Actor Sharman Joshi will be making his Hollywood debut in a film based on a subject that resonates with recent incidents such as the Dadri lynching. The upcoming film, called The Journalist, is based on the murder of Australian Christian missionary Graham Staines as well as his sons Philip (aged 10) and Timothy (aged 6). This shocking incident took place in 1999, in a tiny village in Odisha called Manoharpur.
Joshi, known largely for his comic roles, plays the role of an investigative journalist in the film, reported Mumbai Mirror. Graham Staines is being played by Stephen Baldwin, one of the younger brothers of actor Alec Baldwin and known for appearing in films such as The Usual Suspects (1995).
The film, directed by first-timer Aneesh Daniel, otherwise has a largely Indian cast and crew and was shot mostly in Hyderabad. Some portions, said Joshi, were also shot at the actual missionary school run by Staines in Baripada, Odisha.
Calling it “one of the most challenging characters” he has played, Joshi told Mirror about the larger significance of the movie’s story. “There is much to learn from the film about the way our society functions, the way we want India to progress and whether it’s the right way forward,” he was quoted as saying.
On the night of 22 January 1999, Staines and his two sons had been sleeping inside their station wagon when a mob of about 50 surrounded them and set their vehicle alight. The three were burnt alive.
The murder of Staines, a missionary who had been working with the tribal poor and lepers in Odisha since 1965, was said to have been carried out by Hindu hardliners who accused Staines and his wife Gladys of forcibly converting poor and low-caste tribals to Christianity. Moreover, according to one of the accused, Mahendra Hembram, the mob was provoked by the missionaries “corrupting tribal culture” by allegedly feeding the villagers beef and providing the women with bras and sanitary pads.
The incident triggered widespread condemnation. Dara Singh, a Bajrang Dal activist who led the mob, was “treated like a hero” by a few local groups and reportedly hidden by villagers for a year until he was arrested and sentenced to death; however, later, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Graham’s wife Gladys denied all allegations of ‘forced conversions’, forgave her husband’s and son’s murderers, and continued to work with leprosy patients in Odisha before returning to Australia in 2004. A year later, she was awarded the Padma Shree for her efforts.
17,000 people were turn to Christ in the cinematic crusade ‘A Rush of Hope’
More than 1.8 million people tuned into Greg Laurie’s new film “A Rush of Hope” over the Labor Day weekend, breaking all attendance records in Harvest Crusades’ 30-year history of holding annual outreach events.
“A Rush of Hope” aired over Labor Day weekend on dozens of online streaming and on-demand channels and over 600 radio stations. It will also air on TV in major markets across the US and on cable networks such as the ION network, WGN, and LightTV. The movie will also be released to streaming platforms and on DVD in November.
“We are breaking every record we have ever set in our history,” Laurie, the pastor and founder of the Harvest churches located in California and Hawaii, said in a video posted to social media Sunday.
Most importantly, Laurie said there were over 17,000 professions of faith that the Harvest team received from people who decided to follow Jesus after watching the movie.
“In a year of never-ending bad news, this is the best news we have heard. It’s a reminder that God is greater than a pandemic or any other challenge we are facing. He can do above and beyond anything we can dream, and he is still transforming lives,” Laurie said.
Produced in partnership with the Erwin Brothers’ Kingdom Story Company, “A Rush of Hope” is a cinematic crusade that addresses life’s deepest questions: Why am I here? What happens after I die? And, is there hope for today?
The movie features encouraging messages from Laurie, outtakes from faith-based films such as I Still Believe and Woodlawn as well as performances by Christian music artists, including Jeremy Camp, For King & Country, and MercyMe.
The movie’s message of hope is changing thousands of individual lives, but, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) pointed out, it is also a message for America as a whole.
“Pastor Greg Laurie is bringing hope to our country,” Pompeo tweeted last week ahead of the movie’s release.
“Every year @greglaurie brings God’s hope to our country. But this year of trials and challenges may be the most important Harvest yet,” Rubio posted.
Since the start of quarantine, Harvest reports it has seen 109,487 people make professions of faith mainly through its online services — a goal the ministry hoped to achieve over a series of in-person crusades between 2020-2021.
Documentary film focusing on the Hollywood star’s journey to Christianity
California: Hollywood star TC Stallings has become a firm believer in a documentary film. The film is titled ’24 Counter: The Story Behind the Run ‘. The film features the star of a football fanatic and a desire to monetize.
Stallings was born in a land where drug dealers and gangsters were comfortable. From an early age, he wanted to be a football player, but his focus was always on football. Football became the god of Stallings. That means getting into a good college,TC Stallings says he thought he could make money for his family and build a good career. Though he was admitted to college, he came to realize that God is the most important thing in life.
God transformed footballers into a tool for his life. Stallings explained at that time that it was understood that God is the owner of our lives, not football, and that the Holy Spirit should control our actions.He hoped that the documentary would be the beginning of new projects. He added that he must make decisions in life, not by what people say, but by what God says and that is how all Christians should go.
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