Last month marked the conclusion of principal photography for the filming of the independent drama The Reason.
Based on the acclaimed 2012 novel penned by William Sirls, the film follows a group of interrelated individuals in a small town stricken with crisis, unearthing the probing question: Where is God when bad things happen?
The accomplished cast includes a host of familiar faces such as Academy Award winner Louis Gossett, Jr., Beverly Todd, Tatyana Ali, Burgess Jenkins and Alan Powell while familiarizing audiences with the emerging talents of Sara Antonio, Michael Montgomery, and Kelly Carlson.
A significant surge of faith-based films has dominated Hollywood for some time now as more producers and directors begin to gravitate towards the genre and its ever-growing fan base. With somewhere between 70 to 80 percent of Americans identifying themselves as being within the Christian faith, the rise in popularity and demand of films such as these is inevitable.
Presumably, crowds that don’t fall into that category wouldn’t bother to give faith-based projects a second thought, despite this, moviegoers haven’t been too quick to write these off, further opening up a burgeoning sector of the industry to mainstream audiences.
Speaking on the growing trend of faith-based cinema in Hollywood, Beverly Todd (who plays Louis Gossett’s on-screen wife) revealed the simple reasoning behind the success of genre in recent times.
“Nothing else has been working,” says Todd. “These films are real stories about real people…they’re about the truth.”
Centered around a blind minister (Gossett Jr.), a single mother (Antonio), and a mysteriously divine figure (Powell), the noteworthy structure of The Reason finds its beauty in the fact that there’s a little bit of something for everyone, ranging from the firm believer to the disillusioned skeptic, and that portion in most of us that often struggles somewhere in between: a key aspect in capturing the realities of the audience.
“My goal was to share the lessons I learned instead of coming up and beating people [over] the head,” says William Sirls, discussing his inspiring journey, spanning from 3 years of incarceration to becoming a bestselling author.
A prevalent theme that centralizes the cast and crew are their common views that this film has so much to offer beyond the evangelical.
“You read a lot of scripts in my position,” says Burgess Jenkins. “It’s rare that you pick one up where you can’t wait to read the next page.”
Jenkins, known for his roles in television dramas The Young & The Restless and Nashville, touched on the positive impact that the movie had on his personal life calling it “subtly powerful”—a sentiment that seemed to be routine among other members of the cast and crew.
“I want to be a part of something, first and foremost, that inspires me,” says Alan Powell, both a producer and principal actor in the film. “…I try to make it a priority to be a part of projects that make you walk away, hopefully, a different person than when you sat down to watch it. I certainly think we’re doing that with this film.”
Photo Credit: Willie Kimbrough. Copyright: The Reason Movie, LLC