The filmmakers behind faith-based hits War Room, Fireproof, and Overcomer are teaming up with Kirk Cameron to release their next movie, LifeMark, on September 9. Inspired by a true story, the Kendrick Brothers’ new film is pro-family, pro-reconciliation, pro-forgiveness, pro-adoption, and pro-life.
“My brothers and I were finishing a movie called Overcomer in 2019, and as we were putting the final touches on that, we got a call from Kirk Cameron saying, ‘I have just watched one of the most powerful and moving documentaries I’ve ever seen––it’s called ‘I Lived on Parker Avenue,’” said Alex Kendrick. This short documentary is about a “mother’s agony in choosing what’s best, the joy of a couple starting a family, and young man’s search for where his life began.”
Inspired by this story, LifeMark takes audiences on the journey of a teenage boy who is unexpectedly contacted by his birth mother who had chosen adoption over abortion eighteen years prior. While the film’s storyline and Biblical themes are deeply moving, Kendrick says the film also features humor and fun, including action-packed scenes of adventure activities like ATVs, skydiving, and cliff jumping.
The movie stars Cameron, Rebecca Rogers Nelson, Raphael Ruggero, Dawn Long, Justin Sterner, Marisa Hampton, and Kendrick, with Cameron and Kendrick as executive producers.
The film debuts just two months after the landmark Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and the ultimate overturn of Roe v. Wade. Mindful of the strategic timing of the film, Kendrick said, “We’re hopeful that churches, crisis pregnancy centers, ministries, all jump on this as a real-life tool to reach people… who are trying to determine ‘is this baby worth saving?’”
Reflecting on the importance of a post-Roe era, Kendrick said the goal of the film is “to change the heart of the nation” and how adoption is portrayed.
However, due to its pro-life messaging, several Hollywood studios rejected the film.
“They said, ‘We’re not releasing this one because we’re scared of the response,’” Kendrick told Christian Headlines. “It was interesting when we shot this film, several of the studios that have courted us in the past, and [have] wanted us to go with them as distributors, they all turned down this film,” he added. “So we said, ‘We’re going to do this with grace, we’re going to do this with love, but with truth.’”
In an interview with The Daily Wire, Cameron minced no words, calling the rejection of the film by Hollywood studios “pure cowardice.”
Although past distributors of Kendrick Brothers films rejected the movie, Fathom Events “stepped up” and said they would run the film in over 1,400 theaters, said Kendrick. “We are so grateful for Fathom taking a chance in releasing the movie––it is such a blessing.”
LifeMark’s story of adoption “rings true” for Cameron and the Kendrick brothers, who have adopted children of their own. Four of Cameron’s six children were adopted, and his wife Chelsea was adopted by her parents. Stephen Kendrick and his wife adopted their daughter, Mia, from China.
Kendrick hopes the film will prompt audiences to realize that “life is precious, beautiful, and worth protecting.” Encouraging pastors, faith leaders, and politicians to see the movie, Kendrick remarked that “even though it is a hard story, it is worth telling.”
NRB members Focus on the Family and Answers in Genesis are partnering with LifeMark. In endorsing the film, Focus on the Family President, Jim Daly said, “I’m so excited about the release of LifeMark, an incredibly inspiring film that highlights the beauty of adoption and the heroic sacrifice of women who make this agonizing choice in order to give life to their babies. The Kendrick Brothers, Kirk Cameron, and Fathom Events have collaborated to produce a truly moving story that encourages all of us to remember God has a loving plan for each and every life He knits together in the womb.”