Archive for February 23rd, 2012

February 23, 2012

MIKE FOSTER Guest Post: Don’t Let Past Mistakes Define You

My dignity as Abba’s child is my most coherent sense of self– Brennan Manning

In January 1998, Monica Lewinsky found herself in way over her head. Her face was on the front page of every newspaper, and each new day seemed to bring one more humiliation.  She was 25 years old – and caught in a presidential sex scandal.  She had no idea what was coming.

Today, at the age of 38, she’s still caught.  Single, alone, and running out of options, she’s the butt of jokes, the object of stares – the easy sexual punchline.  Seventeen years later.

Most of us are not former presidential interns.  Most of us haven’t had our decisions scrutinized by pundits and talk-show hosts.  And most of us haven’t had an affair with the most powerful man on the planet. We’re nothing like Ms. Lewinsky.  Or are we?

How many of us live with embarrassment about secrets that got out?  Or betrayal from past lovers and friends?  Or fear that someone will recognize us as a fraud?  Or hopelessness, brought on by repeated failures?  I’m willing to bet Ms. Lewinsky knows what that’s like, and I’m willing to bet more than a few of us do too.

Those of us caught in embarrassment, betrayal, fear, and hopelessness are living with a label that lies. We live branded by things that happened years – maybe even decades – before. And as a society, we are 100% percent OK with letting that label stick.

Maybe you’ve heard or said things like:

“He’s the pastor that was bangin’ his secretary and then ran off with her.”

“Isn’t she the one that was hooked on prescription drugs and went crazy?”

“Remember, that’s the pervert youth pastor that was caught looking at porn at work.”

In our desperate need to understand each other and place people in context, we attach permanent labels – usually from the dirtiest and most controversial part of the story.  Sometimes the label is attached to others, and sometimes it is a label we believe about ourselves.  Either way, the label lies, strips away our complex humanity, and falls short of describing who we really are.

Grace is the second chance that erases labels for others, and it’s the permission to move on that we give ourselves. And yet, grace is so scarce.  It’s disappearing, and its disappearance is leaving an army of wounded “has-beens” and “screw-ups” in its wake.

In grace’s absence, we instead choose to label.  Our culture thrives on devouring the Monica’s, the Haggard’s, and the Michael Vick’s, replaying their past mistakes for a quick fix of pleasure and entertainment. It makes us feel good to think that people have flaws worse than ours; it feeds the insecurity caused by our own labels.

So what can we do?  For one thing, we can stop kicking people when they’re down.  We can start skipping the water cooler, deleting the emails, and raising our voice on behalf of second chances.  When someone seeks to label another soul, we can speak up on their behalf.

We can start risking our own “personal brand” to encourage the downtrodden and defend life’s outcasts.  In fact, People of the Second Chance was started to do just that – tear down the labels of a Vulture Culture and replace them with a culture of grace and second chances.

Of course, this is all utterly impossible if we can’t rediscover our own identity in grace.  Giving someone a second chance starts with giving ourselves a second chance.  It means stripping away the labels that we wear and finding the truth of who we are in grace.  I’m sorry, but you can’t give what you haven’t first received. The strength to forgive others and forgive ourselves comes from finding our identity as the one God forgave first.  In the face of that grace, labels are shattered.  In the face of that grace, dehumanization crumbles.  And in the face of that grace, someone like Monica Lewinsky stops being the punchline.


February 23, 2012

Kirk Franklin’s Hello Fear certified Gold by RIAA For Shipments Of 500,000 Copies

 
 
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Kirk Franklin and his chart-topping album Hello Fear just went certified Gold, as reported by RIAA. The announcement follows Franklin’s two GRAMMY Award wins for Best Gospel Album (Hello Fear) and Best Gospel Song (“I Smile”) earlier this week at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards celebration held on Feb. 12 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The legendary gospel artist on Verity Gospel Music Group, with these two new trophies, now has nine career GRAMMY Awards. Franklin also performed at this year’s live NBC Network NAACP Image award show Friday, Feb. 17—in which he was nominated for two awards—Outstanding Song (“I Smile”) and Outstanding Gospel Album (Hello Fear).
Franklin’s Hello Fear debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Gospel sales chart and #5 on the Billboard Top 200 when it was released last spring, making the album the fourth highest Gospel debut in Soundscan history. In addition to his GRAMMY wins and NAACP nominations, Franklin was also awarded four Stellar Awards for Hello Fear and “I Smile”—Song of The Year, CD of the Year, Producer of the Year, and Contemporary CD of the Year. Franklin performed “I Smile” on last year’s American Idol finale, and was #1 at Gospel radio for 23 weeks, hitting Urban AC radio at #1. Currently, Franklin stars as Baylor Sykes in the feature film Joyful Noise starring Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah. He also hosts and executive produces gospel talent show Sunday Best, the highest-rated gospel program in BET network history, now heading into its fifth season. 
Kirk Franklin is the #1 selling Gospel artist of all time. For two decades, he has been a pioneer in gap-bridging musicianship, uniting gospel, hip-hop, pop, and R&B audiences. His rhythms have resulted in albums that have consistently topped Billboard‘s Gospel, Christian, and R&B/Hip Hop charts. He is a New York Times best-selling author for The Blueprint: A Plan for Living Above Life’s Storms (Gotham/Penguin). To date, Franklin has garnered nine GRAMMY Awards, an American Music Award, 35 Stellar Awards, 14 Dove Awards (CCM), six NAACP Image Awards, and two BET Awards. 
Franklin was named GQ’s “Best Dressed Men” at this year’s GRAMMY Awards.
February 23, 2012

Roadside Attractions set to release Blue Like Jazz, the much-anticipated film adaptation of Donald Miller’s best-selling book.

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Roadside Attractions has acquired all U.S. rights to the film Blue Like Jazz. Directed and co-written by Steve Taylor (The Second Chance) the film will have its World Premiere in the Narrative Spotlight section at the 2012 South-by-Southwest Film Festival before opening in theatres on Apr. 13. Lionsgate will handle all ancillaries including DVD, VOD, and TV through their output deal.
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller spent 43 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List and has sold over 1.5 million copies to date. The semi-autobiographical story was adapted for the screen by Miller, Taylor, and Ben Pearson.
In the early days of pre-production, the project was forced to be put on hold due to lack of funding, prompting a Web site to be created by fans, for fans, called “Save Blue Like Jazz”. The site urged loyalists to help raise money to fund the movie through Kickstarter, an online matchmaker for filmmakers and financial backers. The campaign went on to raise a record-setting $345,000, more than doubling the original goal of $125,000, allowing the film to start production.
In Blue Like Jazz, Don (Allman), a pious 19-year-old sophomore at a Texas junior college, impulsively decides to escape his religious upbringing for life in the Pacific Northwest at one of the most progressive campuses in America, Reed College in Portland. Upon arrival, Reed’s surroundings and eccentric student body proves to be far different than he could possibly imagine from the environment from which he came, forcing him to embark on a journey of self-discovery to understand who he is and what he truly believes.
The film boasts a cast of rising stars including Marshall Allman (True Blood), Claire Holt (The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars), and Tania Raymonde (Lost). Blue Like Jazz was produced by Taylor, J. Clarke Gallivan, and Coke Sams for Ruckus Film.
Additional outreach and grassroots partnerships will continue to dominate the entertainment, college, and faith-oriented landscape in the coming weeks with a number of promotional activities:
Blue Like Jazz will have its World Premiere at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival on Tuesday, March 13th at the historic Paramount Theatre. Film star and Austin native Marshall Allman is expected to attend along with Steve Taylor and Don Miller.
Steve Taylor and Don Miller will kick off a 30-city bus tour on Feb. 29, during which they will host screenings, events and discussions geared towards fans of the book and early supporters of the film. Please visit: http://www.bluelikejazzthemovie.com/ for more information.
4500 Kickstarter backers on record, along with other fans and Blue Like Jazz followers are being organized into ‘street teams’ for the purpose of creating awareness for the film. Over 5,000 supporters are already confirmed to participate with offline and online promotion impressions that are set to reach an estimated 2.5 million potential moviegoers.
An unprecedented promotion with leading Christian culture media outlet RELEVANT commenced Feb. 14. The partnership includes promotion across all print, Web, live event, and social media platforms through the film’s opening.
Christian leadership organization CATALYST has been a supporter of the project at events in 2011 and will continue through its spring opening. The film was featured for a select group of influencers at Catalyst East in October and will be featured at Catalyst West this April.
The international aid organization World Vision will support the film through the launch of its new “act:s” network of creative activism. The film will be a featured campaign on the February launch of this new initiative where followers will be challenged to host screening parties in opening weekend markets.
“Releasing a meaningful and smart film like Blue Like Jazz, which has a grass roots following from both the bestselling book and its successful Kickstarter origins, is a coup for Roadside Attractions,” said co-president Eric d’Arbeloff. “We look for our films to speak to many different audiences, and BLJ’s story of college freshman’s journey speaks to both a faith audience and a young audience in general.”
“Roadside Attractions has been our first choice for a distributor ever since I told Howard and Eric about the project five years ago,” says director Steve Taylor. “They’ve got a great track record bringing eclectic movies to the widest possible audience, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with them.”
The deal was negotiated by Howard Cohen on behalf of Roadside with Taylor and V.T. Murray for Tennessee-based The Panda Fund on behalf of the filmmakers.
February 23, 2012

Hachett Book Group’s Center Street to publish Jeremy Lin: The Reason for the Linsanity.

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Hachette Book Group announced today it will publish Jeremy Lin: The Reason for the Linsanity, an inside look at the life and development of Jeremy Lin as a professional basketball player, by Timothy Dalrymple. The book is scheduled for publication in May 2012 on the Center Street imprint.
Harvard graduate Jeremy Lin recently became a New York Knicks phenomenon and he’s the NBA’s first American-born player of Taiwanese descent. The book will chronicle Lin’s high school, college and early career in the NBA with particular emphasis on the media explosion surrounding his success as starting guard with the Knicks. It will explore how Jeremy’s Christian faith, family, education and cultural inheritance have contributed to his success. The book will also include interviews with basketball experts on Jeremy’s future in the NBA, Asian-American thought leaders on the role of race in Jeremy’s rise to stardom, and renowned Christian athletes and pastors on the potent combination of faith and sports.
Timothy Dalrymple is writing the book and his interviews with Jeremy Lin over the past two years followed the basketball phenom even before his emergence on the world stage. Dalrymple serves as the Director of Content for Patheos.com. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Stanford University, a M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary and a PhD at Harvard University.
Dalrymple has interviewed athletes and coaches from Jeremy Lin and Tony Dungy to Michael Chang and Carly Patterson on the role of faith in sports. He has written broadly on the issues of faith and ethnicity as they pertain to sports. Dalrymple has a deep connection to the Asian-American Christian culture: at Harvard University, where he was a doctoral student and a teaching assistant throughout Jeremy’s years there and in the Bay Area, where Lin grew up. He has also served for years in Asian-American ministries and churches.
The book was acquired by Rolf Zettersten, publisher for Center Street.
February 23, 2012

The Latest Christian News Featuring Donald Miller, Jeremy Lin, John Piper, Lecrae, Kirk Franklin, Lindsay Mccaul

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Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz Movie Signs With Major Hollywood Distributor.

Hachett Book Group’s  Center Street to publish Jeremy Lin: The Reason for the Linsanity.

Kirk Franklin’s Hello Fear certified Gold by RIAA For Shipments Of 500,000 Copies

PROVIDENT’S LINDSAY MCCAUL Talks About Songwriting, How She Got Her Start In Christian Music And Her New Album

JEREMY LIN Talks About His Favorite Music: I’m A Huge Lecrae And Hillsong United Fan! (VIDEO)

John Piper Interviews Lecrae At PASSION 2012 

GEOFF SURRATT Guest Post: I Felt Alone And Disconnected At Almost Every Church I Visited With My Wife


February 23, 2012

GEOFF SURRATT Guest Post: I Felt Alone And Disconnected At Almost Every Church I Visited With My Wife

 

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When finally given the opportunity to simply attend, and not preside or preach at a given church on Sunday, two notable Christian leaders found out just how difficult it was to fit into and connect to a new church today.

Having no current pastoral obligations, Geoff and Sherry Surratt, who have both served extensively at churches like Seacoast and Saddleback, visited over the past few months nine different churches, attending as anonymous visitors.

“It has been an eye-opening experience,” Geoff Surratt shared on ChurchLeaders.com. Discovering firsthand the obstacles of connecting with a new church, the former Seacoast Church executive pastor shared a few pointers on how to “make your church stickier” and retain visitors.

“None of these ideas are new or revolutionary, but I bet you think your church is a lot better at each one than you really are,” the father of two noted. “Trust me on this; they’re not.”

For example, though most churches thought they were a friendly and welcoming group, in actuality, they had minimal contact with newcomers outside of the front door greeting.

From an outsider’s perspective, a church could come off cold and unwelcoming because more often than not their greetings were never extended beyond the initial exchange.

The only interaction newcomers would get after their first step through the door would be during the “forced greeting time,” when neighbors only acknowledged their presence whe

n they were directed by their leaders to do so.

“Feeling alone and disconnected is the one experience we’ve had at almost every church we’ve attended,” Surratt shared, also stating that his wife, an extrovert, felt the same way.

In order to extend the welcome and “friendliness” of the church, he suggested teaching on hospitality, dividing the congregation into sections with chosen leaders responsible for the people who sat in their section, and creating things like a “gorilla greeter” team, made up of people who purposefully sought to find those who were disconnected and connect with them.

Many people seek connection and relationships when they come to church, but are often left alone and desperate for a friend.

“People want to connect, you want people to connect; let’s put significant time and energy into making this happen,” the Denver resident advised.

Although he was not pushing “consumer Christianity,” he felt that churches should be more like car lots, not in an overbearing or forceful way, but with the mentality of “How can I put you in this car today?”

“If the main reason people are showing up at church is to find relationships, there has to be a way to help them connect today. Not next month, not at the pancake breakfast on Saturday, but today.”

While friendliness and maintaining relationships are important, clear signs and directions are just as vital for first-timers, Surratt stated.

Marking where the parking lots, worship rooms, restrooms, and other places are located while also detailing programs for guests are things that help visitors navigate the church better.

Though regular churchgoers have ingrained the layout and worship schedule into their memories, no longer even needing to think about where to go and what to do, visitors are usually lost from beginning to end without guidance.

“The bottom line is we should do everything we can to make our church at least as easy to navigate as the local Target.”

Additional ways Surratt felt churches could be made “stickier” included better applicable and practical Gospel-centered preaching and more readily accessible volunteer opportunities and resources for newcomers as well.

All in all, Geoff and Sherry Surratt’s reflection on their personal experience with the church today is aimed at creating a warmer environment for the first-time visitor, guest, and attendee who feels lonely, needs comfort, or is discovering God for the first time.

Surratt not only seeks to help newcomers but the church as a whole as well to function in love and unity.

Geoff Surratt is currently a freelance Church Catalyst and Encourager and has written three books including Ten Stupid Things That Keep Churches From Growing. His wife, Sherry, was recently named the new president and CEO of MOPS International beginning January.

February 23, 2012

John Piper Interviews Lecrae At PASSION 2012

John Piper interviewed Lecrae in the recent PASSION 2012 conference, and Lecrae says that he sees himself as a relevant minister in an urban culture wherein he can share the word of God through songs and music.

WATCH:

February 23, 2012

JEREMY LIN Talks About His Favorite Music: I’m A Huge Lecrae And Hillsong United Fan!

Jeremy Lin says he’s a big Lecrae and Hillsong Fan

February 23, 2012

PROVIDENT’S LINDSAY MCCAUL Talks About Songwriting, How She Got Her Start In Christian Music And Her New Album

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How did you get your start in music?
Lindsay: Well, I grew up with it. My dad loves singing, so that’s how I started loving music I guess. But when I was attending Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for college– I had started writing songs when I was probably, I don’t know… I think 12 or 13, somewhere around there. So I had just written and written, and when I was at Moody, when I was a freshman, this senior girl (who led worship in chapel) came by my room and she was like, “Hey, I’m about to graduate and I know that you write songs and you play the guitar. I need somebody to fill my spot when I graduate.” And I was like, “I’m not a worship leader. I don’t think that’s such a good idea.” And she was like, “No, I think you’d be a good replacement.” And I was like, “No, no… I really don’t do that.” And she was like, “No, I really think you are. And I actually signed you up for two weeks from now, so you should start practicing.” *laugh* Sooooo that was a little nerve-wracking, but that’s how I started leading worship.
After I graduated Moody and was leading worship there, I came to my church in the suburbs of Chicago called Harvest Bible Chapel, and I was leading worship there and writing. A friend, this guy named Jason Ingram, also came up to Harvest to lead worship every once in a while. He calls it his church away from home. And he called me out of the blue one day and said, “Hey Lindsay, I know you write songs. What do you want to do with those songs?” And I was like, “Umm…. I don’t know… sing them for Jesus?” *laugh* And he’s like, “Well, have you ever thought about maybe working with a record label and getting some more use from your songs other than you playing them by yourself?”
And I was like, “Well… I don’t know. Obviously I’ve thought about it, but I don’t know how to do that.” And he said, “Well, I can help you. Why don’t you pray about it?” And I prayed about it.
So I went down to Nashville, and we just started writing songs together–Jason and I–and he introduced me to the people at Provident, which is where I found my record label home. So Jason was kind of the key piece in doing more of this kind of thing.
It sounds like you just kind of fell into the music thing? 
Lindsay: Well yeah, I’d thought about it. I’d always thought, you know… ’cause I wrote songs. I’d been writing songs for a long time. But well… you know, how many people get to do that? Tons of people write songs and sing. And how many people get to work with a record label? Not very many people do that. So I was like, “well, surely I’m not going to be one of those people that gets to work with a label and tour and do that, so I should just give that up.”
But I had prayed about it. Like, “God, I would love to do that someday.” When I was even in high school, I was thinking about it. Like, “God, if you want me to do that, then you just open the door.” But I didn’t want to just move to Nashville like, “Hey this is what I’m going to do!” if that wasn’t what God wanted me to do. I didn’t wanna decide for myself. I thought surely God is big enough that if He wants me to do that, he can make that happen, and he did!
For me, it was a huge faith-building moment to realize that we can trust God with the desires of our hearts because he knows how to get us. He knows how to fulfill those desires, and He will because He has given us those desires. So that was a really cool moment for me to see that God had fulfilled that dream for me, and I didn’t have to push for it.
So Writing the story songs comes more naturally to you?
Lindsay: Yeah, for sure. Definitely the story songs. Those come out of, you know, any different season that I’m in, I usually find myself thinking about writing a song about it. And actually, usually I feel like God will remind me of a person in the Bible that experienced a little bit of the same situations that I’ve experienced. Does that make sense? (Jen: Mmhm. Yeah, totally.) Like “Take My hand” is about Peter on the Sea of Galilee and that realization we all come to every once in a while that we aren’t in control and that we need Jesus to be with us, to receive him. And my song “If It Leads Me Back” is about Job and his suffering and his decision — even through extreme difficult hardship — he still said to God, “You give and you take away and blessed be your name.” And that’s what I wanted my response to be to the Lord through every situation.
So a lot of my songs come out of seasons where I’m thinking about, like, “Okay, God, this isn’t something that I would have chosen for myself, but obviously you’ve allowed me to go through this season, so what are you trying to show me? What am I missing here? I wanna learn whatever you want me to learn in this situation, because obviously that’s why you brought me here. So don’t let me miss it.” And then he’ll kind of bring a story or a truth from his Word to my heart to just remind me that someone else has gone through something like this before. That is really comforting.
 So how would you describe the sound of your new album to someone who might not know your music?
Lindsay: Hmmm… well, the sound I would hope is… kind of acoustic? Well it’s not really all acoustic. I guess… pop… acoustic pop.
But it’s not all acoustic. *laugh* That’s not a very complete summary.
So what is your personal creative process like? Do you start with music or words? What’s your preferred method?
Lindsay: It varies. It can go either way, but usually I start with song lyrics. And things start kind of coming, usually when I’m trying to fall asleep. That’s the honest truth.
Okay, so you mentioned Sara Bareilles. What are some of your other favorite musicians?
Lindsay: Oooooh, okay… Steven Curtis Chapman is my all-time favorite. I think he is just a genius, lyrically. And Nichole Nordeman. Those are my top two. She is… man, that woman…
Steven Curtis Chapman and Nichole Nordeman both have my favorite songs. I feel like they understand so well how to craft lyrics. Like what I strive to do lyrically, they have. You know, I want my songs to be reflections of their writing, I guess.
Let me see, who else do I love? Um… well definitely Sara Bareilles. Brandon Heath… I love Brandon’s stuff. I think he’s a great writer too. I’m a big fan of Meredith Andrews! (Even though she was my roommate.) I think she’s amazing… she really is. She has one of the most humble, genuine hearts, and her music does reflect that, I feel like. And I think Matthew West is a great writer. Um… I’m not saying this because I’m on tour with them, but I love Casting Crowns. They have incredible music and they are incredible people to match up with their songs, so… yeah!
This Was fun
Yeah, it was thanks for stopping by
No problem.
February 23, 2012

Hachett Book Group’s Center Street to publish Jeremy Lin: The Reason for the Linsanity.

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Hachette Book Group announced today it will publish Jeremy Lin: The Reason for the Linsanity, an inside look at the life and development of Jeremy Lin as a professional basketball player, by Timothy Dalrymple. The book is scheduled for publication in May 2012 on the Center Street imprint.
Harvard graduate Jeremy Lin recently became a New York Knicks phenomenon and he’s the NBA’s first American-born player of Taiwanese descent. The book will chronicle Lin’s high school, college and early career in the NBA with particular emphasis on the media explosion surrounding his success as starting guard with the Knicks. It will explore how Jeremy’s Christian faith, family, education and cultural inheritance have contributed to his success. The book will also include interviews with basketball experts on Jeremy’s future in the NBA, Asian-American thought leaders on the role of race in Jeremy’s rise to stardom, and renowned Christian athletes and pastors on the potent combination of faith and sports.
Timothy Dalrymple is writing the book and his interviews with Jeremy Lin over the past two years followed the basketball phenom even before his emergence on the world stage. Dalrymple serves as the Director of Content for Patheos.com. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Stanford University, a M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary and a PhD at Harvard University.
Dalrymple has interviewed athletes and coaches from Jeremy Lin and Tony Dungy to Michael Chang and Carly Patterson on the role of faith in sports. He has written broadly on the issues of faith and ethnicity as they pertain to sports. Dalrymple has a deep connection to the Asian-American Christian culture: at Harvard University, where he was a doctoral student and a teaching assistant throughout Jeremy’s years there and in the Bay Area, where Lin grew up. He has also served for years in Asian-American ministries and churches.
The book was acquired by Rolf Zettersten, publisher for Center Street.
February 23, 2012

Roadside Attractions set to release Blue Like Jazz, the much-anticipated film adaptation of Donald Miller’s best-selling book.

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Roadside Attractions has acquired all U.S. rights to the film Blue Like Jazz. Directed and co-written by Steve Taylor (The Second Chance) the film will have its World Premiere in the Narrative Spotlight section at the 2012 South-by-Southwest Film Festival before opening in theatres on Apr. 13. Lionsgate will handle all ancillaries including DVD, VOD, and TV through their output deal.
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller spent 43 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List and has sold over 1.5 million copies to date. The semi-autobiographical story was adapted for the screen by Miller, Taylor, and Ben Pearson.
In the early days of pre-production, the project was forced to be put on hold due to lack of funding, prompting a Web site to be created by fans, for fans, called “Save Blue Like Jazz”. The site urged loyalists to help raise money to fund the movie through Kickstarter, an online matchmaker for filmmakers and financial backers. The campaign went on to raise a record-setting $345,000, more than doubling the original goal of $125,000, allowing the film to start production.
In Blue Like Jazz, Don (Allman), a pious 19-year-old sophomore at a Texas junior college, impulsively decides to escape his religious upbringing for life in the Pacific Northwest at one of the most progressive campuses in America, Reed College in Portland. Upon arrival, Reed’s surroundings and eccentric student body proves to be far different than he could possibly imagine from the environment from which he came, forcing him to embark on a journey of self-discovery to understand who he is and what he truly believes.
The film boasts a cast of rising stars including Marshall Allman (True Blood), Claire Holt (The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars), and Tania Raymonde (Lost). Blue Like Jazz was produced by Taylor, J. Clarke Gallivan, and Coke Sams for Ruckus Film.
Additional outreach and grassroots partnerships will continue to dominate the entertainment, college, and faith-oriented landscape in the coming weeks with a number of promotional activities:
Blue Like Jazz will have its World Premiere at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival on Tuesday, March 13th at the historic Paramount Theatre. Film star and Austin native Marshall Allman is expected to attend along with Steve Taylor and Don Miller.
Steve Taylor and Don Miller will kick off a 30-city bus tour on Feb. 29, during which they will host screenings, events and discussions geared towards fans of the book and early supporters of the film. Please visit: http://www.bluelikejazzthemovie.com/ for more information.
4500 Kickstarter backers on record, along with other fans and Blue Like Jazz followers are being organized into ‘street teams’ for the purpose of creating awareness for the film. Over 5,000 supporters are already confirmed to participate with offline and online promotion impressions that are set to reach an estimated 2.5 million potential moviegoers.
An unprecedented promotion with leading Christian culture media outlet RELEVANT commenced Feb. 14. The partnership includes promotion across all print, Web, live event, and social media platforms through the film’s opening.
Christian leadership organization CATALYST has been a supporter of the project at events in 2011 and will continue through its spring opening. The film was featured for a select group of influencers at Catalyst East in October and will be featured at Catalyst West this April.
The international aid organization World Vision will support the film through the launch of its new “act:s” network of creative activism. The film will be a featured campaign on the February launch of this new initiative where followers will be challenged to host screening parties in opening weekend markets.
“Releasing a meaningful and smart film like Blue Like Jazz, which has a grass roots following from both the bestselling book and its successful Kickstarter origins, is a coup for Roadside Attractions,” said co-president Eric d’Arbeloff. “We look for our films to speak to many different audiences, and BLJ’s story of college freshman’s journey speaks to both a faith audience and a young audience in general.”
“Roadside Attractions has been our first choice for a distributor ever since I told Howard and Eric about the project five years ago,” says director Steve Taylor. “They’ve got a great track record bringing eclectic movies to the widest possible audience, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with them.”
The deal was negotiated by Howard Cohen on behalf of Roadside with Taylor and V.T. Murray for Tennessee-based The Panda Fund on behalf of the filmmakers.