Chasing the Giants

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Church-based production inspires The Rev and a new generation of amateur filmmakers

Facing The Giants, produced by members of a church in Albany, Georgia for $100,000 which went on to make $10 million at the box office, is inspiring a new generation of amateur filmmakers who are producing films on their own and seeking distribution from major studios.

The latest film to follow in the footsteps of Giants is "The Rev", a film written, produced by and starring first-timer John Carmen who stars as the Reverend Johnny Starr, a traveling evangelist who takes his sermons on the road and meets an unlikely cast of miscreants along the way.

Starr, a white Evangelist raised in a devout black family, goes by the moniker "Double 'n' double 'r'" and believes himself to be called by God to be both a minister and a rock star and spread the Gospel. Leaving his career and talent agent in Las Vegas, Johnny takes a pastoral position at a small, poor church in upstate New York. He seeks to awaken the congregation spiritually with his unique preaching style and also save the church's land from being taken over by the local mega-church's head pastor.

While independent films have grown increasingly popular since releases like Slacker (1991) and Pulp Fiction (1994), Facing the Giants opened up a new audience to faith-friendly films that were made by amateur filmmakers who then found studio distribution deals. Carmen too hopes his film will touch moviegoers across the country.

"Independent filmmaking like mine is often the most passionate filmmaking around," noted Carmen. "I put my heart and soul into this film and am proud of what my team was able to accomplish. The tools of the trade of filmmaking are moving into the hands of people like me- filmmakers who are learning our craft as we go along."

The film also stars John Ellison (who originally wrote and recorded the hit song "Some Kind of Wonderful"), Mark Stenabaugh, and Sistah Lois and features a 15-song Gospel music soundtrack featuring Ellison and others.

"I saw Facing the Giants and enjoyed it tremendously," noted Carmen. "The film did a great service to many of us by showing studios that there is a desire for these types of movies out there. Many of us are indebted to them for that."

Carmen hopes for a 2008 release of his film.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Laura at (916) 425-8820. For more information on "The Rev" go to:

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