"What better way for us to celebrate the Easter season! We're going to tell everyone we know: Go see this movie! Regardless of your religious beliefs, you'll be deeply inspired.” That's the ringing endorsement of renowned Hollywood executive Mark Burnett (TV's “Survivor” and History Channel's “The Bible”) after previewing Columbia Pictures' faith-based drama, “Heaven Is For Real.”
"It's is an inspiring film that is a great first step for people who are on the journey, and a great film to foster conversations with unbelievers," concurred Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
Based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book of the same name, “Heaven Is For Real” brings to the screen the true story that has inspired millions across the globe – that of a little boy’s extraordinary, life-changing experience, and his father’s search for the courage and conviction to share his son’s discovery with the world.
Academy Award®-nominee Greg Kinnear (“Little Miss Sunshine”) stars as Todd Burpo, a small-town businessman, volunteer firefighter and pastor struggling to make ends meet in a tough year for his family. After his bright young son Colton (Connor Corum) is rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, Todd and his wife Sonja (Kelly Reilly) are overjoyed by his miraculous survival. But they are wholly unprepared for what happens next -- Colton starts to matter-of-factly recount what he says was an amazing journey to heaven and back. As Colton innocently tells his parents details of things he couldn't possibly know, Todd finds himself colliding against a wall of mystery and doubt, until he breaks through to rediscover hope, wonder and the strength of purpose.
At the real-life Burpos' urging, “Heaven Is For Real” producer Joe Roth joined together with T.D. Jakes, a popular pastor and spiritual leader, to bring the project to the screen. Jakes, was moved by the story’s demonstrated ability to make a difference to all who came across it – from those seeking encouragement in their faith to those just curious to know more.
“I think anyone can relate to an ordinary family who is grappling with the biggest questions,” Jakes says. “We’ve all known tragedy and adversity -- and I think to see this family go through a crisis, and find a place of real resolution, it helps others to believe they’ll find their own place of resolution.”
Other respected members of America's Christian community have also endorsed the film, including Kenneth Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries, who said, "I read Todd Burpo's book, `Heaven is for Real.' It BLESSED me and brought the joy of hope alive to how bright our future in Jesus really is. The movie did a sweet job of bringing that same TRUTH to light that HEAVEN IS REAL!"
For her part, Kim Dorr-Tilley, Associate Pastor of the Bel Air Presbyterian Church, wrote "In this gifted and grace-filled vision from filmmaker Randall Wallace, we experience what is impossible and possible, where doubt and faith collide, where flawed humans emerge as beloved children. This film allows all of us to encounter and participate in a conversation hinged where life and death meet."
"This film opens the door to the reality of Heaven and the love of God. Through the eyes of four-year Colton, we catch a glimpse of an affectionate and caring God who calls us to an eternal community of love and joy. The evidence for this is presented in a respectful way that allows viewers to make their own judgments. It will be encouraging to believers and potentially helpful for skeptics and people 'sitting on the fence,” recommended Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D.
Meanwhile, Angel Ruiz of Young Life Field Ministry testified, "`Heaven Is For Real' is an incredibly powerful and refreshing account of a story that resonates with an innate desire that we all have: to see Jesus. I highly recommend this movie for the whole family!"
Finally, Dr. Sheron C. Patterson of The United Methodists of North Texas Conference, concluded, "It is a blessing to have `Heaven Is For Real' in theatres nationwide. The masses of people need to see that there is power in prayer and that there are modern-day miracles. Colton's story confirms for even the most hardened atheist that there is a God, and God is good!”
Opening across the Philippines on Black Saturday, April 19, “Heaven is for Real” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.