How far would you go to show a loved one you care, and more importantly, to make sure they know they are loved by the God of the universe?
This is the basis for the new film from The Master's University, The Man From Nowhere. The film is the first of its kind for the students of the cinema and digital arts program at the major Christian university. Nearly 50 students joined industry professionals to create the film, but it was director Matt Green's inspiration to shoot a faith-based feature that drove the project. Creating a believable and relatable story that showcased the hard work and the pursuit of excellence the creative team strove for was one of the primary goals of the film. But it was the incorporation of faith in a natural way that drove Green to work on the project.
"We wanted it to be a creative narrative, so it didn't feel like the gospel was shoehorned in. We wanted it to feel organic within the story," he says, referencing past faith-based projects, No Greater Love and Inheritance.
"Projects like these showcase what this institution is all about: subjecting every discipline and thought to the lordship of Christ," he continues. "It is so encouraging to see people zealous to not only ensure that they are doing high quality work, but also producing that which deliberately is subjected to and honors the master."
Screenwriter Chris Dowling, who has written scripts for hit movies such as for King & Country's Priceless, echoes this desire, and believes the film is much needed in a world where Christian movies are not as well received by mainstream viewers. "We all want the same things in life. We want our lives to have meaning; we want to know that we are loved," he says. "As believers, we believe God is giving us direction, but we can make films that have broad appeal and then present a faith worldview."
The Man From Nowhere chronicles the story of Herb (Nick Searcy), a famous author who becomes a Christian and decides to reconnect with his estranged son, Jake, played by TMU graduate Seth Bowling. After years of separation, only the impending death of his dad, and the prompting of a good friend, encourages Jake to not only read Herb's Prohibition-era book, but to open his heart to his dad—and Christ.
The complex story was shot in just eight days, no small feat for a complicated narrative.
According to the film's website, "Herb's novel, The Man From Nowhere, spins a noir tale of throwback detective Johnny Gamble (Anthony Tyler Quinn) desperately searching for a lost son who has turned to a life of crime. Fiction and reality begin to blur for Jake as he finds himself interacting with both detective Gamble and his father, now a Christian, who shows up at his door and refuses to leave until the two can heal from their painful past."
"The father in the story is reaching out to his son because he wants him to change his life and be saved," supporting actress and TMU junior Arianna Sonnenburg says. "Ultimately, that's what we want people to walk away with: A life with Christ is better than a life without Christ. Not necessarily because it's easier, but because Christ is our everything, and He's given us everything."
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