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First Presbyterian Church hosts I Am premiere

By Sherrie Norris (

Article Published: Oct. 7, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
First Presbyterian Church hosts I Am premiere

First Presbyterian Church of Boone is one of more than 2,500 churches that will be hosting the premier of the movie, I Am, on Sunday, Oct. 10, at 3:45 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.

The date, 10/10/10, is significant, said church representative Sue Newell.

"In the modern day telling of the Ten Commandments set in Los Angeles, the movie I Am begins to show people that even in the darkest moments of your life, God has not left you. He is right there with you. It is designed to give that glimmer of hope to people and let them know that they are not alone."

Numerous reviews indicate that this thought-provoking drama practically "begs us" to examine our lives very carefully, as violations of each of the Ten Commandments are portrayed in a way that we each can relate to our own lives on a daily basis.

"This is a stirring, visual film that takes a firm stand against sinning," another review indicates.
The film's synopsis reads, "Once, they called it the City of Angels. Over time, it has become the City of Lost Souls. Ten strangers entangle themselves in the spider web that is life in Los Angeles today.

Unknowingly, they are living out the Ten Commandments, one by one. As they struggle to solve their problems themselves, things only get worse - their problems multiply, and spill over into the lives of so many others. Yet there is one presence that the never leaves. One lone voice of love, reason, and compassion in the midst of lives on fire: The great I Am, God Himself. It's the ultimate love story that changes everything."

I Am is also described as a film that does not pretend to show the perfect model for a perfect life.
"It is a tale of suffering and brokenness - a story of this spider web of a world in which we all live, and the struggle to break free of its sticky entanglements," the review reads. "Only at the movie's conclusion do we see that this mysterious I Am - who is there regardless of how terrible the decisions of a character may be - is the quiet, steady source of redemption and peace for those who listen... and left brokenhearted for those who turn away."

Filmmakers John Ward and Todd Zeile are donating these free movie church screenings prior to the film's November DVD release through 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

"Everywhere we go, we hear how churches are struggling," said John Ward, the film's writer and director, who also appears as one of the primary characters. "Too many seats are empty. People are hurting, and they are inundated by a cynical world telling them to run from the God who's so angry he only wants you to feel guilty - if he even exists at all.

"Nearly all churches have a screen of some sort, and churches themselves are essentially theaters - they hold a service every week. Why should we ask pastors to drive people from their churches, into movie theaters, when we can equip them with the same movie that they can use, to invite people inside their churches? Through offering free screenings, we are giving a gift to help churches fill the empty seats."

"Everyone has a friend, co-worker, or family member with whom they have a serious religious disagreement," co-filmmaker Todd Zeile said. "I Am gives those people a safe way to engage in that dialogue, and churches an historic opportunity to host it."

Zeile was drawn to the movie due to the movie's story, which is inspirational, but not preachy. Although producing films has been a primary focus for Zeile since the conclusion of his 16-year Major League Baseball career, this is his first feature faith-based film.

The movie is also family-friendly and recommended for those above 12 years of age.

The Rev. Tommy Brown of First Presbyterian Church will be available after both free showings to answer questions and help facilitate any discussion that follows.

"This is a great opportunity to invite a friend, regardless of their beliefs," a church spokesperson said. "Hopefully, you will be able to continue talking with them about our need for Jesus after you watch the movie together."

To learn more about the movie, visit

For additional inquiries, contact Sue Newell at (828) 265-3280 or (

First Presbyterian Church is located at 663 Howard St in Boone.

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