Kendrick brothers Alex, Stephen, and Shannon have been the creative forces behind many a faith-based box-office hit, including the successful “Facing the Giants,” “Fireproof,” “Courageous,” “Overcomer,” and “War Room.”
“War Room” was actually the No. 1 movie in the country on the second weekend of its release. It was also one of highest-grossing Christian films ever made.
The Kendrick brothers recently teamed up with actor Kirk Cameron to produce “Lifemark,” a movie that deals with some of the most central and poignant themes of our times – relationships, forgiveness, and the film’s primary focus, adoption.
Inspired by a true story, a movie such as this would typically have had Hollywood studio executives competing for the project.
It goes a long way to prove that these are anything but normal times.
Alex is one of the executive producers, as are Stephen and Shannon. But Alex has also co-written the film, and he has an acting part in it as well.
The adoption storyline is particularly meaningful for the Kendricks and Cameron.
Stephen Kendrick and his wife welcomed a daughter from China via adoption.
Cameron’s wife Chelsea was adopted by her parents, and four of Kirk and Chelsea’s six children were also adopted.
For those who haven’t yet noticed, contemporary Hollywood has given itself an extreme makeover in both form and substance.
All of this seems to have happened fairly quickly and also quite craftily. It went from “The Entertainment Capital of the World” to “The Woke Capital of the World,” with the end result being that the largest and most powerful entertainment companies are now haplessly out of touch with the beliefs, attitudes, and values of a large portion of their customer base.
Consequently, despite the viable track records of “Lifemark”’s filmmakers, both its star and its executive producer revealed that Hollywood studios, even those that had worked with the Kendrick brothers in the past, rejected the distribution of the film and did so because of the movie’s pro-life message.
Lead actor Cameron called the rebuff by Hollywood studios “good old-fashion cowardice.”
“Even the so-called faith divisions of studios would rather pass from tens of millions of dollars and support horror, violence, and drag queen movies than risk doing anything that celebrates life,”
According to Alex, the studios stated that they were not releasing the film because they were “scared of the response,’”
Alex additionally revealed the following: “Several of the studios that have courted us in the past, and wanted us to go with them as distributors, they all turned down this film.”
The studios apparently wanted something else, anything else but this film.
Alex added, “We said, ‘Well, we cannot be ashamed or afraid to share the truth regarding this subject, to share a true story.’ It’s hard to argue with a true story.”
Still, the lack of independent thought displayed by a sizable number of Hollywood executives makes it seem as though they are impervious to the truth.
Fortunately, Fathom Events, a distribution company, was able to make a rational business decision and is going to arrange to have the film displayed in more than 1,400 theaters.
Alex acknowledges that the subject matter of “Lifemark” is a sensitive one.
“It’s become a political battleground in our country,” he remarked, adding, “We are acknowledging both sides, we’re acknowledging the difficult decision to choose to place your baby for adoption, but it is the better decision.”
“This whole path is not always easy. It is often difficult, but it is beautiful. And so this true story was a perfect example of showing how it could go…,” he said.
The movie project began with a telephone call.
While still in the process of wrapping up a previous film, the Kendricks received an unexpected call from Cameron, who had just watched what he described as “one of the most powerful and moving documentaries I’ve ever seen.”
The documentary was titled “I Lived on Parker Avenue,” and it dealt with the story upon which the “Lifemark” film is based.
The plotline centers around a teenage boy who is contacted by his birth mother, a woman who eighteen years prior had chosen adoption over abortion for her then-tiny son.
Alex believes that the movie can play a role in informing and educating people.
“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?’” Alex explained.
His objective in making and promoting this movie project is “to change the heart of the nation.”
To this end, the desire on the part of the filmmakers is for life itself to be ultimately viewed as “precious, beautiful, and worth protecting.”
“Lifemark” is set to make its mark in theaters nationwide on Sept. 9.