Director: David Stevens - IMDB
Screenwriter: Catrine McGregor
Genre: Faith/family adventure drama
Awards: Scriptwriter Award from TrindieFest Film Festival
The story centers around 15 y/o Darrell who has a lot working against him – he’s deaf, a Boy Scout and being raised by his minister grandfather. He witnesses the first Latino on African-American drive-by shooting in the neighborhood. The gang leader kidnaps him to find the killer. Unable to identify him and frustrated, a preteen Latina girl is taken to be killed as initiation for the leader's 12 y/o brother, Sean, and a preteen female friend. A car accident on the mountain road kills the gang leader. The four kids must rely on Darrell's Boy Scout skills to survive. Darrell's minister grandfather struggles with his faith and Christian-based efforts to counsel gang members. Why waste his time? How can he remember compassion for those causing him pain? In the wilderness, Sean becomes injured and separated from others. The words of his mother, dead brother and the pastor come back to him as he searches for answers alone. Experiences, spun from anger and hatred, end with a deeply needed confirmation of faith for the key characters and a coming together of two communities.
A SUPER CHRISTMAS MOVIE
Screenwriters: Catrine McGregor and Madalyn VanVakenburgh
Genre: Family/faith holiday comedy
The Wallaces are a super-hero family: Dad collects, kids watch movies and dress up and Mom is supportive. Social-media star Austin, comes over to watch Alex, 10 and Tripper, 5 when Mom and Dad go to Aunt Molly’s wedding in Chicago. The quick overnight trip, which gets them home on December 23, is prolonged when the parents get snowed in. Appropriately-named Tripper and her bully-brother Alex turn out to be a handful for Austin, whose typical concerns tend to be how many ‘likes’ his latest YouTube video got. Their lives are changed at midnight, Christmas Eve, when Santa appears in a selfie video he is making with the kids. Santa hands super-hero costumes to Alex and Tripper, who are instantly enveloped in a bright radiating light. When the light subsides, the children have become the superheroes. Santa explains to them that they have become Grace, who has the power to not only be graceful and safe, but to also sense danger and keep people from getting into trouble. Alex has become Champion, and Santa explains that he is the verb ‘champion’ and not the ‘noun.’ His power is to put bullying behind and become champion the underdog.
THE WHITE SHEEP
Director: Nyk Fry - IMDB
Screenwriters: Nyk Fry and Catrine McGregor
A quirky look at ‘sorta’ true-life events. Born into a strangely religious family, Young Amelia is not allowed to go to school so that her parents can ‘protect’ her, though she also was never home-schooled. Her savvy and knowledge were carved from eclectic types of learning from books found in neighbors’ trashes. When Young Amelia’s parents were encouraged by their church to adopt Haitian children, they did so – and sent them to school and bought them books and clothes…and took them on vacation – all things that they never did for their own flesh and blood, Hence the title: The White Sheep. Although the story sounds dark, it is not. Young Amelia always maintained absolute faith in life and grew into Adult Amelia, who runs the most successful sub-prime car purchase funding program in the U.S. The story is a tribute to positivity and reaching for the stars, regardless of what life hands you.
THE HIDDEN ROOM
Crystal and her three kids, two of them teens, are having a tough go of it. Dad has left the family for the trophy girlfriend. Crystal has no work skills. Her only option is to go stay with Mom in her single-wide trailer in New Mexico and she decides to go back to school, leaving the kids with ample spare time.
Grandma’s number one rule for this kids is that they never talk to the “old Indian guy” who refused to sell his little house that the trailer park had to build around. Being kids, the first person they befriend is the “old Indian.” He is kind, whimsical, funny, plays sax, studied in Paris…and is a medicine man. When Crystal collapses on campus and is rushed to the hospital, the family learns that she has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. She goes through chemo and radiation and is sent home to die. Grandma is sent on a series of funny blind dates set up by the kids, which get her out of the trailer long enough for the Medicine Man to come work on Mom. The middle child, a 14 year-old boy, loves his new friend but is skeptical about the healing. One day, the youngest daughter goes to kiss her Mommy goodbye before going to school and finds her dead. The Medicine Man is incarcerated for practicing medicine without a license and peacefully starts a hunger strike. He has served his purpose on earth and can not live without his freedom.
Desperate to help, the kids search his cabin and find a hidden room which turns out is a virtual shrine to a son that he told the kids he didn’t have. They learn of a promising athlete, a brilliant student and a high-caliber attorney who has changed his name to be Anglicized. The kids track him down and, although initially reluctant to help, he does the right thing and returns home to defend his father. An autopsy of the mom’s body reveals that the herbs were indeed helping her to get better. Her death was caused by radiation done wrong by a newbie radiologist. The attorney-son moves back to the community, and though they don’t live happily ever after, they come close.
THE TINTYPE MASSACRE
Director: Bill Oberst Jr. - IMDB
Trevor Ahlquist has recently moved to Tintype, Louisiana. In his 40's, Trevor is the poster child for scam artists. He has been driven out of town everywhere he’s lived. He’s not sure why he moved to Tintype – he was drawn to it. After seeing a report on the success of Comic Cons, he asks himself, “why not create a Tintype Comic Con?” It can draw crowds from nearby New Orleans. Trevor finds the one and only venue that he can afford – a rundown 150 year old theater that has a reputation for being haunted. How perfect will that be in the Comic Con promos?
Good crowds, lots of fun – all of it being documented by young filmmaker Amy Anderson, who is a huge horror fan. Three years in and a guest has died each year under unusual circumstances. Rumors start to emerge about the old theater being built on Indian burial grounds. Whatever… it’s great publicity. The lobby of the theater has dozens of beautiful tintypes, taken in the 1850's. Amy is using one of the tintypes to focus her camera, and as the photo comes into focus, close-up, she realizes that the people in the picture are the same people – in a different era – that are at the Comic Con. The photo morphs into real life in the 1850's, where we learn why the past is intersecting with the present day. Ahlquist was a judge whose corruption led to the massacre of over 60 of Native American Chief Shanks’ people. Amy is revealed to be Shank’s sister, Walking Doe. As the historical flashback ends, it is clear that all of the ‘accidental deaths’ at the Comic Con were actually retributions by the spirits killed in the 1850's. And now we have a modern day showdown between Chief Shanks and Judge Ahlquist. What will happen and will Amy be able to intervene?
TWIST OF FATE
Director: Timothy Armstrong - IMDB
Ten year-old Bailey Trent has Down Syndrome and few friends outside of her immediate family and her school. She loves all of the animals on her parents’ ranch and has a special pal in Labradoodle Zoro. She also has a great affinity with the horses, but is forbidden from going anywhere near Twist of Fate, her father’s prized bucking bronc. The horse is beautiful, but free-spirited and mean. When Twist of Fate kills a rodeo hand who was being cruel to him, the courts demand that the horse be put down. This is going to be a great personal and financial loss for the family. The day before the horse is to be put down, Bailey has an absolute tantrum about not wanting to go to a therapy session. She pulls away from her mom, defiantly, and runs uncontrollably into the yard – and into the corral where Twist of Fate is. The horse rears as the mother screams, running towards the corral. Twist of Fate rushes to Bailey at full speed, and just as we anticipate the girl being trampled, he gets between Bailey and her screaming mother, keeping the hysterical woman at bay. He herds Bailey away, with a gentle nudge of his muzzle. The family defies the courts as they prove that Twist of Fate is the greatest healing their daughter has ever experienced.
The family turns their ranch into an animal therapy farm, bringing them success in so many ways, from helping in healing of many children to financial growth.