|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2019
Announcement at Proclaim 19 Marks Unprecedented Slate Of Faith Films With Goal Of Releasing Two Movies Each Year
ANAHEIM, Calif. (KINGDOM/NRB) – Kingdom Studios, founded late last year by the creators of I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, the sleeper hit and top grossing independent film of 2018, unveiled an unprecedented slate of faith-based film projects to be developed and produced by Kingdom and released through their recently announced partnership with global content leader Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B).
During a two-hour, keynote event held to formally reveal the studio slate at the National Religious Broadcasters’ convention in Anaheim, Kingdom brought several special guests to the stage including the rousing Grammy Award-winning musical group for KING & COUNTRY; pastor Greg Laurie; #1 selling music artist Jeremy Camp, whose life story will be the focus of an upcoming Kingdom biopic; and a special taped message from Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake, among others.
“We are thrilled that Kingdom Studies announced its slate of new projects during Proclaim 19,” said Troy Miller, NRB’s executive vice president and COO. “They are an incredible group to work with, and The Erwin Brothers represent some of the most creative and brilliant talent in filmmaking today. The partnership with Kingdom demonstrates that there is no other place in the Christian world that has the platform of NRB to launch such an ambitious project. We look forward to working with Kingdom during our next two conventions as they roll out projects announced at Proclaim 19.”
Kingdom Studios co-founders and acclaimed directors Jon Erwin and Andrew Erwin (I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, WOODLAWN) told the packed convention crowd that their new company was already ramping up production on the slate, developing much of the material in-house while also working with talented storytellers. They said their growing team is focused on developing and producing inspirational and aspirational family entertainment. Kingdom will deliver event movies for the faith audience with the goal of releasing two theatrical releases each year.
“The dream of Kingdom Studios is simple: to create a media company dedicated to telling life-changing stories by empowering incredible artists and creatives,” said Jon Erwin.
“We are excited to partner with global content leader Lionsgate to make that dream a reality,” said Kingdom Studio co-founder and producer Kevin Downes.
“Lionsgate is built on the very idea of delivering all audiences stories that inspire, uplift, and entertain. The films that Kingdom has unveiled today add an exciting new dimension to our already existing commitment and relationship within the faith community. Together, our unprecedented partnership will ensure these films have the full resources, strength, and support of our studio to amplify Kingdom’s existing vision while reaching the widest possible audience globally,” said Drake. “Jon, Andrew, and Kevin are filmmakers who are completely dedicated to their craft and have established a strong relationship with an audience by consistently delivering high quality films and doing it with an intimacy that is very special to witness. Lionsgate is beyond thrilled to work in partnership with this team and their company to help build from and expand that reach and message even further. Now more than ever is a time when we need films like these and a company like Kingdom.”
The keynote marked the first time a studio-backed production company announced a slate of films it was producing for the faith audience.
The first film for Kingdom Studios, as previously announced, is I STILL BELIEVE. Scheduled for release on March 20, 2020, the inspirational drama chronicles the true-life story of Christian music mega-star Jeremy Camp. His remarkable journey of love and loss proves there is always hope in the midst of tragedy and that faith tested is the only faith worth sharing. The film is written by Jon Erwin and Jon Gunn, directed by The Erwin Brothers, and will be produced by Kevin Downes.
New films announced by Kingdom Studios include:
JESUS REVOLUTION,which tells the true story of a national spiritual awakening in the early 1970s and its origins within a community of teenaged hippies in Southern California. The film will be produced in association with pastor Greg Laurie. Written by Jon Erwin and Jon Gunn, the film will be directed by Jon Gunn (THE CASE FOR CHRIST, LIKE DANDELION DUST), and produced by Kevin Downes and the Erwin Brothers.
Downes also introduced a trilogy of films inspired by the Bible that will create a new cinematic universe of Biblical stories. “The best-selling book of all time is the perfect source material for the most gripping character-driven cinematic universe ever undertaken,” said Downes. The first film in the trilogy will be APOSTLES: RESURRECTION OF CHRIST. The film will be written by Jon Erwin and Jon Gunn and directed by The Erwin Brothers. Kevin Downes will produce.
To end the keynote, the team gave a sneak peek into a film that has just entered development. THE DRUMMER BOY is a period musical being developed in association with the faith-based musical group for KING & COUNTRY, the two-time Grammy Award winning duo who have garnered four No. 1 singles (“joy,” “Priceless,” “Fix My Eyes,” and “Shoulders”) and nine Top 10 hits, and had songs featured on the Emmys, Super Bowl, Sunday Night Football, and many other high-profile events, including performances on The Tonight Show, Today, and Jimmy Kimmel Live! Introducing the film and the band, Andrew Erwin described the film as something “never seen before in the faith space that will surprise and delight audiences everywhere.” The film is currently in the early stages of development and will be written and directed by the Smallbone Brothers, co-written by Richard Ramsey (The Song), and produced by Kevin Downes and The Erwin Brothers. Luke Smallbone will serve as an executive producer.
Kingdom Studios’ executives include Jon Erwin, Andy Erwin, Kevin Downes (the trio that has created films such as I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, WOODLAWN, STEVE MCQUEEN: AMERICAN ICON) and Tony Young (I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, THE SONG). Kingdom Studios has operations in both Los Angeles and Nashville.
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a nonpartisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to advance biblical truth, promote media excellence, and defend free speech. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. This year, NRB marks its 75th anniversary as an association. Learn more at www.nrb.org.
About the NRB Convention
The annual NRB International Christian Media Convention is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic Exposition consists of around 200 companies and is an active marketplace for those seeking tools and services to expand their organizations. The next Convention will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, March 26-29, 2019. For more information, go to www.nrbconvention.org.
About Kingdom Studios
From the creators of I CAN ONLY IMAGINE comes Kingdom Studios, a new entertainment content company in partnership with Lionsgate. Helmed by Jon Erwin, Andy Erwin, Kevin Downes and Tony Young, the company endeavors to create life-changing content from a variety of talented storytellers.
The first major new studio in decades, Lionsgate is a global content platform whose films, television series, digital products and linear and over-the-top platforms reach next generation audiences around the world. In addition to its filmed entertainment leadership, Lionsgate content drives a growing presence in interactive and location-based entertainment, gaming, virtual reality and other new entertainment technologies. Lionsgate's content initiatives are backed by a nearly 17,000-title film and television library and delivered through a global licensing infrastructure. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring and ground-breaking content created with special emphasis on the evolving patterns and diverse composition of the Company's worldwide consumer base.
James A. Smith Sr., for NRB
Steve Elzer, for LIONSGATE
Jennifer Willingham, for KINGDOM STUDIOS
ICON Media Group
National Religious Broadcasters
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