Virgil Films & Entertainment has selected Mar. 3 for the release of both DVD and Blu-ray editions of a unique faith-based film.
Filmmaker Will Bakke teams once again with co-writer and friend Michael B. Allen for their first non-documentary film, Believe Me. It is important to understand the source material of this work to have a better understanding of where the film — and the filmmakers — are coming from.
Back in 2009 Bakke and Allen, along with friends Lawson Hopkins and Austin Meek, combined for the documentary One Nation Under God and then re-teamed in 2011 for a second documentary, Beware of Christians. The two films followed the four Christians as they tested their faith on the road in a crisscross journey of the United States … and then internationally.
Using the experiences of the two road trips, Bakke and Allen have fashioned a dramatic-comedy work — a fictional story — about how a college student named Sam Atwell (played by Alex Russell — Unbroken, Carrie, The Host, etc.), who is desperate to come up with the necessary funds to complete his college degree, takes to the road with three of his frat brothers to con Christians into contributing to a fake charity that they’ve conjured up.
They join what is basically a travelling road/tent revival show and quickly learn the “lingo” of what moves their audiences to give money to their made-up cause. They are the God Squad … and the money comes rolling in.
So the message of Believe Me comes down to the point of view that Christians are shmucks? The answer is no.
Although played for laughs — and Believe Me is indeed very funny, especially for a faith-based film — there is a message. Question, test, ask … don’t just blindly follow. The story elements all ring true, and that has quite a bit to do with Bakke and Allen’s own experiences in living through their documentaries One Nation Under God and Beware of Christians.
The film worked the festival circuit and then went the indie distribution route for theatrical play dates in selected venues around the country. Virgil Films mainstream distribution to the home entertainment market place will dramatically widen the audience reach for this well-written satire … a satire with a message. Believe Me is well-worth a look-see when it heads home on Mar. 3.