Easter Story: Prison Fellowship Screens Stirring Film 'Unconditional' for Inmates

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Inspired by true story of ‘Papa Joe’ Bradford, maximum security convict now helping at-risk kids; Prison Fellowship screens at prisons nationwide.

Prison Fellowship—the world’s largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families—partners with the film UNCONDITIONAL to bring the movie’s life-changing message of hope to thousands of inmates nationwide beginning Easter weekend.

Through a special arrangement with Provident Films, Prison Fellowship will screen UNCONDITIONAL March 30 at Orlando’s Central Florida Reception Center and March 31 at the Desoto Correctional Institution in Arcadia, Fla. The events also feature Prison Fellowship CEO Jim Liske and “Papa Joe” Bradford, a former maximum security inmate now working to improve the lives of Nashville’s at-risk kids, whose life is the inspiration behind the film.

“I know what it means to be the man in prison,” Papa Joe said. “And I’m so excited that my story in the film UNCONDITIONAL can be used to bring hope to these men and their families. There are more than 2 million children of incarcerated parents in the U.S., and they need our love and encouragement.”

A young African American with unlimited potential, Joseph Bradford landed in prison among violent offenders after putting his considerable computer skills to work hacking into a bank and robbing it of about $200 (which he paid back). Released, in kidney failure, on disability and living in Nashville’s notorious projects, Bradford and his wife’s hearts were touched by the many fatherless children around them. Simple acts of kindness brought one after another of these kids to their door. They formed a choir for the kids and soon he was their “Papa Joe,” providing the love and stability he never knew. Today, they continue this work through Elijah’s Heart Ministry, showing love to underprivileged children and their families, assisting them with practical needs and inspiring others to act by raising awareness of these often-desperate situations.

“To help ‘Papa Joe’ share his message of God’s life-changing, unconditional love is an honor,” Liske said. “And this Easter weekend screening is just the beginning, as Prison Fellowship programs have the potential to connect or reconnect inmates in 1,200 prisons across the country to God’s love and their purpose in life through this inspiring film.”

Provident Films has made 80 site licenses available to Prison Fellowship for UNCONDITIONAL screenings with future showings to be announced. Additionally, Prison Fellowship, the organization behind the annual Angel Tree program bringing donated Christmas gifts to children of the incarcerated, hopes to include UNCONDITIONAL DVDs as a gift option. Last year, inmates’ families received more than 400,000 gifts through Angel Tree donations.

UNCONDITIONAL is a natural vehicle for sharing a hopeful message with inmates. In the film, Samantha Crawford (Lynn Collins, JOHN CARTER) is living a storybook life: she’s happily married, she lives on a ranch where she keeps her beloved horse, and the stories she’s told and illustrated since childhood have become published books.

When her husband, Billy, is killed in a senseless act of violence, Sam loses her faith and her will to live. But a death-defying encounter with two children leads to a reunion with Joe (Michael Ealy, BARBERSHOP), her oldest friend.

As Sam watches “Papa Joe” care for and love the kids in his under-resourced neighborhood, she begins to realize that no matter life’s circumstances, God’s love is always reaching out to us.

Additionally, among the DVD’s 12 special features are several that touch the world of the incarcerated:
●    The Heart of UNCONDITIONAL
●    Becoming "Papa Joe"
●    Prison Yard Fight!
●    Why Bad Things Happen
●    Prison

Harbinger Media Partners produced and Provident Films and Arc Entertainment distribute UNCONDITIONAL, featuring Collins and Ealy and Bruce McGill (LINCOLN, THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE), Kwesi Boakye (I CAN DO BAD ALL BY MYSELF), Diego Klattenhoff (THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, Homeland), Cedric Pendleton (RUNAWAY JURY, DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN), and introducing Gabriella Phillips as Keisha.

UNCONDITIONAL also partnered with scores of ministries and nonprofit organizations nationally like the one run by the real-life Papa Joe, encouraging people to ACT on needs in their communities. Details at UnconditionaltheMovie.com.

For interviews, contact: michael(at)lovell-fairchild(dot)com 214-616-0320

To learn more, visit: UnconditionaltheMovie.com

And visit Lovell-Fairchild.com for:
UNCONDITIONAL Cast and Crew Bios

About Provident Films ProvidentFilms.org
Provident Films, a division of Provident Music Group, develops, produces and markets faith-based films. Nashville-based Provident Music Group, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, has served for more than three decades, worldwide, as a leader in Christian entertainment.

About Harbinger Media Partners HarbingerMediaPartners.com
Harbinger Media Partners LLC is a media company created to produce high quality theatrical films that honor God and inspire viewers to pursue Him and serve others. "God honoring" films are those that bring glory and honor to God by being consistent with Biblical principles and the teachings of Jesus.

About Prison Fellowship PrisonFellowship.org
Prison Fellowship is the world’s largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families. By serving local churches and state departments of corrections, the organization works to help those who are incarcerated restore relationship with their families, communities and God. More information at PrisonFellowship.org.


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