Weinsteins hop on the “faith-based” bandwagon

Weinsteins hop on the “faith-based” bandwagon December 7, 2006

Fox has FoxFaith and birds have nests — er, I mean, Sony has Provident — and now Variety says The Weinstein Company is hopping aboard the ‘contemporary Christian cinema‘ bandwagon:

The Weinstein Co. is getting into the Christian-film biz, forming a faith-based distribution label and inking a first-look production deal with Christian shingle Impact Entertainment.

TWC will finance, co-produce and distribute the theatrical pics under the multiyear Impact deal. It also will look to pact with other production companies to help fill the slate of the as-yet-unnamed label.

First two theatrical projects to go into development on the label are adaptation of books “The Penny,” by radio and TV host Joyce Meyer and Deborah Bedford, and “The Christmas Candle,” by Max Lucado, a preacher whose books include “Cure for the Common Life.”

Goal is eventually to release six theatrical titles per year, execs said.

An unspecified number of DVD projects will also be released through TWC homevid arm Genius Products.

“This is a rapidly emerging and important area in the entertainment industry, and this deal fits perfectly into our strategy of acquiring and producing films that target niche audiences,” said TWC’s Bob Weinstein. . . .

“The Penny,” set to be published next year, follows the adventures of a girl in 1950s St. Louis who finds hope after discovering a penny, all set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights movement.

Novel “The Christmas Candle,” released in October, is a holiday tale set in 19th century England about a candlemaker who receives a visit from an angel.

First homevid release will be “Resurrection” this spring. Pic, based on a Lucado book, is described as “picking up where ‘The Passion‘ left off.”

Some of the Genius titles will be movies that have already been produced and released on Christian homevid labels.

No kidding, re: that last bit. I assume that Resurrection will be a re-issue of this video from 1999, and not a re-make.

UPDATE: Mark Moring and Jeffrey Overstreet chime in.

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