Beliefnet
Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

This Just In: Relativity and Walden Media announced today that they will develop, finance and produce a feature film adaptation of Alice Ozma’s The Reading Promise, a bestselling memoir of how a shared passion for reading helped a single father and his youngest daughter navigate the ups and downs of their lives. Doug Atchison (Akeelah and the Bee) is set to write the screenplay.

Walden Media COO Frank Smith says, “At its core, The Reading Promise is a heartfelt, imaginative story that celebrates family and love of reading, and as such, celebrates the core tenants of a Walden Media film. Jim Brozina’s dedication to his family and the promise they made are nothing short of inspirational.”

The Reading Promise is a heartwarming, true story of a young woman whose single father (Jim Brozina), a beloved elementary school librarian, made a promise to read aloud together for 100 consecutive nights. When the hundredth night came, neither wanted to let go of their storytelling ritual, so they continued their tradition until the night she left for college, a remarkable 3,218 nights (eight years) later.  Alice tells her story as a series of vignettes about her relationship with her father and the life lessons learned from the books he read to her.

Ryan Kavanaugh and Deborah Giarratana (Machine Gun Preacher) will produce the film alongside Walden Media. Tucker Tooley will serve as executive producer.

Walden Media’s Vice President of Development and Production, Naia Cucukov, who was an actual student of Jim Brozina’s in their town of Millville, NJ, brought the project to Walden and will oversee the project on behalf of the company. Robbie Brenner and Josh Reinhold are overseeing the project on behalf of Relativity.

Relativity Media is a next-generation global media company engaged in multiple aspects of content production and distribution, including movies, television, fashion, sports, digital and music. More than just a collection of entertainment-related businesses, Relativity is a content engine with the ability to leverage each of these business units, independently and together, to create content across all mediums, giving hundreds of millions of users worldwide what they want, when they want it.

Relativity Studios, the company’s largest division, has produced, distributed or structured financing for more than 200 motion pictures, generating more than $17 billion in worldwide box-office revenue and earning 60 Oscar nominations. Relativity’s films include Oculus, Safe Haven, Act of Valor, Immortals, Limitless, and The Fighter. Upcoming releases include The November Man starring Pierce Brosnan and author Nicholas Sparks’ The Best of Me.

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Walden Media creates entertainment for the whole family through successful movies, award-winning books, and acclaimed television programs. A Walden Media production celebrates a great book well told, a great life well lived, or an exploration that expands present possibilities – all while inspiring and entertaining its audience. Past award-winning films include: The Chronicles of Narnia series, the Journey to the Center of the Earth series, Nim’s Island, Charlotte’s Web, Bridge to Terabithia, Holes, Amazing Grace and the Sundance Audience Prize Winning documentary Waiting for ‘Superman.

Next up for Walden Media is The Giver – a feature co-production with The Weinstein Company, which will open in theaters nationwide on August 15th. The highly anticipated adaptation of Lois Lowry’s novel stars Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgård, Katie Holmes, Odeya Rush and Taylor Swift.

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Walden is also producing Universal Pictures’ dramatic adventure/thriller Everest starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Jason Clarke, Keira Knightley, John Hawkes, Sam Worthington, Emily Watson and Robin Wright. Walden is producing with Universal, Working Title and Cross Creek Pictures.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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