Filmmaker Conversations

Dear Evan Hansen’s Stephen Chbosky Wants to Shine Hope

By Jacob Sahms When writer/director Stephen Chbosky saw Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway three years ago, he recognized a kinship between the title character and Logan Lerman’s Charlie in Chbosky’s film Perks of Being a Wallflower. In fact, in the original novel Chbosky wrote, Charlie writes to a friend about his experience during his freshman […]

David A.R. White Reflects on God’s Not Dead Franchise

By Jacob Sahms Since God’s Not Dead released in 2014, David A.R. White has watched culture change and has used his movie franchise to create conversation about bringing God back into the classroom, whether it be high school or university, or in the upcoming God’s Not Dead: We the People, in the classrooms of home schooled children […]

Coda Director Wants to Help Us Hear Each Other

By Jacob Sahms Sian Heder’s Cambridge, Massachusetts, background shows up clearly but not in a thick, stereotypical accent or shout-outs to the Boston Red Sox or Bruins. Instead, it shows up in the deep-thinking way that she approaches making a remarkable film about the deaf community, and the way that she’s taken the French film […]

Holy Hot Mess Author Gets Honest About Her Life

By Jacob Sahms In December 2019, Mary Katherine Backstrom was feeling the Christmas spirit. She paid for the purchases of the woman standing in line behind her at Wawa, and walked outside to find a man washing the windows of her car. Thanking him profusely, Backstrom even hugged him, before realizing … that it wasn’t […]

Mandalay Pictures President Wants to Tell Stories of Perseverance

By Jacob Sahms Jason Michael Berman grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, an entrepreneur as a teenager. Attending the Friends School of Baltimore, he picked up the philosophy of Quakerism, that God is in everyone, and found the experience of the peace and quiet mixed into his schooling to be cathartic. But he also struggled through […]

Nine Days Director Shines Empathy as a Light in the Darkness

By Jacob Sahms Imagine you had to be interviewed as a soul to be determined worthy for a body on Earth. Imagine what about your personality and character would argue for you, or what would get in the way of your selection. Imagine the interviewer was someone who had once lived and had his own […]

12 Mighty Orphans Director Wants to Empower

By Jacob Sahms In the upcoming sports drama 12 Mighty Orphans, screenwriter/director Ty Roberts has cinematically adapted Jim Dent’s book, Twelve Mighty Orphans: The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites Who Ruled Texas Football, the non-fiction exploration of the Fort Worth Masonic House’s football team. With Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, and Luke Wilson, the film […]

Spirit Untamed Team Sets Out to Show What Young Women Can Do

By Jacob Sahms In 2002, Dreamworks Animation delivered Academy Award-nominated Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron with Matt Damon and a score from Hans Zimmer. Nineteen years later, director Elaine Bogan leads a trio of young actresses, Isabella Merced (Dora and the Lost City of Gold, Instant Family), Marsai Martin (Black-ish, Little), and Mckenna Grace (Gifted, […]

Finding You Director Wants to Show Audiences the World

By Jacob Sahms Watching The Power of One as a kid, Brian Baugh felt a pull toward South Africa. The under-the-radar film starred Morgan Freeman and Stephen Dorff, based on a novel by Bryce Courtenay about apartheid and war during World War II. Baugh, a native of Washington, ultimately earned a Masters in African Studies […]