb and Helen Hunt, with Carrie Underwood in her film debut, and Dennis Quaid. Bethany (played by AnnaSophia Robb) was born to surf. A natural talent who took to the waves at a young age, she was leading an idyllic, sun-drenched, surfer girl’s life on the Kauai Coast, competing in national competitions with her best friend Alana (Lorraine Nicholson), when everything changed in a heartbeat. On Halloween morning, Bethany was on a typical ocean outing when a 14-foot tiger shark came out of nowhere and seemed to shatter all her dreams. In the wake of this life-changing event that took her arm and nearly her life, Bethany’s feisty determination and steadfast faith spur her toward an adventurous comeback that gives her the grit to turn her loss into a gift for others.

Courageous

Poster for the movie

My second pick is Courageous due in theatres across the U.S. Friday, September 30. If you wondered if the makers of Fireproof could make another great film, the answer is an enthusiastic “Amen!” Just today Provident Films asked me to critique three proposed Courageous movie posters.

Here is a synopsis of Courageous provided by Sherwood Pictures and Provident Films.

As law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, and their partners are confident and focused. They willingly stand up to the worst the world can offer. Yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge that none of them are truly prepared to tackle: fatherhood. While they consistently give their best on the job, good enough seems to be all they can muster as dads. But they’re quickly discovering that their standard is missing the mark. They know that God desires to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, but their children are beginning to drift further and further away from them. Will they be able to find a way to serve and protect those that are most dear to them? When tragedy hits home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Can a newfound urgency help these dads draw closer to God…and to their children?

The biggest winner? The millions of moviegoers looking for entertaining and exceptionally well made faith-affirming films.

As a Christian husband and father, I couldn’t be happier!


David Sanford is a widely published author, editor, and literary agent. His newest book is If God Disappears: 9 Faith Wreckers and What to Do about Them (SaltRiver, Tyndale House Publishers). David also is the executive editor of the acclaimed new Holy Bible: Mosaic (Tyndale House), www.HolyBibleMosaic.com


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