Classic Parable of a Loving Father Welcoming Home a Wayward Son Gets Modern Film Makeover

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This Summer "Prodigal Sons" from the Award-Winning Modern Parables Short-Film Series Will Release, Loaded with New Meaning for a Generation Replete with Successful, Older Brothers

Modern Parables offers the truth of God visually in a way that speaks to our modern world.

The picture of a loving father welcoming home a wayward son pulls at most people's heart strings. For this reason, the prodigal son has been a favorite of Jesus' parables since the early centuries of the church. When Compass Cinema's award-winning Modern Parables re-creates a 20-minute short film version for the "screen generation"--all too familiar with the baby-daddy drama and dead-beat dad--audiences will discover why the masterpiece might better be named the parable of the two lost sons.

The Prodigal Sons and The Sower, the final two installments in the popular short-film Bible study series designed for people who love movies, will release in national retail outlets Life Way Christian Stores and Focus on the Family's website on Aug. 20, 2008. Watch the trailers: http://www.modernparable.com/see/prodigal_sons

"The Prodigal Son's sentimental side has sometimes overshadowed other important themes making it a challenge to interpret the parable accurately," says Thomas Purifoy, Modern Parable's producer who co-owns the Nashville, TN-based production company, Compass Cinema. In 2007, the former Navy Officer and Vanderbilt University creative writing graduate received top honors in the "Best Narrative" category at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival for another of the series' short films, Samaritan.

"Simplicity can be deceptive. By focusing on what you think you understand, it is possible to miss what is really there," Purifoy says.

Although product sales have grown well since its debut in October of 2007, Purifoy admits, "Modern Parables flies in the face of cultural norms and requires more thinking…This is not fast food."

More than entertainment, Modern Parable digs into the meatier side of the Bible. Its three-tier approach teaches complex Kingdom theology that Jesus embedded in seemingly simple stories. Modern Parables' individual DVDs (or Group Study Box Set) include a short film, an application video taught by a respected U.S. pastor, a director's commentary, and a combined leader's guide/study booklet. Dr. Robert Lewis, founder of Men's Fraternity, applauds the resource saying, "Modern Parables offers the truth of God visually in a way that speaks to our modern world."

Each of Modern Parables' six short films gives tribute to a classic filmmaker. Prodigal Sons captures Orson Welles' (Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil) tendency toward non-linear scene structure, use of narration, and longer, uncut scenes. Another from the series, The Shrewd Manager, mimics the visual humor and ironic comedy style of Woody Allen.

In Prodigal Sons, the wealthy father owns a large and prosperous healthcare company, and his two sons, Andrew and Jake, work for him. The older son, dedicated to hard work and performance, wins a $15 million account. The younger spends his days pursuing a more leisurely existence and then asks his father for his share of the company. The father grants it despite the counsel of his board and painful financial consequences they liken to "corporate suicide." After the younger son loses his millions on a life of luxury, the father welcomes him home unconditionally--with open arms, kisses and a corner office.

Modern Parable's Prodigal Sons doesn't end there, but stresses the equally important second part of the story--the older son's angry response to his brother's repentant return and to the extravagant homecoming party his father throws. Andrew rebukes his father, "I am the one who has slaved away for you for almost two decades building this company into what it is today. You owe me! Where is my party?"

The often hidden lesson uncovered in Prodigal Sons is one the church could stand to hear, according to Pastor Scotty Smith, founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN. He breaks down the message in the featured commentary section. "The real issue in the parable is pride versus humility. There are more older brothers than younger brother's in today's church."

Purifoy concludes, "Ultimately, it is a parable about two lost sons whom God is seeking. Jesus is calling self-righteous people to examine themselves in light of their relationship to God and their brothers."

Also releasing is Modern Parable's The Sower, a 13-minute documentary taken from Matthew, Mark and Luke's gospels. Shot in the documentary tradition, it follows an 80-year-old wheat farmer growing his crop from sowing to harvest. For more information about Compass Cinema's Modern Parables resources, visit http://www.modernparable.com.

To interview Modern Parables Producer/Director/Screenwriter Thomas Purifoy or to receive press materials, DVD review copies and photos, media should contact Gregg Wooding of I AM PR Services at 972-567-7660 or gwooding @ texasprototypes.com.

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