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New Marketing Campaign Launched for SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL

We are on the leading edge of an exciting new marketing campaign for our film, SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL.

As of last Friday (January 27), we successfully separated from Virgil Films, which means you won’t find streaming and download copies of the film on iTunes, Amazon.com, and most of the other online platforms anymore. (It will remain available on Christiancinema.com.)

This is not by accident, but rather, by design. Our plan is to relaunch the DVD sales effort via an online campaign that appeals directly to folks who are looking for films with a message of unity and diversity – a message our film delivers in abundance.

We have also decided to change the title of the film. The new title is BY THE GRACE OF BOB. This title provides us access to a broader audience and the opportunity for higher visibility online.

Selling directly to consumers offers us two key benefits: much larger royalties on the DVDs and a strong public relations platform intended to engage the mainstream media in a way that was not open to us in the past. Our strategy is to use those two tactics in conjunction to motivate sales.

We will eventually bring our film back to all of those previous online platforms, along with a few new ones. Stay tuned over the coming weeks for more about that.

We deeply appreciate your support. We are excited by the fresh opportunities to market a film we believe appeals to those with strong values and a love of their fellow humans.

Thanks for your continuing support!

Shooting the Prodigal

One-day Shop-A-Thon on Amazon.com

For one day – Friday, October 21 – we’re asking all our friends and supporters to buy or rent SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL from the Amazon.com store. This concentrated shopping spree will boost our ranking and drive more traffic to the film.

You may stream for $5.99, purchase for $12.99, or buy DVDs for $13.99 (great time to buy Christmas gifts!).

Come join the fun & support the film.

Rent or Buy from Amazon.com.

Shooting the Prodigal

Where can you see SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL?

Here’s a list of the places where you can stream or download digital copies, and/or purchase a DVD of SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL.
Vimeo on Demand (Rent/buy digital)
iTunes (Rent/buy digital) 
Amazon Instant Video (Rent/buy digital)
Google Play (Rent/buy digital)
Christian Cinema (DVD and rent/buy digital)
Vudu (Rent/buy digital)
Cinema Now (Rent/buy digital)
The film is also available on most cable systems across the United States, including:
Verizon FIOS, Comcast Xfinity, Brighthouse, Cox, etc.
BTS

SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL Bonus Material Available

Join the cast and crew on an entertaining behind-the-scenes journey through principal photography of SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL. And take a peek at three deleted scenes. They’re available right now, free of charge on the SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL website.
The documentary takes you behind the camera and gives you a glimpse of life on the set. You’ll see why making the film was as much fun as the film itself!
The full movie will be released Tuesday, August 16. You may pre-order now!
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SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL available on DVD & digital platforms August 16

SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL will be released on DVD and digital platforms August 16. You may pre-order now at http://shootingtheprodigal.com/store/.

We’ve had a good run in “limited theatrical release.” We’ve screened in theaters in Virginia, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia. We’ve been official selections at four film festivals. And we’ve screened in churches, retirement centers and community venues.

Now we’re looking forward to general release on DVD and digital platforms. Through our North American distributor, Virgil Films & Entertainment, DVDs of the film are available for pre-order at a 35% discount. Enter the discount code “BOBCROSS” in the Virgil Films store.

Pre-order also now available on Amazon Instant Video, Google Play and Christiancinema.com.

Available beginning August 16 on iTunes, Vudu, and Cinema Now.

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What a year it has been…

This time last year, Belltower Pictures was finishing up principal photography for our first feature film, SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL. We completed it on time and under budget!

  • The film immediately attracted the attention of the film industry for its innovative approach.
  • We are finishing a limited theatrical run in select cities across the country.
  • It has screened in six film festivals.
  • We signed a distribution deal with Virgil Films and Entertainment in New York.
  • DVD and digital release is set for August 16, 2016.

We wanted to do three things:

1. tell great stories that make a difference in the world,
2. train the next generation of filmmakers, and
3. bring together a diverse group of people to work closely on a project that makes a positive impact.

Did we tell a great story that’s making a difference? 

YES!

  • Audience members and critics are responding to the film with overwhelming praise… like Tony Farrell, movie critic of the Richmond Times-Dispatch who wrote, “In a time that offers so much pinched-faced cynicism wherever we turn, this warmhearted movie comes as a blessed breath of fresh air.”
  • Peter Wallace, producer/host of the Day1 radio program says, “Shooting the Prodigal is ingenious. The concept of having a church make a movie of the story of the prodigal son opens up the participants into experiencing the forgiving love the story is all about. The actors are wonderful, the story is powerful, but above all the message is desperately needed in these times of increasing division and mistrust of others. I hope we see more movies like this from Belltower Pictures.”
  • Across the country, groups are screening the film and engaging in meaningful discussion around the themes raised in the film.

Now we’re actively developing our next projects: including an episodic (television series). Writers and producers have begun work in earnest. And we’re developing other scripts with an eye to the future.

Did we help train the next generation of filmmakers?

YES!

Fourteen student interns earned college credit or high school service credit by working on SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL. They gained valuable experience by working and training alongside seasoned professionals, learning as they made meaningful contributions to the production.

Many of these aspiring filmmakers earned their very first IMDb credit and an important entry on their resumes.

Here’s some of what one student wrote…

“This experience was one that I would not trade for a lifetime… Everyone was very courteous and worked extremely hard, which inspired me each and every day to do my absolute best. Even as we were shooting, [the cinematographer to which I was assigned] took time to teach me certain things regarding the workflow of the department, equipment, strong work habits, etc. Each person on the crew made me feel very comfortable working alongside them and my hope is to be able to work with all of them again someday, to be able to serve and learn as much as I can. I truly thank you for this opportunity and I’m thankful to Belltower Pictures for bringing quality filmmaking to the Richmond area!”

Now we’re building on the relationships we established with high schools and universities during the production of SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL. These relationships give students continuing hands-on learning opportunities. We are mentoring aspiring young filmmakers. And we are working to establish a screenwriting competition among students with scholarships awarded to winning scripts.

Did we bring together a diverse group to work closely on a project that makes a positive impact in the world?

YES!

Two hundred volunteers from 15 congregations came together to create SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL. They served meals, drove trucks, provided first aid and security, rigged lighting equipment, and served as background actors.

The atmosphere was open and accepting for those who were not part of any congregation. One of the professional crew members commented, “I was hesitant at first to accept this job. I’ve worked on faith-based films before. It seemed the first thing they wanted to do was convert me. But on this set, I saw love and acceptance demonstrated.”

Now we’re continuing to establish and strengthen relationships that will bring even more people together on future projects. We’re building relationships with congregations, organizations and groups beyond the Richmond area.

It has been a good year. But we’re not resting on our laurels. As we look to the future, we’re hard at work developing new projects… always seeking innovative ways to entertain, inspire, and tell great stories that make a difference in the world.

The Bow Tie Cinemas web page advertises a Q&A following the opening night screening.

SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL begins theatrical run

SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL, the new feature film from Belltower Pictures, opens today (April 8, 2016) at Bow Tie Cinemas’ Movieland at Boulevard Square in Richmond, Virginia.

The theatrical distribution deal through Bow Tie Cinemas is unusual in the industry, according to Heather Waters, one of the film’s producers. “Discussions have been underway for some time. For us to broker a deal with the oldest theater chain in America – one that also has such strong roots right here in Virginia where we shot the film – is extra special for our team,” said Waters.

“From here, we have the potential to take the film to other locations across the U.S. without necessarily having to go through the more traditional channels, something almost unprecedented in our industry. This is in large part thanks to one of our biggest cheerleaders’ dedication, Brenda Williams, General Manager of Bow Tie Cinemas, Richmond who helped make this deal come to fruition.”

In addition to the theatrical distribution through Bow Tie, Belltower Pictures has announced distribution partnerships with two other companies. Tugg, Inc. will handle cinema-on-demand release. Virgil Films and Entertainment will be the North American distributor for DVD, digital, broadcast and ancillary platforms. Belltower is handling screening licenses for groups and organizations through its own website.

The movie will screen in several film festivals this spring, including the Sunscreen Film Festival April 28 – May 1, and the International Freethought Film Festival May 13-15. The film premiered at the Richmond International Film Festival March 3.

SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL is a comedy set in south Alabama where a brash, young Jewish film student from New York, Josh Blume (played by Sterling Hurst) tries to help an overly zealous Baptist preacher, Brother Bob Cross (played by Paul Wilson) and his church make a movie about the prodigal son.

Belltower Pictures is a Richmond, Virginia-based independent non-profit corporation focused on producing, promoting and distributing high quality faith-themed films, television and web projects.

BELLTOWER PICTURES ANNOUNCES DISTRIBUTION PLANS FOR NEW FILM

SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL, the new comedy from Belltower Pictures will be available in select theaters in the U.S. beginning April 1, 2016. The film premiered tonight as the opening night red carpet event at the Richmond (Virginia) International Film Festival.

Belltower is partnering with Tugg.com to bring the film to audiences on a cinema-on-demand basis. Individuals, groups, and organizations can set up screenings in their local theaters and community venues. Details at http://shootingtheprodigal.com/host-a-screening/.

Belltower has also signed an agreement with Virgil Films and Entertainment for North American DVD, digital, broadcast and ancillary distribution. Release on those platforms is expected late summer.

Belltower Pictures is forming other strategic partnerships to distribute this and future films from its home base in Richmond, Virginia. “The film industry is changing rapidly,” said Belltower president David Powers. “We are positioning ourselves to be nimble and responsive in this dynamic environment, not only in the way we go about producing films, but also in the way we distribute them.”

SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL is a satirical faith-based comedy set in south Alabama where a brash, young Jewish film student from New York, Josh Blume (played by Sterling Hurst) tries to help an overly zealous Baptist preacher, Brother Bob Cross (played by Paul Wilson) and his church make a movie about the prodigal son.

“It is a story about acceptance and inclusion,” said Powers, who is also the film’s writer and director. “As the preacher and his congregation struggle to accept the ‘outsiders’ who gather to make the movie, they are challenged to expand their ‘comfortable Christian nest’ and do what Jesus said: Love one another.”

Belltower Pictures is an independent non-profit corporation focused on producing, promoting and distributing high quality faith-themed films, television and web projects.

Trailer and additional information available on the website:
http://www.shootingtheprodigal.com.

Shooting the Prodigal

Tickets available for world premiere pre-party

Belltower Pictures will host an event
to celebrate the World Premiere of our film,

SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL.

Visit with the stars, director, and producers
just before the screening of the film at the Richmond International Film Festival.

Drop in anytime between 5-6:45 pm
Thursday, March 3
at C Street Restaurant
3325 West Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23221.

Patron tickets are $40
(includes the party, tickets to the movie,
and a $20 tax deductible donation to Belltower Pictures).

Sponsor tickets are $100
(party, movie tickets,
$50 tax deductible donation to Belltower Pictures
plus the full Hollywood experience:
limo ride with the stars,
Red Carpet pictures
and special VIP seating for the movie).

Click to order your tickets.

If you can’t join us for the party, but want to attend the movie,
please purchase tickets directly from the
Richmond International Film Festival.

We are grateful to M&E Contractors for sponsoring this event.

The historic Byrd Theatre is the location for the Richmond International Film Festival.

WORLD PREMIERE SET FOR SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL

The world premiere of SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL, the new comedy from Belltower Pictures will take place March 3, 2016, as the red carpet opening night feature of the Richmond International Film Festival at the historic Byrd Theatre in Richmond, Virginia.

The film, starring Paul Wilson and Sterling Hurst, directed by David E. Powers, and produced by Ken Roy & Heather Waters, was shot in and around Richmond in 2015. It is the first feature film to be produced by the Richmond-based non-profit company.

“We’re excited to bring this film home to premiere in Richmond where so many of the cast and crew live. Virginia is our home and a gracious host to us,” said producer Ken Roy.

SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL is a satirical faith-based comedy set in south Alabama where a brash, young Jewish film student from New York, Josh Blume (Hurst) tries to help an overly zealous Baptist preacher, Brother Bob Cross (Wilson) and his church make a movie about the prodigal son.

“It is a story about acceptance and inclusion,” said director David Powers. “As the preacher and his congregation try to accept the ‘outsiders’ who gather to make the movie, they are challenged to expand their ‘comfortable Christian nest,’ as Brother Bob learns by making new friends and re-thinking old relationships.”

Trailer and additional information available on the website: www.shootingtheprodigal.com.