President Fant Hosts 'Unbroken: Path To Redemption' Private Screening
A new film continuing the story of World War II hero Louis Zamperini’s life, “Unbroken: Path To Redemption,” will be released September 14. Two of the movie’s executive producers were guests at a private screening at North Greenville University recently.
The film follows the second half of “Louie” Zamperini’s life as outlined in Laura Hillenbrand’s New York Times best-selling book. The original “Unbroken” was released via Universal Pictures in 2014.
The continuation of the story was directed by Harold Kronk (God’s Not Dead and its sequel) from a script by Richard Friedenberg and Ken Hixon and was produced by Matthew Baer and Mike Elliott. The film is from Universal 1440 Entertainment, the Work Title Agency (WTA) Group, and Pure Flix.
NGU President Gene C. Fant, Jr. hosted the screening with two of the movie’s executive producers, Bill Reeves and Erik Weir, and other guests at the President’s home on August 21. Reeves is president/owner and Weir is partner/owner of the WTA Group.
“We were grateful that Erik and Bill gave us the opportunity to preview the film before it hits the theaters,” said President Fant. “Their passion for storytelling that points to the Gospel is unparalleled and I look forward to seeing how their companies advance significant conversations between viewers after they watch these thought-provoking films.”
WTA Group is considered a leader in faith-based film marketing and financing. They describe their services to “include product development and business operations, helping ‘creatives’ develop their product and drive the go-to-market strategy, including production, marketing and distribution strategies.”
Reeves, who has worked in the faith-based entertainment industry for three decades, told guests at the screening that he approached NBCUniversal about the possibility of a sequel film after the first movie stopped short of Zamperini’s complete life story. He said a second film was a logical step because telling the entire story in one film would have rivaled “Gone With The Wind” in length.
For Reeves, the screening provided the opportunity to revisit the NGU campus, where he attended a Centrifuge summer camp in the 1980s as a 15-year-old. He said that visit was memorable because of the opportunity to have a moment where God was guiding him as a young Christ-follower. Reeves said three years later he sensed that guidance was into the entertainment marketplace.
The story continues where the film “Unbroken” left off and follows the Olympian and war hero’s post-World War II story and his struggle to find peace and forgiveness after his brutal experiences as a Japanese prisoner of war.
“Unbroken is a marvelous depiction of forgiveness and God’s power to overcome pain and suffering. The fact that it is based on a true story, that of Louis Zampirini, is even more amazing,” said Fant.
“Unbroken: Path to Redemption” stars Sam Hunt (Chicago PD) as Zamperini, and Merritt Patterson (The Royals) as his wife, Cynthia.
Reeves said the film recreated Dr. Billy Graham’s 1949 Los Angeles Crusade, which is where Zamperini made a decision to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior. Graham’s grandson, Will Graham, portrays the young evangelist in the movie.
“Unbroken: Path to Redemption” is scheduled to be released nationwide on September 14.
Photo: From left: Bill Reeves, President Fant,
and Erik Weir at a private screening of "Unbroken: Path to Redemption" hosted at the president's home.
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