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Faith-based films making a splash in Hollywood with help from Asbury University

Professor’s new film ‘Hope Bridge’ filmed in Lexington

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 25, 2014) — With the rise in popularity of faith-based films in Hollywood becoming more mainstream, Asbury University and a Cincinnati-based production company is becoming one of the driving forces behind this new-found popularity.

"Hope Bridge" was filmed in Lexington.
“Hope Bridge” was filmed in Lexington.

Joe Boyd and his team at Rebel Pilgrim Productions have produced four feature-length “faith-friendly” films in the past three years with their most recent film, “A Strange Brand of Happy,” being distributed in theaters nationwide last year. Boyd and his team are one of the few faith-based production companies getting the attention of some of Hollywood’s biggest distributors.

“If you just look at the box office results over the last four weeks, you will see faith-based films in the top five every week with ‘Son of God’ and now with ‘God’s Not Dead.’ There’s a very real subset of the movie-going audience that wants these films,” Boyd said.

“God’s Not Dead,” which pulled in $8.8 million in this weekend’s box office stars Kevin Sorbo (“Hercules,” “Soul Surfer”) and follows the story of a Christian college student who finds his faith challenged by a dogmatic and argumentative philosophy professor (Sorbo) who requires his students to disavow the existence of God on the first day of class or face a failing grade.

Rebel Pilgrim Productions’ latest film, “Hope Bridge,” which was filmed in Lexington, Ky., also stars Kevin Sorbo and Booboo Stewart (“Twilight,” “X-Men Days of Future Past”), wrapped production last fall and is slated for release later this year. The film’s director, Joshua Overbay, an Asbury University professor, was recently positively reviewed in The Hollywood Reporter for his film “As It Is In Heaven” that had its world premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival.

“While not as blatantly faith-driven as these recent movies, our upcoming movie ‘Hope Bridge’ points to the fact that there is hope to be found in the darkest circumstances. Audiences want to see that kind of story,” Boyd said.