Opening in theaters tomorrow is “Woodlawn,” a Christian sports drama directed by The Erwin Brothers – Andrew and Jon – which is based on a true story about how a spiritual awakening in 1970s Alabama led to unity overcoming racism and hate on a high school football team.
After a government-mandate, Tony Nathan, a gifted high school football player, and other African American students desegregate Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, Alabama in 1973. As cross burnings and riots erupt in the city, Tandy Gerelds, the Woodlawn Colonels football coach, struggles to ease racial tensions between his players. It’s only when Gerelds allows Hank, an outsider, to speak to his team that real change begins. Hank, who has been radically affected by the message of hope and love he experienced at a Christian revival meeting, tells the players a “better way” is possible through following Jesus. More than 40 players, nearly the entire team, black and white, give their lives over to Jesus Christ and the spiritual change has a profound affect on the coach, the school and the community.
The film stars Caleb Castille as Tony Nathan; Sherri Shepherd as Momma Nathan; Sean Astin as Hank; Nic Bishop as Coach Tandy Gerelds; Jon Voight as Paul “Bear” Bryant; and Kevin Sizemore as Coach Jerry Stearns.
It was produced by Kevin Downes, Provident Films and Pure Flix Entertainment, and is scheduled for a U.S. theatrical release starting tomorrow, October 16, 2015. Distributor Pure Flix is opening it on a healthy 1,500 screens nationwide.
With the box office success of recent films like “War Room,” “Heaven Is for Real,” and TV ratings hits like “The Bible Series,” “Son of God,” and “AD,” it’s probably a very good time for filmmakers/content creators with so-called “faith-based” projects primed for the big or small screen. Hence, more and more similar releases should be expected – like this one, seemingly under the radar – at least, for me; I only just learned about it today.
Trailer for “Woodlawn” below: