"The Heart of Man" comes to cinemas nationwide on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7:00 p.m. local time. The highly-anticipated docudrama will be presented as a special one-night event by Sypher Studios, in partnership with Fathom Events. Immediately following the feature presentation, cinema audiences will benefit from an exclusive roundtable conversation showcasing national thought-leaders such as Pastor Chad Veach and best-selling author of "The Shack" William Paul Young, among others.
Uniquely produced combining a blend of narrative and documentary elements, "The Heart of Man" is a timeless, deconstructed re-telling of the ancient prodigal son story. Featuring subjects of brokenness, identity and grace, the project brings people together for a night to understand they are not alone and that they can re-connect with God, their faith, family and one another. In the retelling of this famous parable, audiences will encounter powerful true stories that bridge back to God, interwoven throughout with interviews featuring author William Paul Young ("The Shack"), author Dr. Dan Allender ("The Wounded Heart") and spoken word artist Jackie Hill Perry, among others.
Shot on location in Hawaii, which provides both the emotional and cinematic backdrop for story, "The Heart of Man" is produced by Jason Pamer and Jens Jacob, directed by Eric Esau and executive produced by Brian Bird ("Captive," "The Case for Christ, "When Calls the Heart").
We are honored to catch up with the movie's producer and writer Jason Pamer for this exclusive interview.
Q: Thank you for doing this interview with us. In your words what is "The Heart of Man" about?
The Heart of Man film is a beautiful, cinematic retelling of the prodigal son parable, shot on location in Hawaii, woven together with real-life stories of God's grace redeeming men and women from sexual brokenness--including stories of freedom from porn addiction, infidelity, same-sex attraction, sexual abuse, etc. While this project started years ago with the goal of calling men to integrity by showing the connections between porn consumption and human trafficking, it has grown into a compelling film for men and women with the primary intent of piercing our shame and bridging God's sons and daughters back to the Father through a true understanding His steadfast, redeeming love.
Q: What is it about the movie that first grabbed your attention?
The idea of making a film that addressed the deep things of the heart, not the fruit of the tree but the roots - that is something that compelled me to spend a few years of my life working on. To spend time on something that carries freedom, not only for others, but for my own heart and story - that's a worthy pursuit.
Q: This film involves interviews too. Who are some the people interviewed? Why were they chosen to be part of the feature?
We interviewed such a powerful, vulnerable and compelling group of people - all were willing to share the depths of their sorrow and the incredible hope that exists on the other side of immense pain. We interviewed: Paul Young (author of the 'Shack' among other books), Jackie Hill Perry (spoken word artist), Dr. Dan Allender (Allender Center & one of the leading voices on abuse in the world), Traylor and Melody Lovvorn (they run a ministry called Undone Redone), and others. They exhibited incredible authenticity in their journey and a willingness to reveal both the pain and beauty of their stories. It's not easy to find folks who will, a. do that, and b. do it in a clear and compelling way.
Q: What role did you play in the making of this film?
I am the producer/writer on the film (co-produced with Jens Jacob and co-written with the director, Eric Esau) I've had the fun job of hiring 150+ people on this indie film, pushing everyone forward and looking ahead to how and when we will be releasing not only the movie but the other products we're working on.
Q: What is it about this film that excites you?
I think this film has a real shot at exposing shame for what it is, to set people free from the lies that we've been believing for a long time - both about ourselves and God the Father. This film, although originally aimed at men, now has a social reach of 60% women. I love that our sisters are being invited to the conversation and are being engaged around their stories too.
Q: What are some take home messages that this movie offers?
The Father is with you even in the midst of your darkest moments and He isn't ashamed of you, He's graciously inviting you to the 'better yes.' Once saved, you are a new creation - no longer just a 'saved sinner' but 'saint,' you have a new identity. Shame tells us that we're alone in our struggle, that we're not better than our struggle/addiction/vice. The Father is saying that 'you were built for so much more,' you've always had access to My heart and I want you to enter My rest.
Q: Is this a movie for everyone? Even non-Christians?
The core audience for this film are those that have faith and have touched their brokenness. That said, we've had people that don't share the same worldview, even atheists, watch and be profoundly moved. I think the themes in this film are universal and they aren't wrapped in religions jargon or language, making them accessible. I think the quality of the film also sets it apart, in that, the message of the film isn't more important than the vehicle it comes in. Because of this, I think it will appeal to folks outside of the core audience.
Q: After all your work with this project, how would you define the heart of man? What is in the human heart?
The human heart is meant for connection, it's meant for adventure, it's meant to be fully known and accessed by both the Father and those that are safe. It's a complex container that holds both pain and beauty, often at the same time.
Q: When does the film release and how can people watch it?
"The Heart of Man" is coming to select cinemas nationwide in an exclusive one-night event on Thurs., September 14 at 7:00 p.m. local time via Fathom Events and Sypher Studios. Tickets and more information available at www.fathomevents.com/events/the-heart-of-man