Christian Film ‘Running for Grace’ Arrives on Netflix

After years creating movies for major Hollywood studios, director David L. Cunningham returns to his roots for an indie film set in Hawaii — with faith and family at the center.

This week, a family film that went under the radar for most audiences hits Netflix where millions can enjoy it. Running for Grace tells of a spirited teenager who faces discrimination in Hawaii in the 1920s. Fighting for what matters, he changes the community around him.

The independent movie features significant stars Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ), Matt Dillon (Crash), and up-and-coming actor Ryan Potter (Big Hero 6). Filmed on stunning locations in Hawaii, Running for Grace released last year just as the main island faced massive destruction from the eruption of active volcano Mount Kīlauea.

“We’ve had some drama in the islands lately,” says director David L. Cunningham in an interview. “Some have said the volcanic activity we’ve faced over the last year has been the most dramatic in a couple hundred years. It wiped out hundreds of peoples’ homes, and we personally know four families who lost their homes to the lava flows.”

Cunningham has previously directed To End All Wars starring Kiefer Sutherland and The Seeker from Walden Media/20th Century Fox, among other films. Currently living on Hawaii Island, his latest film hints at a volcanic eruption. “Some thought we were predicting something,” he adds. “But when you make a movie, it takes a couple years so you can never really predict.”

In a phone interview from Kona, Hawaii, Cunningham reveals why he spent two years telling this story, what he hopes audiences gain from it, and how it reflects his legacy of faith.

GRACE THAT DEFIES THE ODDS

You’ve done significant work on-screen in the past, including big-budget films and a major series on 9/11. Why did you decide to make Running for Grace

David L. Cunningham: A lot of my films have been hard-hitting and gritty. For ABC, I did a reboot of Little House on the Prairie years ago — but, other than that family miniseries, I haven’t done much for families.

I’ve got three kids, and we’ve often wrestled over the remote. I thought: Man, wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a film that we all actually wanted to watch? Not one that we had to watch or should watch, but one that we all would enjoy. My girls want to see romantic comedy stuff. My boy wants to watch adventure, and I like going back in history.

That’s really the origins of this film. We hope it’s fun, entertaining and uplifting even as it deals with these themes of the power of adoption, identity, and youth at risk.

Could you share about working with Hollywood stars Matt Dillon and Jim Caviezel? It’s interesting how their characters have some vices one doesn’t often see in family films. 

Cunningham: I’ve been a fan of their work for many years. I was privileged that Jim and Matt resonated with this script and had appreciated some of my past films. Each actor has their own process. The quicker you learn what that process is, the more you can serve them.

Jim Caviezel plays this doctor who is meant to be a fun villain character, with a nod and a wink to the audience. We show, during this Prohibition Era story, that he is constantly pulling out the flask. It in no way glorifies it, it’s just accurate to history.

In the 1920s, everybody was smoking. We found this footage of triathletes about to start a bike race. They were all handing around cigarettes just before they started, because they thought it was actually good for you! We thought it was ironic that these doctors were always smoking these cigars. We’re not trying to celebrate any of that, only shows how inane it is.

Everyone in our ensemble was a joy to work with. Ryan Potter who plays our lead is actually in DC Comics’ Titans series as Beast Boy and also the voice of Hiro in Big Hero 6. He has a growing following as an actor, as do others in the cast.

SPEAKING TO CURRENT HEADLINES

As one who has lived in Hawaii for much of your life, how is the island culture reflected in this new film?

Cunningham: Today, Hawaii is the most ethnically diverse state in the United States. It wasn’t always that way. Our movie takes place in the 1920s during segregation — not just in Hawaii, but across the nation. Hawaii was a territory at the time, with a terrible law in place related to what they called “racial integrity.” Children of mixed ethnicity were not legally allowed to be adopted.

Running for Grace introduces a half-Japanese, half-white boy, considered an “illegitimate” orphan. He is rejected by the Japanese immigrant community in the coffee-picking belt on the mountains of Hawaii — and by the white community as well. A doctor played by Matt Dillon comes to town to bring aid to the plantation workers. He takes the boy under his wing as his medicine runner and translator to the Japanese immigrants. They begin a father-son type relationship.

Together, they have to take on society’s obstacles at the time. A romance emerges with the plantation owner’s daughter. It’s a movie made for the whole family but with relevant themes for today: the need for belonging, family, and going after your dreams.

What truths does this film speak to issues of discrimination and racism which still exist today? 

Cunningham: This is my eighth movie to direct. Many of my movies take place in another time and place, period dramas you could say. What I enjoy about taking audiences to those places is you show current themes in a new light.

Click here to read more.
Source: Christian Headlines

Views: 6

Comment

You need to be a member of The Oracle to add comments!

Join The Oracle

The Oracle Magazine is a Hip-Hop magazine and Social Community with industry news, music, videos, photos, Health Tips,discussions and more!

Please Contact Us At

                  Call or Text: 424-644-9089
             Email: Theoraclemag@gmail.com

Daily Devotional

Latest Activity

Prince Malachi The First's 4 blog posts were featured
1 hour ago
Prince Malachi The First posted blog posts
1 hour ago
Prince Malachi The First's 4 blog posts were featured
yesterday
Prince Malachi The First posted blog posts
yesterday
Prince Malachi The First posted videos
yesterday
Prince Malachi The First's video was featured

Andy Mineo - Andy Mineo - OT OD (sketch).mp3

The official music video for OT OD. Hear it now when you download/stream Work In Progress: https://smarturl.it/andysworkinprogress Connect with Andy: Faceboo...
yesterday
Prince Malachi The First's 6 blog posts were featured
Thursday
Prince Malachi The First posted blog posts
Thursday
Prince Malachi The First posted blog posts
Wednesday
Prince Malachi The First's 5 blog posts were featured
Wednesday
Prince Malachi The First's video was featured
Wednesday
Prince Malachi The First posted a video
Wednesday
Prince Malachi The First's 6 blog posts were featured
Tuesday
Prince Malachi The First posted blog posts
Tuesday
Prince Malachi The First's blog post was featured

Dispelling the Myth of Millennial Men as the Unreachable Generation

The belief that Millennial men are part of an unreachable generation is a myth.In the 1980s, elephants overcrowded South Africa’s Kruger National Park, the government authorized killing adult elephants and relocating their offspring to other parks. As the orphaned male elephants became teenagers, they were clueless about what “normal” male behavior looked like.When their testosterone levels spiked, the orphaned males turned aggressive. In one park they savagely killed 36 rhinos. A park ranger watched as a young bull knocked over a rhino, trampled it, then drove a tusk through its chest. The situation was out of control.Then rangers brought six adult bull elephants into one park. They mentored the younger bulls so they could see what normal male behavior looked like. No more rhinos were killed once the mature…See More
Monday
Prince Malachi The First posted a blog post

Dispelling the Myth of Millennial Men as the Unreachable Generation

The belief that Millennial men are part of an unreachable generation is a myth.In the 1980s, elephants overcrowded South Africa’s Kruger National Park, the government authorized killing adult elephants and relocating their offspring to other parks. As the orphaned male elephants became teenagers, they were clueless about what “normal” male behavior looked like.When their testosterone levels spiked, the orphaned males turned aggressive. In one park they savagely killed 36 rhinos. A park ranger watched as a young bull knocked over a rhino, trampled it, then drove a tusk through its chest. The situation was out of control.Then rangers brought six adult bull elephants into one park. They mentored the younger bulls so they could see what normal male behavior looked like. No more rhinos were killed once the mature…See More
Monday
Prince Malachi The First's 4 blog posts were featured
Aug 18
Prince Malachi The First posted blog posts
Aug 18
Prince Malachi The First's video was featured

Mike Teezy - Nothing Too Hard

Provided to YouTube by TuneCore Nothing Too Hard · Mike Teezy · Jor'dan Armstrong Szn Part II: Everything New ℗ 2019 MTEntertainment Released on: 2019-01-27 ...
Aug 17
Prince Malachi The First posted a video

Nothing Too Hard

Provided to YouTube by TuneCore Nothing Too Hard · Mike Teezy · Jor'dan Armstrong Szn Part II: Everything New ℗ 2019 MTEntertainment Released on: 2019-01-27 ...
Aug 17

Look for THE ORACLE On Facebook and Twitter!

Birthdays

There are no birthdays today

Events

© 2019   Created by Prince Malachi The First.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service