HOLLYWOOD — Former NFL quarterback-turned-Minor League Baseball player Tim Tebow said he didn't want to make a typical Christian film when he and his brother, Robby, co-produced the upcoming faith film “Run the Race."
The Christian Post attended the Los Angeles premiere for “Run The Race” last week and sat down with Tebow to talk about his new film. The beloved Christian said filmmaking wasn’t something he thought he’d be involved in.
"It was really different and it was a learning process. When we read the script, we were impacted by it so we wanted to tell the story,” Tebow told CP. “For me, the mission has always been the same, to encourage people and bring faith, hope and love to a world that really needs it. This was just another avenue to do that. The goal wasn't to get into the movie industry to make movies; it was to be able to tell a story that hopefully people will be encouraged by.”
When commended for not making a “cookie cutter” Christian film, the Florida native admitted that it was his goal to be authentic. The script was 12 years in the making and the Tebows knew they had to make the film because of its “real” message.
"[We need that] because there wasn't a lot of that (movies with a "real" message) for us growing up. It was always like, 'When you trust God, it's all going to be perfect,' and it's not until we get to Heaven,” Tebow said.
"[But this movie shows] that even in the midst of the highs and lows we can trust Him and His plan for us. It's so much about running the race. You're either running the race to God or away from God."
Later on in the evening while on the red carpet, Tebow elaborated on the topic/
"The Christain life is not cookie cutter, it's not Disney either, it's necessarily always that Cinderella story. It's full of highs and lows. But in the highs or in the lows, we can have hope, we can have faith and we have love," Tebow declared.
"We wanted to bring the reality of that and the grittiness of that, it's very different than a lot of other faith-based films."
Tebow said he loves the theme of the movie, which is why he wanted to make it on the silver screen.
“Another part of the title of ‘Run the Race’ is that the race means that there's a finish line and there's a goal. When we keep our eyes focused on Jesus, the goal changes. It used to be coming in first, now it changes to having an impact, having significance, having meaning and what is winning that race?” he explained. “Winning isn't stuff, isn't collections, isn't material things. Winning is affecting people. Winning is having significance and meaning and purpose in life.”
"Run the Race" shows the bond between two brothers whose dream of a new life seems lost.
The hope of getting a college football scholarship and moving to a new town seems out of reach for brothers Zach and David, who feel abandoned by their father after their mother's death, after a fight leads to a life-altering injury that renders Zach unable to get back on the field.
Much like Tebow's story, "Run the Race" aims to show what's possible when someone "runs to — instead of from — the love of God," the film's synopsis says in part.
"I'm so thankful that we have a God that loved us before we loved Him. And He sent His best for us and He's always given His best for us. So we can trust Him, even when it doesn't feel like it's going the best for us. Even in our lows, in our valleys, how we can trust Him because if He gave His son for us, would He withhold something else if it wasn't good for us?” Tebow posed.
"Sometimes we go through those lows, there's so much that we can learn that we can do and how we can come out tested and tried so that we can have an impact on the other side.”
Tebow recently proposed to 2017 Miss Universe winner Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters and the film has its own thread of romance weaved through it.
"You see it, you think, ‘Oh, it's football and it's brothers,’ but it's so much more. It's all sorts of relationships, It's a father-son, it's a boyfriend-girlfriend, it's brothers, it's a coach, it's a nanny. It's all these relationships. We wanted to make it that way because we believe life is about relationships and community with God first and each other and it's about forgiveness and learning how to get it and give it and what love really is, and that sacrificial form of it,” he added.
The Tebow brothers lent their famous last name and talents to tell this fictional story. Following in the footsteps of Christian filmmakers the Kendrick brothers and Erwin brothers, "Run the Race" marks the Tebow brothers' first shot at creating feature films.
Tanner Stine ("NCIS," HBO's "Here & Now") stars in the movie as Zach; Evan Hofer ("Kickin' It") as David; Mykelti Williamson ("Fences," "Forrest Gump") as the boys' coach; and Frances Fisher ("Titanic") as their surrogate mother. Supporting cast includes Kristoffer Polaha, Mario Van Peebles and Heisman-winner Eddie George.
Directed by Chris Dowling ("Where Hope Grows") and co-written by Jake McEntire, Dowling and Jason Baumgardner, the film is brought to audiences by Reserve Entertainment and 10th Leper Productions.
“Run the Race” will be showing in theaters nationwide starting Feb. 22.
Joining Robby and Tim Tebow in the list of executive producers are Bill Reeves, Erik Weir, Trey Brunson, Joe Kosakowski and Erik Dellenback.
For more information, visit RuntheRaceMovie.com.