"Brother's Keeper" is a Christian film slated for release in the fall, but Executive Producer Steven Camp stressed that its theme of forgiveness is expected to resonate with a wide audience.
"We found out that we live in a world of the 'walking wounded' when it comes to forgiveness," Camp told The Christian Post this week in an exclusive interview this week. "Three out of four people that we surveyed believed that something has happened to them in their lives that they never will be able to forgive that person for. Four out of five believe that they have harmed somebody in a manner that they'll never be forgiven for."
The upcoming film follows the story of two orphaned identical twins, Pete and Andy. As their high school graduation nears, Pete plans to marry Maggie, the love of his life, and head off to school to become a preacher. Andy, who wants nothing to do with God, has no plans, no direction and seemingly no future.
In a cruel twist of fate – orchestrated by a rival for Maggie's heart – Pete finds himself locked away in prison on trumped-up charges. The brothers must decide if they will seek vengeance on those whose corruption and deceit have taken Pete's freedom away.
Camp, a first-time producer, helped secure the rights to the original story "The Gift & Giver," on which the movie is based. Shot entirely on location in Bainbridge, Ga., the film conveys the zeitgeist of the 1950s period, when the action takes place.
"Once my two business partners and I read it (the original story), we knew that it was a story that we needed to share with the world, and that we have been given a huge responsibility," he said. One year later, by April 2010, they had the entire feature film.
The film crew did its share of research on the topic of forgiveness, Camp noted.
"Five million people Google 'How to let go?' every single month," he said. "We got very lucky that our film just fit the forgiveness message so much, because as we started to do the research on forgiveness we realized that 'forgiveness' was such a massive topic."
The more research the filmmakers did the more aware they were becoming on how important the topic of forgiveness is, Camp said.
Even though the film intentionally conveys Christian values and asks ethical questions, the producers believe it's good entertainment as well for a broad audience.
"In the case of this film, 'Brother's Keeper,' we found a story that a lot of different people can relate to," Camp said. "You don't have to be a Southern Baptist, or a Christian ... to like this film. It's a very good story that takes place in the 1950s and has a very strong message of forgiveness. So I think forgiveness will resonate among a lot of different people, not one certain group."
The movie also touches upon themes of reconciliation, second chances, salvation, and sacrifice.
"The film addresses multiple themes and shows the raw emotion of how truly difficult it is to forgive in extreme circumstances," the film's director, Josh Mills, said in a statement. "It captivates the audience into feeling both deep-seeded anger and compassion for the characters in the film."
The film stars Alex and Graham Miller, Daniel Samonas ("iCarly," "Wizards of Waverly Place"), Michael Rooker, Noelle Coet and MacKenzie Mauzy and Travis Tritt (country music artist).