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Faith, Media & Culture

Faith, Media & Culture

Bio

John W. Kennedy, a practicing Catholic, is the founder and Dir. of Development of The Creative Universe Entertainment™, a media consultation and development company focusing on the creation, development and support of high-quality mainstream entertainment that upholds positive timeless values such as faith in a loving God, kindness, forgiveness, gratitude, tolerance, wisdom, courage, self-confidence tempered with humility, personal responsibility and the all-important ability to resist hypocrisy and laugh at our own human foibles.

Current projects include "Bryant Park" (an uplifting romantic-comedy), "The Tommie Scott Story" (based on the inspirational biography) and "Photo Finish" (a sci-fi TV pilot). He has written over 100 children's novels based on episodes of the Cartoon Network series "Ben 10", "Ben 10: Alien Force", "Ben 10: Ultimate Alien", "Ben 10: Omniverse" and "Generator Rex" among others. He also writes Beliefnet’s "Faith, Media & Culture" blog and has discussed the topic as a guest on several radio broadcasts.

Previously, he has produced successful news and talk programming for CNN, Fox News, Pax TV and SiriusXM. Over the years, his notable interviews and/or bookings have included such diverse personalities as Sean Astin, Corbin Bernsen, Brian Bird, James Brolin, Kirk Cameron, Deepak Chopra, Sandy Duncan, Roma Downey, Robert Duvall, Emilio Estevez, Mick Fleetwood, Andy Garcia, Carla Gugino, movie-star-turned-Catholic nun Mother Dolores Hart, Patricia Heaton, Lee Iacocca, Robert Kennedy, Jr., Michael Landon, Jr., Pattie Mallete (Justin Bieber’s mother), B.B. King, Colin Powell, Dennis Prager, Rick Santorum, Martin Sheen, Kevin Sorbo, Della Reese, Christopher Reeve, Robert and Robert A. Schuller, Sylvester Stallone, Jon Voight, Martha Williamson and countless others.

Specialties: Script Writing, Movie/TV Novelizations & Adaptations, TV Content Creation and Development, Creative Consultation. Producing and Booking News and Talk shows

Video: “Risen” stars Joseph Fiennes and Maria Botto talk about meeting Pope Francis

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. From Sony’s AFFIRM FILMS division,  Risen tells the epic story of Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a non-believing Roman Military official assigned to find Jesus’ missing body following the Resurrection. Maria […]

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Singer Jeannie Ortega on letting go and letting God

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Healing Music. Jeannie Ortega, who I have come to know through some Mastermedia events, was just 19 when she found success as a recording artist via the hit 2006 […]

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“Risen” star Joseph Fiennes meets Pope Francis (u

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Luther meets the Pope. Joseph Fiennes, who played Protestant Reformation initiator Martin Luther in a 2003 biopic,  met Pope Francis in Vatican City yesterday. Fiennes is in the city […]

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Faith-themed drama “Born to Win” debuts today on DVD and On Demand

posted by John W. Kennedy

Born to Win (Lionsgate Home Entertainment) arrives on DVD (plus Digital) and On Demand today (2/15). From the producer of the hit faith film Faith Like Potatoes, which sold over 2.2 million DVDs in 17 languages worldwide, the moving drama […]

Pope Francis to play himself in family film “Beyond the Sun”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Francis the First. In a cinematic first, Pope Francis will become the first pontiff to act in a scripted movie. In AMBI Pictures’ Beyond the Sun, Pope Francis portrays himself in an inspirational story based on Gospel parables. The concept […]

UP TV’s romantic “Valentine” + Steven Curtis Chapman’s worship album

posted by John W. Kennedy

Building on its successful Love Finds You romantic movie franchise, UP TV will debut Love Finds You In Valentine (#LoveFindsYou) on Valentine’s Day, Sunday, February 14 at 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM (ET). Based on the popular book by Irene Brand, the […]

Dove Channel’s first Christmas: A talk with Cinedigm Entertainment Group President Bill Sondheim

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Dove Channel fills a market void. It’s been  few months now since Cinedigm Entertainment Group bowed Dove Channel, a family and faith-friendly streaming network comprised of movies and series […]

Lay minister’s debut novel inspired by real-life experiences with the divine

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Close encounters of the heavenly kind. Texas homemaker-turned-lay minister and author Jennifer Wilder Morgan debut novel Come to the Garden focuses on how sharing divine encounters can draw people […]

Good news: “Grace Wins”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Check out Matthew West’s newest music video. John W. Kennedy is a writer/development consultant specializing in teleplays, screenplays and novelizations. He can be reached at john@jwkmedia.com. Encourage one another […]

Grace-themed animated film “Yellow Day” to hit theaters on Christmas Day

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Yellow Day, a highly-anticipated debut film from Providence Film Partners, will release in select theaters Christmas 2015.  The only faith-based and family film this holiday, Yellow Day is a […]

NGC’S “SAINTS AND STRANGERS” TELLS GRITTY TRUE STORY OF FIRST THANKSGIVING

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. National Geographic Channel’s two-night movie event Saints & Strangers concludes tonight (11/23 @ 9:00 PM ET). Saints & Strangers is produced by Sony Pictures Television with Little Engine Productions. […]

“Miracles from Heaven” trailer released

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Miracles Happen. Miracles from Heaven is based on the incredible true story of the Beam family. When Christy (Jennifer Garner) discovers her 10-year-old daughter Anna (Kylie Rogers) has a rare, […]

So close: Kickstarter campaign closing in on goal (and deadline) for mass incarceration doc

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. From the producers of Serving Life: Learn more here. John W. Kennedy is a writer/development consultant specializing in teleplays, screenplays and novelizations. He can be reached at john@jwkmedia.com. Encourage […]

Biblical fashion on display at Museum of the Bible “A.D.” exhibit

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Roman Couture. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment have partnered with PASSAGES presented by the Museum of the Bible in Santa Clarita, California to bring the Mark […]

“A.D. producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett personally thank Beliefnet readers for their support

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. A.D. on DVD (and Blu-ray). A.D. The Bible Continues told the epic story of The Book of Acts last season on NBC. Now that the 10-hour event series is […]

UP TV launches big batch holiday cheer

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. UP TV  launches its annual mega-celebration of Christmas with a batch of uplifting holiday movies, specials. The special programming runs through Thursday, December 31, 2015. Highlights include new UP […]

A 12-Step Guide to Wholeness (based on the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit)

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Dear friends, this post represents who I am and who I strive to be. My personal mission statement. As I pass another birthday, I’m of a mind to  step […]

Sahrawi refugee camps follow-up

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Update (from my previous post): This came into my email from my friend Andy Huddleston of Mission Enablers International. The situation still warrants some media attention. Sahrawi refugee camps are […]

Bringing media spotlight to the Sahrawi refugees in Algeria

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Trailer for the 2012 documentary Sons of the Clouds, produced by actor Javier Bardem A story the media overlooks. It’s understandable. There are certainly flashier stories out there. But, […]

C.S. Lewis and Martin Luther figure in NYC’s Fellowship for Performing Arts inaugural season plans

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Fellowship For Performing Arts has announced its inaugural 2015/2016 New York season at the Pearl Theatre (555 West 42nd Street). FPA will present four plays, including C.S. Lewis’ The […]

(amended) Searching for God: “Belief” on OWN and “Holy Ghost Reborn” on DVD and digital download

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. “Once He sets His sights on one of His children, He will do whatever it takes to bring them home” – Darren Wilson, Producer/Director of Holy Ghost Reborn Two […]

Movie weekend: “Woodlawn” in theaters + “October Kiss” and “I Am Potential” on TV

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Films to inspire. A busy couple of weeks hampered me from reviewing these films but, given the themes and talent involved, I think they’re worth putting on your radar. […]

UP TV looks ahead: A chat with GM/programming executive Amy Winter

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Since rebranding in 2013, Atlanta-based UP TV has broadened its appeal out from its Gospel Music Channel (GMC) roots, reaching beyond the choir to offer its trademark “Uplifting Entertainment” […]

A TV reboot I’d watch: John Amos in “Our House”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Free thinking. Reading about TV’s current trend toward reboots and remakes (i.e. The Odd Couple, Fuller House, Heroes Reborn, The X-Files) and catching an interview with the highly-likeable veteran TV […]

Book notes: An overview of new faith-themed books

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Read all about it. Faith, that is. If you think faith-themed movies and TV is exploding, check out the book shelves (or to be more modern, Amazon). Here’s a sampling […]

UP TV to deliver “A Baby for Christmas”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Production began this week in Atlanta on the UP Original Movie A Baby for Christmas. The romantic comedy stars Malinda Williams (Soul Food), Victoria Rowell (The Young and the […]

UP TV launches anti-bullying campaign

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. UPLIFT SOMEONE Stand UP Against Bullying. That the name of the multi-platform campaign UP TV is engaging in this month to raise awareness about bullying prevention tactics. The October […]

How media can help end mass gun killings + K-LOVE teams with Feed My Starving Children

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. After Oregon shootings, an idea’s time finally comes. Victims from previous mass shooting incidents have been  urging the media to cool it when it comes to giving the gunmen […]

“Signed, Sealed, Delivered” renewed + Series creator Martha Williamson on this weekend’s episode

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Impossible Dream airs Sunday (10/4) @ 9:00 PM (ET) on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. The two-hour film picks up where last month’s edition (titled Truth […]

Osteens to host SiriusXM Town Hall + Joel Osteen on unconditional love and getting through tough times

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. SiriusXM has announced that Lakewood Church Pastor Joel Osteen and his wife and co-pastor Victoria Osteen will host an exclusive radio Town Hall broadcast from New York City this […]

SiriusXM’s Catholic Channel offering 24/7 coverage on Pope Francis in America

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Pope Francis, Radio Star. The above video shows Catholic Channel hosts Lino Rulli (The Catholic Guy) and Fr. Dave Dwyer (The Busted Halo Show) enthusiastically reporting on the 2013 […]

Writer/producer Brian Bird on bringing Ashley Smith’s 2005 hostage ordeal to the big screen

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Heavenly box office. Faith-themed films are on yet another winning streak winning streak at the box office. First War Room, the Kendrick Brothers’ movie about the power of prayer, […]

Media continues to ignore Planned Parenthood fetal tissue controversy

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Video shows Planned Parenthood worries about bad press. Of course, you can’t help but wonder what they’d have to do to get it.  This is the tenth undercover video […]

Family/faith friendly Dove TV arrives today: A conversation with Dove CEO Dick Rolfe

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Positively different (Part 2). As previewed here yesterday, family viewing is getting a bit safer and easier to navigate with today’s debut of Dove Channel.  The new direct-to-consumer over-the-top […]

Preview: Dove Channel is a family and faith-friendly Netflix

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Positively different. Debuting tomorrow (Tuesday, 9/15), the joint venture between The Dove Foundation and Cinedigm is a direct-to-consumer over-the-top (OTT) digital network for families and kids seeking quality family-friendly […]

Weekend TV: “Dancin’ the Dream”, Luke Perry in “Welcome Home”, New “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Fall TV arrives early on UP and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. If you’re planning a relaxing Post-Labor Day weekend at home, here are a few TV offerings that may […]

Pastor Don Piper and his wife Eva Piper talk about his “90 Minutes in Heaven”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer – Romans 12:12 90 Minutes in Heaven arrives in theaters today (Friday, 9/11). I’ve previewed the film (based on […]

God and guns? New documentary tackles perceived link between conservative Christianity and the NRA

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. The Armor of Light has been chosen as a selected documentary for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

TV Review: “Last Hope with Troy Dunn”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Last Hope with Troy Dunn premieres tomorrow (Thursday, 8/10) @ 10:00 PM ET on UP TV. Synopsis: Missing persons investigator Troy Dunn finds lost loved ones and facilitates emotional […]

Prayer at the movies: “War Room” celebrates it while “No Escape” ignores it

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Note: I haven’t personally seen War Room. Nevertheless, as someone who believes in the positive power of prayer, I’m glad to see this. From Big Hollywood: Sony’s small budget […]

Faithlife CEO Bob Pritchett on balancing the principles of faith, science and entrepreneurship

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. “Awesome stuff.” Bob Pritchett is the co-founder and CEO of Faithlife, a multilingual electronic publishing developer dedicated to helping Christian educators better utilize the internet. The company makes the […]

Wayne Dyer passes + “Big Mountain Jesus” stands + Timmons and Crabb releasing new albums

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Wayne Dyer leaves this world. The spiritual motivational speaker/author has left this world at the age of 75.  I would sometimes catch his PBS specials and found his focus […]

Movie Preview: “The Masked Saint”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Ridgerock Entertainment Group and P23 Entertainment Inc. have announced January 8, 2016 as  theatrical release date for The Masked Saint.  The family-friendly action film is being distributed via Freestyle […]

Where “Hope” goes: From well-received film to DVD (out today)…to TV series?

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Where Hope Grows  hits the  DVD market today. The film, which is also available on digital HD, debuted in theaters last May when I recommended it. Synopsis (from the […]

“Alone Yet Not Alone” producer on the success of his Oscar-nominated yet not Oscar nominated film

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.  Alone Not Yet Alone is currently available on DVD. Synopsis (from the film’s website): Seeking religious freedom in America, a devout Christian family from Germany settles in the peaceful […]

Kelli Williams talks about starring in UP TV’s first scripted series (updated)

posted by John W. Kennedy

(Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Ties That Bind airs Wednesdays @ 9:oo PM (ET) on UP TV. UPdate: Newly-released Nielsen ratings show that last week’s premiere of Ties That Bind  scored over one million […]

Strong “Ties”: UP TV debuts its first scripted drama series

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Ties That Bind premieres tomorrow night (Wednesday, 8/12) @ 9:00 PM on UP TV. Cast:  Kelli Williams (The Practice, Lie to Me, Army Wives), Jonathan Scarfe (Hell on Wheels), Dion […]

Programming notes: Hallmark renews “When Calls the Heart” + UP TV gets “Gilmore Girls”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. More Heart. Hallmark Channel’s has renewed its original prime-time romantic western series When Calls the Heart for a third 10-episode season. The plan is to roll out a special […]

The woman behind “Ties That Bind,” UP TV’s first original scripted series

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Family Ties. Sheryl J. Anderson has been writing episodic television since the early nineties (i.e. Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, Dave’s World, Charmed). Her more recent work has included work […]

Documentary says child sex abuse is “An Open Secret” in Hollywood (Updated)

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. (Important Note: Below is my original review of the documentary An Open Secret. The documentary film deals with the issue of child sexual abuse in Hollywood. Some entries in […]

Broadway’s “Amazing Grace” is awesome theater

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Following success in Chicago (above), the cast of Amazing Grace is now performing the show on Broadway. Simply Amazing. The musical Amazing Grace has its official opening at Broadway’s […]

The woman behind Archie’s makeover isn’t Betty or Veronica

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. (Images from Archie Comics and RiseAboveSocialIssues.com) The rebooted Archie debuted its premiere issue to strong reviews Wednesday (7/8). The original Archie bowed on December 22,1941, just a couple of […]

Filmmaker Jason Pamer delves deeply into the “Hearts of Men”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Jason’s journey. Jason Pamer produced and co-wrote Rape For Profit the critically-acclaimed 2012 documentary praised by Huffington Post as offering a “gritty look at Seattle’s growing problem with sex trafficking.”  […]

“God’s Not Dead” sequel wraps as real-life religious expression case plays out in court + DCI’s “Rediscover Jesus”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Pure Flix just finished production on God’s Not Dead 2: He’s Surely Alive. This film is the follow-up to the immensely-successful God’s Not Dead which grossed over $60 million […]

Preview: UP TV’s “Ties That Bind”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. UP TV promos its first scripted series. Above is the trailer for Ties That Bind. The hybrid cop-family drama will debut Wednesday, August 12 @ 9:00 PM (ET). Premise […]

Phil Vischer prepares “Galaxy Buck” for blast off

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Vischer’s back. Veggie Tales creator Phil Vischer, a pioneer of Christian children’s media, has announced the launch of Galaxy Buck, his first narrative storytelling video series in over a decade. […]

Cultural moment: President Obama sings “Amazing Grace”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. A 336-year-old hymn is amazingly relevant today. Carolyn Rossi Copeland, the executive producer of the new Broadway musical Amazing Grace,  emailed me “The president singing Amazing Grace was so […]

From Clio-winning ads to “Hart to Hart” to Fox News: The charmed career of writer/producer Marvin Himelfarb

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Marvin Himelfarb’s next chapter begins. Marvin Himelfarb is retiring from Fox News after nearly two decades of producing both TV and online programming. Before that he was a successful […]

“Amazing Grace” producer Carolyn Rossi Copeland on the faith-themed musical’s amazing journey to Broadway

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Voyage of the Saved. How slave ship captain and self-described wretch John Newton was saved by God’s grace and went on to become a force in the fight to […]

“Getting Real” with Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Gretchen Carlson’s Real Story. As a one-time Miss America, popular host of a daily Fox News program, happily-married woman, hands-on mom, occasional movie actress and talented violinist, Gretchen Carlson […]

Notes: More “Signed” and “Love” TV films coming + “Mask” scores at b.o. + A producer fights for his children

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Weekend Follow-ups. Some positive news about the two TV films and one theatrical movie I wrote about her last week. Based on positive reaction to its first two Signed, […]

A tale of two churches: Why the Lakewood/Osteen succession worked and the Crystal Cathedral/Schuller transition didn’t

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. “Every pastor is an interim pastor.” That reminder from William Vanderbloemen, founder of the Vanderbloemen Search Group (which specializes in staffing churches and other faith-based organizations) and author of […]

What’s new and notable in books, DVDs and music

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Three new books worth checking out: Getting Real by Gretchen Carlson (Viking, June, 16):  On her Fox News show The Real Story, Gretchen Carlson exudes confidence, professionalism, sincerity and, […]

Movie Weekend: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” on HM&M, “Love Finds You…” on UP, “Beyond the Mask” in theaters

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Signed, Sealed, Delivered: From Paris with Love airs Saturday (6/6) @ 9 PM (ET) on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Synopsis: The latest two-hour installment of the likable series from […]

“Amazing Grace” arriving on Broadway

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. How sweet the sound. I spent yesterday (6/2) morning attending a musical presentation by the cast of the upcoming Broadway show Amazing Grace  featuring songs from the production which […]

With the help of her devoted husband, Anorexic actress Rachael Farrokh is fighting for her life

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Prayers for Rachael. Mike Jue, the executive producer who had the original idea for the Photo Finish sci-fi pilot I worked with him on a few years ago, brought […]

Christopher Awards on SiriusXM + TV Development notes

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Easy Listening. The 66th annual Christopher Awards ceremony, which took place in New York City recently, will air as a two-hour special on SiriusXM’s Catholic Channel/129 today (5/26) at […]

“Where Hope Grows” star David DeSanctis talks about making movies and living with Down syndrome

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. The heart of Hope. Last weekend, in a David vs. Goliath move, Roadside Attractions, Stealth Tiger Entertainment and Godspeed Pictures released the inspiring stereotype-shattering independent film Where Hope Grows […]

UP seeks African-American series, “Signed” gets its perfect theme + Hallmark’s “Beach House” + “Risen” release date

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. UP TV  is partnering with the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) on a new initiative called “UP Flips the Script to Series: Remixing the Development Pipeline.” Designed to generate […]

Thoughts on 2015 Christopher Awards + Movie Review: Could “Where Hope Grows” cop a 2016 Christopher?

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Awarding what matters. On Wednesday night I  attended the 2015 Christopher Awards. First presented in 1949, the prizes are intended, as Christopher founder Father James Keller said, to honor […]

How actress Shari Rigby (“October Baby”) new book was the start of a “Beautiful” friendship

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. The positive power of “Yes.” I just finished reading Beautifully Flawed: Finding Your Radiance in the Imperfections of Your Life, the excellent, courageous and inspiring autobiography busy actress Shari […]

TV Review: “Mothers of the Bride” tonight on UP

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Mothers of the Bride airs tonight (5/10) @ 7:00 PM (ET) on UP TV.  Synopsis (from the UP press release): When a young woman, adopted at birth, gets engaged, […]

UP TV begins production on its first original scripted series

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. UP to launch family drama series. Production on UP’s first original scripted drama series Ties That Bind began last week in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. The hybrid police […]

William Vanderbloemen’s unique perspective on building strong ministry teams in a media age

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Hire calling. With his background as both a pastor and human resources manager, William Vanderbloemen (who made the 2015 FM&C List of Top Under-the-Radar Faith/Media Innovators) knew he had […]

Rita Cosby talk with former Iraq POW Jessica Lynch shines light on current plight of Middle East Christians

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. An important issue gets some attention. Congratulations to journalist Rita Cosby. My former Fox News colleague recently scored a rare interview with former Iraq War POW Jessica Lynch on […]

Film Review: “Little Boy” + Top 100 Christian Leaders in America + Advancing “A.D.”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Little Boy premieres nationwide in theaters Friday (4/24). (Note: This is  slightly altered version of my original post including new impressions from seeing Little Boy for a second time […]

How you can help bring inspirational “Breaking Tommie Scott” to screen

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. How I got to know Tommie Scott. When I’m not working on this blog, I’m a working writer/script consultant who is always on the lookout for compelling and inspirational […]

What’s UP @ UP + Lorette Lynn Gospel Festival stars named + God questions answered in 140 characters or less

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. More Love on UP. Building on the solid ratings success of last year’s UP original film Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, UP TV will continue its premiere Love Finds […]

TV Movie Review: “The Music in Me” tonight on UP TV

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. The Music in Me airs on UP TV tonight (4/12) @ 7:00 PM (ET). The musical drama stars singer/songwriter Debbie Gibson (who wrote and performs the film’s original song Promises) […]

2015 Christopher Award honorees announced

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Recognizing the positive power of storytelling. The 66th annual Christopher Awards will be presented at a gala in New York on May 13, 2015. The prestigious prizes recognize media […]

Eight under-the-radar faith/media innovators you should know about

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Making a difference. With NBC’s A.D. The Bible Continues off to a solid start in the ratings, few would dispute that Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are at the […]

“Beyond the Mask”: Faith-themed period adventure with a revolutionary superhero

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Beyond the Mask premieres in theaters tonight (4/6) Synopsis (from the film’s website): The leading mercenary for the British East India Company, Will Reynolds has just been double-crossed and […]

Quality Easter TV: “A.D” premieres on NBC + “Gospel of Mary Magdalene” on CNN

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. A.D. The Bible Continues premieres tomorrow night (Easter Sunday) @ 9:00 PM (ET) on NBC. Synopsis: Epic dramatization of the Book of Acts begins with the crucifixion and Resurrection […]

“A.D.” cast members talk about bringing the epic story of the Early Church to NBC

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Jesus, Peter and Paul. Yesterday I posted my conversation with producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey at an event earlier this week promoting A.D. The Bible Continues, their new […]

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey talk about bringing “A.D.” to TV this Easter Sunday

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. TV series tackles the history of the Early Church. A.D. The Bible Continues premieres this Easter Sunday at 9:00 PM (ET) on NBC. The series is the latest from […]

Coming Attractions: “Dovekeepers” on CBS + encores for “Killing Jesus” and “Four Blood Moons”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. The Dovekeepers airs tonight (3/31) and tomorrow night (4/1) @ 9:00 PM on CBS. Mark Burnett and Roma Downey go broadcast. Sure, Burnett has Shark Tank (ABC), Survivor (CBS) and […]

TV Reviews: “Killing Jesus” on NatGeo + HBO’s “Going Clear” doc exposes charges against Scientology

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Killing Jesus airs this Sunday (Palm Sunday) @ 8:00 (ET) on National Geographic Channel. Synopsis: The story of the political intrigue that led to the crucifixion of Jesus.  Screenplay […]

Ted McGinley reflects on faith, the meaning of the Cross and playing a pastor in “Do You Believe?”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. These are Happy Days for Ted McGinley. Pure Flix’s newest faith film, Do You Believe? debuted at No. 6 at the box office last weekend. With an estimated weekend […]

Coming Attractions: “Holderness Family” on TV + “Brother’s Keepers” and “War Room” in theaters

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. TV: The Holderness Family airs on UP TV tomorrow night (Thursday, 3/26) @ 10:00 PM (ET). Synopsis: Billed as the “first family of viral video,” The Holderness Family is […]

Muslim actor Haaz Sleiman on portraying Jesus in NatGeo’s “Killing Jesus”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. A Muslim perspective on Jesus. I attended the red-carpet event for Killing Jesus at Lincoln Center last night. The film, shot in Morocco and based on the bestselling book […]

Film event explores the history and possible theological significance of “Four Blood Moons”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Rising in theaters for one night only tonight (3/23): Four Blood Moons Four Blood Moons is playing in about 700 locations across the country tonight only. The film starts […]

CNN doc goes in search of “The Secret Brother of Jesus”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact and Forgery (Episode 4) – The Secret Brother of Jesus airs Sunday (3/15) @ 9:00 PM ET on CNN. Synopsis (from a CNN press release): […]

TV Review: UP TV’s “Noah’s Ark”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Noah’s Ark airs Sunday (3/22) @ 7:00 PM (ET) on UP TV. Synopsis: Noah’s Ark is the story of Noah, an ancient farmer and family man, who is instructed by […]

Producers of “God’s Not Dead” ask “Do You Believe?”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. In theaters this weekend: Do You Believe? Opens Friday 3/20. Synopsis (from the film’s website): A dozen different souls—all moving in different directions, all longing for something more. As […]

Top 5 Faith and Media stories for Wednesday, March 18, 2015

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. 1. Hallmark execs create in-house production company. Crown Media Family Networks, home of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, has announced the launch of Crown Media Productions, an […]

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Everything Sacred. This is a scene from 1997-98 TV series Nothing Sacred.  The excellent series about Chicago parish priests was, IMHO, misnamed out of a misguided attempt to sound […]

Coming Attractions: CNN doc investigates “The Gospel of Judas”, “Drop Box” returns, film drama asks “Do You Believe?”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact and Forgery (Episode 3) – The Gospel of Judas airs Sunday (3/15) @ 9:00 ET on CNN. Mini-Review: As Professor Nicola Denzey Lewis of Brown […]

Irish priest and YouTube sensation Ray Kelly debuts US album just in time for St. Pat’s Day

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. The Year of Living Musically. It’s been about a year now since for Father Ray Kelly of St. Brigid’s Catholic Church in the small manufacturing town of Oldcastle, Ireland captured […]

Actress Shari Rigby talks about her “Beautifully Flawed” life

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. The beauty of imperfection. Shari Rigby began her career as a successful model and is now a sort-after actress whose roles include parts in such quality faith-themed movies as […]

CNN goes in search of “The Bones of John the Baptist”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact and Forgery (Episode 2) – The Bones of John the Baptist air tonight (3/8) on CNN @ 9:00 PM (ET) Mini-Review: Seems to me to […]

Ellie Holcomb celebrates another year in “The Sun”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. It was/is a very good year. As 2015 gains momentum, so too is the career of singer/songwriter Ellie Holcomb whose debut album As Sure As The Sun made Buzzfeed’s […]

Colbert on faith + Viewers find CNN’s “Finding Jesus” + Where’s the “Believe Me” on climate change?

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Stephen Colbert reflects on his Catholic faith. The late-night comedian visited America House hosted by America Magazine Editor-at-Large James Martin. (h/t Big Hollywood) Finding Jesus finds an audience. James […]

Coming attractions “Finding Jesus”, “Drop Box” and “Little Boy”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact and Forgery premieres tonight (3/1) on CNN @ 9:00 PM (ET) Mini-Review: Tonight’s premiere of the six-part CNN original series looks at the investigations into […]

UP preparing “Angels in the Snow” for Christmas 2015

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Planning ahead. Production began this week in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada on the Christmas-themed Angels in the Snow. The UP Premiere Movie stars Kristy Swanson (who played Buffy […]

Mat Kearney sings about childlike faith and the grace of surrendering control

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture Saying it in song. Mat Kearney has grown a following by writing and performing heartfelt songs that are life-affirming. His most recent album, 2011′s Young Love, debuted at #1 […]

Author Joe Battaglia talks about “The Politically Incorrect Jesus”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Living Boldly in a Culture of Unbelief. That the subtitle of The Politically Incorrect Jesus (BroadStreet Publishing), the new book from journalist and Renaissance Communications President Joe Battaglia which […]

UP TV’s “Dancer and the Dame” is a refreshing, family-friendly cop comedy

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Dancer and the Dame airs tonight (2/22) at 7:00 PM (ET) on UP TV. Synopsis (from the UP TV website): Down-and-out police detective Rick Dancer, struggling with a personal […]

Cantinas Entertainment/Mission Pictures deal seen as a plus for positive faith-themed film distribution

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. A new Mission for Bond. The recent announcement that Cantinas Entertainment has acquired Mission Pictures, the inspirational/faith-themed film distribution company co-founded by Cindy Bond, is seen by both sides […]

Producers Mark Burnett, Roma Downey join cast members in preview of “A.D. The Bible Continues”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. NBC releases epic trailer for A.D. The Bible Continues. The three-minute promo features clips from the series as well commentary from cast members and  executive producers Mark Burnett and […]

Pax Press Agency covers Catholic work at the U.N. in Geneva

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. The Church in the world. While the Catholic Church is no stranger to news headlines (for both good and not-so-good reasons), little is known by the general public about […]

Book Review: “The Politically Incorrect Jesus” + Score one for “Old Fashioned” romance

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. A book that is as compelling as it is urgent. I just finished reading The Politically Incorrect Jesus by my friend Joe Battaglia. As the founder and president of […]

Rachel Boston opens “A Gift of Miracles” on HM&M

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. The world premiere of A Gift of Miracles airs tonight (2/15) @ 9:00 PM (ET) on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.The uplifting film stars Rachel Boston (Lifetime’s Witches of East […]

Inspirational “Where Hope Grows” gets release date

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Roadside Attractions and Godspeed Pictures have announced May 15, 2015 as the theatrical release of Where Hope Grows.  The film is a winner of the 2014 Heartland Film Festival […]

Romantic rivals: Rik Swartzwelder’s “Old Fashioned” competes with “Fifty Shades of Grey” for Valentine’s box office love

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is […]

NBC releases “A.D. The Bible Continues” music video

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Newsboys deliver A.D. promo for NBC. The network has just released this music video to promote A.D. (now officially titled A.D. The Bible Continues), Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s […]

Writer-director Corbin Bernsen finds a well-matched creative partner in “Christian Mingle”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Christian Mingle airs on UP TV on Sunday (2/8) @ 7:00 PM ET. Synopsis: Despite her own lukewarm Christian faith, Gwyneth Hayden (Lacey Chabert), a talented ad executive searching […]

Weekend TV movies: “Megachurch Murder” + “Christian Mingle” + “Cloudy with a Chance of Love”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Megachurch Murder airs on Lifetime on Saturday (2/7) @ 8:00 PM ET. Synopsis: Said to be inspired by Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Megachurch Murder tells the story of turmoil in a  […]

ASPiRE premieres Season 2 of “Laff Mobb’s We Got Next” tonight + Basketball as a way of life

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Season 2 of Laff Mobb’s We Got Next premieres tonight 2/4 @ 10:00 PM (ET) on ASPiRE. Billed at an original weekly “clean stand-up” comedy/reality series, Laff Mobb’s We […]

Why filmmaker/human rights advocate Jason Scott Jones takes abortion and other life issues personally

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Life matters. Jason Scott Jones was the emcee of a Students for Live of America event in association with the recent March for Life in Washington D.C.* Though the […]

“Exodus” encore + Would Jesus have been politically correct?

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Exodus success. Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus, the one-night documentary theater event I told you about last week played to packed houses across the country Monday night — leading […]

From ring to screen: Champion boxer Manny Pacquiao’s faith-filled story told in new documentary

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Larger than life. Manny Pacquiao may be just over 5’6″ inches tall but anyone familiar the champion fighter (the first and only boxer to win world titles in eight […]

DVD review: “Welcome to Inspiration” delivers a great sermon in a mediocre movie

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Out on DVD today (1/20): Welcome to Inspiration Synopsis: After their car breaks down, a freelance journalist (Britt George) and his wife (Whitney Goin) spend time in a small […]

National movie theater event explores the truth of the Biblical story of the Exodus

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.  Is Biblical history really history? Ridley Scott’s fictionalized Exodus: Gods and Kings may not have had the box office legs it backers had hoped but those interested in the […]

Former TLC programming exec Amy Winter joins UP TV

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Moving on UP. UP TV has announced that Amy Winter will join the network on February 1 as executive vice president and general manager, a newly created position. She […]

Bud Paxson, Pax TV network creator dies

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Passing of a visionary. Lowell “Bud” Paxson, the co-creator of Home Shopping Network who later amassed a trove of TV stations and launched the family-friendly network Pax TV, had […]

Top five faith/family media stories: January 12, 2015

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. 1. Christian retailer gets into movie-making biz.  Family Christian Entertainment (FCE), the recently-launched sister company of  Family Christian Stores, has announced its first project. Production of 90 Minutes in […]

How an unlikely friendship transcended racial divides and led to the book and upcoming movie “Where a Man Stands”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Another hit for T.D. Jakes? The famed preacher/author/producer whose inspirational film credits include the 2014 hit Heaven is for Real Where a Man Stands by  Carter Paysinger and Steven […]

America takes the Bates! New reality show premieres to strong ratings for UP

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. The premiere episode of the family reality series Bringing Up Bates on New Year’s Day was UP TV’s  strongest original telecast ever for the network among women in both […]

Shazzy New Year! Entrepreneur Kristy McCarley puts a Christian spin on the annual exercise resolution

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Hip-Hoping you a healthier New Year.  As a wife, mother and businesswoman, Kristy McCarley understands that no matter how sincere a New Year’s resolution to exercise is, finding the […]

TV Review: “A Girl’s Best Friend”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. A Girl’s Best Friend airs tomorrow (Sunday, 1/4) @ 7:00 PM (ET) on UP TV. Synopsis:  Polka-Dot, an 11-year-old girl with a quirky devotion to Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, […]

The “Unbroken” power of forgiveness + TV Review: “Bringing Up Bates”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Happy New Year! Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Unbroken smashes industry projections — earning an astounding $47.3 million over Christmas weekend. As Big Hollywood’s John Nolte notes, producer/director Angelina Jolie’s telling of the Christian-themed […]

For KING & COUNTRY performs “A.D.” video + “Joy” to the malls

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. They will know we are Christians…By Our Love. For KING & COUNTRY performs the beautiful hymn (which it would be nice if we could live by) in a new […]

“Unbroken” legacy: Luke Zamperini talks about the Christian faith his father passed on to him

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. The son also rises.  Louis Zamperini died of pneumonia on July 2, 2014 at the age of 97 — just about 70 years after he was originally classified as […]

Will “Old Fashioned” romance fly in 2015? USA Today suggests yes

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Thumbs up! That’s the word from USA Today on Rene Gutteridge’s  novelization of Old Fashioned which has been released in advance the upcoming faith-themed film on Valentine’s Day.  The […]

In 2015: “Exodus” doc plus Ben Franklin in faith-themed adventure + Hallmark’s record holiday ratings

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Coming Attractions: One night event: Patterns of Evidence: Exodus to run in select theaters across the US Monday, January 19 @ 7:00 PM local time. Whether or not Ridley […]

Christian singer Melissa Greene on NBC’s “The Sing-Off”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Veteran Christian music artist Melissa Greene will appear on NBC’s two-hour season premiere holiday special of its popular musical competition series The Sing-Off. Green will perform Ghost with the female group Timothy’s […]

Hallmark’s “Best Christmas Party Ever”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Best Christmas Party Ever air tomorrow night (12/13) @ 8:00 PM (ET) on Hallmark Channel. Synopsis (from the Hallmark Channel website): With the holiday season at hand, young party […]

“Unbroken” poised to be breakout hit + A Merry Christmas at Hallmark + Viral video family in UP pilot

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Why Unbroken could be a game changer.  Not known for any sort of religiosity Angelina Jolie is said to have  formed a deep bond with the real-life Christian hero […]

“Little Boy” theatrical trailer released + Odyssey Networks to expand “On Scripture -The Bible”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Little Boy/big hit? Time will tell. The film, from executive producers Roma Downey & Mark Burnett, is set to premiere in theaters on February 27th. The couple are probably […]

TV Reviews: UP’s “Marry Us for Christmas” + Hallmark Channel’s “Christmas at Cartwright’s”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Warm and believable Marry Us for Christmas airs tonight (12/7) @ 7:00 PM (ET) on UP TV.  Synopsis (from the UP press release): In the sequel to last year’s […]

Composer/performer Keith Getty is celebrating an Irish Christmas at venues across the USA

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. A green Christmas. Born in Northern Ireland, musician/composer Keith Getty, along with his wife Kristyn, is known for  is well-known as a master of theologically-astute modern hymns, a reverent genre […]

See “Vatican Museums 3D” in theaters + Riding high, UP expands into scripted series + Catholic Channel at 8

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Your chance to tour The Vatican Museums.  If you never have been able to visit Rome and have wondered what it would be like to witness the awe-inspiring beauty […]

When the power of music meets the power of the Rosary

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. CD of the decade. The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist scored a chart-topping Billboard hit with the 2013 release of Mater Eucharistiae. Now, the sister back […]

First Look: NBC’s A.D.

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Saga of the Early Church. Executive producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey have just released a sneak peek of A.D., the highly anticipated follow-up to of their smash-hit History Channel miniseries The […]

“Signed, Sealed” returns delivering Christmas charm and heart + A chat with series creator Martha Williamson

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. “A letter can restore a relationship or change the world. Half of the New Testament is made up of letters, mostly from Paul, but also from Peter, James, John […]

This weekend: “Little Hope was Arson” on VOD + “A Royal Christmas” on TV

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Little Hope Was Arson premiered on demand (via iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu) and at New York City’s Cinema Village  theater yesterday (11/21). The powerful documentary is set […]

DVD and VOD release dates announced for Tyler Perry’s “Hell Hath No Fury…” and “Left Behind”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Tyler Perry’s Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned – The Play arrives on DVD, Digital HD and Video on Demand on Tuesday (11/25). Inspired by a successful […]

Rita Cosby celebrates 50th birthday with a star-studded Wounded Warriors benefit

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. (Rita Cosby/Photo by Nicole Vranjican for The New York Observer) A generous spirit and an important cause. Today (11/18) is Rita Cosby’s 50th birthday and, it’s safe to say, […]

TV Reviews: Christmas arrives early via Hallmark Channel’s “Northpole” and UP’s”Paper Angels”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Can’t wait for Christmas? Then set your TV and/or DVR on Hallmark Channel and UP TV. While, except for a few classic perennials (i.e. A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph […]

“Bible” producers aid Mid-East Christians + Two more for T.D. Jakes + An “Old Fashioned” challenge

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Help for persecuted Christians. Variety reports that producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey (The Bible, Son of God) have joined with the Arlington, Virginia-based Institute for Global Engagement to […]

Kirk Cameron talks about “Saving Christmas”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. ‘Tis the season. Kirk Cameron’s film comedy Saving Christmas opens in about 400 theaters across the country this weekend (11/14) for a planned two-week limited engagement. For info on […]

Christian evangelist Luis Palau on how God can use the media to accomplish great things

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Preaching through action. 2015 is shaping up at as big year for Argentinian-born Christian evangelist Luis Palau as his Portland, Oregon-based Luis Palau Association brings its CityServe & CityFest […]

UP TV’s “Naughty and Nice” (starring Haylie Duff) is a little good, a little not so good

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Naughty and Nice airs tomorrow night (Sunday, 11/9) @ 7:00 PM (ET) on UP TV. Synopsis (from the UP press release): It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas […]

November book picks

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Positive reading. Here are a pair of noteworthy books that have been sent to me recently which I think you may actually enjoy. The Hobbit Party: The Vision of […]

NBC’s “A.D.” cast announced

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Epic casting. NBC has announced the cast of A.D., the highly anticipated follow-up to the 2013 ratings blockbuster miniseries The Bible  that aired on The History Channel and which garnered over 100 […]

Hollywood A-listers to star in faith-themed “Same Kind of Difference as Me”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. All-star cast for Same Kind of Different as Me. Principal photography has begun in Jackson, Mississippi on the Paramount Pictures film starring Greg Kinnear,  Djimon Hounsou,  Renee Zellweger and […]

Sarah Carter gets a cowboy for Christmas as Hallmark Channel launches its annual holiday countdown

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. One Starry Christmas airs tomorrow night (11/1) @ 8:00 PM ET on Hallmark Channel. Synopsis (from the Hallmark Channel website): Aspiring astronomy professor and Christmas enthusiast Holly (Sarah Carter) […]

Production complete on UP’s 2nd “Love Finds You” film + Hallmark to air 12 new Christmas films

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. UP TV continues Love Finds You franchise. Production has wrapped on the UP Original Movie Love Finds You In Charm, a romantic, coming-of-age drama set in Amish country, The film,  starring […]

16-year-old Juliette Turner (Jeanine’s daugher) wants you to know that “Our Presidents Rock”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. History is cool again. Even as our cultural gatekeepers seem determined to serve up American history in the darkest possible light, it’s good see our nation’s young people still […]

“Lyfe’s Journey” worth taking + Remembering Terry Keenan

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Lyfe’s Journey airs tonight (10/26) at 7:00 PM (ET) on UP TV. Synopsis: David Lyfe is a nice guy who has it all. At work, he’s a successful banking […]

“23 Blast” is a faith-themed touchdown

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. 23 Blast is in theaters now. Blind faith. Inspired by the true-life story of Travis Freeman, a star high school football player who lost his sight overnight through a […]

Film Review: “Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me” + His wife talks about faith, his final tour and coping with Alzheimer’s

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Rhinestone Cowboy‘s final ride. The announcement of country music legend Glen Campbell 2011 Alzheimer’s diagnosis was shocking both because of the decades of affection he had built with people […]

“Little Hope Was Arson” documentary set for November release

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. True crime, true faith. Following a successful and award-winning run on the festival circuit, Little Hope Was Arson, a documentary about the quest to solve a series of ten Texas […]

TV Review: “My Boyfriends’ Dogs” on Hallmark Channel + A chat with actress Teryl Rothery

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. My Boyfriends’ Dogs airs tomorrow (10/18) @ 9:00 PM ET on Hallmark Channel. Synopsis (from the Hallmark Channel website): Bailey Daley (Erika Christensen) is a hapless young bride who […]

Catholic monks release chanting CD + “Old Fashioned” romance to face steamy “Fifty Shades of Grey” at the box office

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Melodious monks. New Camaldoli Hermitage, a community of Roman Catholic monks in California’s Big Sur, will release their album O Day of Resurrection on Tuesday, November 4th. From Jade […]

UP TV’s “Heavenly Match” is a nice idea that could use some tweaking

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Heavenly Match no match for UP’s previous offerings. Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows that I tend to like movies on UP TV.  Some are […]

Two UP TV films shine spotlight on bullying

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. October is National Bullying Prevention Month. In recognition of that, UP TV is presenting two films that tackle the subject. Nowhere Safe  premieres tomorrow (10/5) at 7 PM (ET). […]

Kevin Sorbo on playing John Calvin in “Let the Lion Roar,” plans for a “God’s Not Dead” sequel and his support of the “Gosnell” movie

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Tackling Christianity’s history of anti-Semitism. Kevin Sorbo plays the role of French theologian John Calvin in Let the Lion Roar, a new docudrama that takes on the unfortunate history […]

This weekend’s faith-themed films: “The Song” falls flat while “Believe Me” hits the right notes

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Faith at the movies. The Song and Believe Me are two faith-themed movies that couldn’t be more different in terms of tone — suggesting a diversity and maturing of […]

The “Race” is on. Authors offer “Five Core Principles to Promote Peace, Freedom and the Culture of Life”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Core strength.  It’s said to be key to physical fitness. And according to Jason Scott Jones and John Zmirak — authors of The Race to Save Our Century: Five […]

“Signed, Sealed, Delivered” Christmas movie + “Daniel Boone” on INSP

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Signed, Sealed, Delivered Christmas movie to arrive in time for holidays. The new film will debut Sunday, November 23 at, 9:00 PM (ET) on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Hopefully, […]

“Mayberry” meets “Friends” at UP’s “Coffee Shop” + For Producer/Director Dave Alan Johnson “heart” beats “edge”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Coffee Shop is a warm, tasty blend of humor and romance.  The film airs this Sunday (/9/14) @ 8:00 PM (ET) on UP TV. Synopsis (per UP): Coffee Shop […]

See first 15 minutes of underrated film “The Identical” here

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. See for yourself. The Identical opened last week to, frankly, very disappointing box office numbers — disappointing to me because, as I said in my review, The Identical is […]

Updated Fall Faith/Media Preview: What’s ahead in movies, TV, music and books

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Since I originally posted the Faith, Media & Fall Preview last week, a few additions have come to my attention.  New entries are headlined in red. Prepare to be […]

“Holy Ghost” movie event tomorrow (9/6); Film a moving experience + “23 Blast” gets Christian radio support

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the […]

“The Identical” unlike any faith-themed film you’ve seen before

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. A Star is Born. That would be Blake Rayne who headlines The Identical (opening nationwide tomorrow, 9/5) in the twin roles of fictional  ’50’s-60’s rock superstar Drexel Hemsley (read […]

Faith/Media Fall Preview: What’s ahead in movies, TV, music and books

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Prepare to be inspired! Media publications like Entertainment Weekly and others are known for compiling Fall Preview issues that focus — and laud praise upon — the latest in […]

“Giver” producers to donate 50¢ of each Labor Day ticket sale to children’s literacy campaign

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. I’m officially on a break until next Tuesday but this time-sensitive item popped into my in-box is worth noting. Giving back.  As part of its continuing efforts to promote […]

“Game” stands tall + a director to watch + Edward James Olmos and Grant Goodeve back in the TV saddle

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Touchdown! Coming on the heels of last weekend’s excellent The Giver, the quality winning streak of faith-themed films continues with When the Game Stand Tall (opening tomorrow, 8/22). Both […]

“Summer Snow” lands on UP TV

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Summer Snow on UP TV tomorrow night (8/17) @ 8:00 PM (ET) Synopsis: 8-year old Hallie Benson (Rachel Eggleston) has a heart that’s bigger than she is. She’s always […]

Support “The Giver”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. The Giver is in theaters nationwide. Synopsis: The Giver (Jeff Bridges) is designated by a future society that confuses conformity with peace to be sole bearer of the violent […]

Inside Story: How and why Walden Media and The Weinstein Company joined forces for “The Giver”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. What will you take from The Giver? As I noted in my review, The Giver — which open in theaters tomorrow (8/15) — is quite simply a great film. […]

At the movies: “The Giver” is great!

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. In theaters Friday (8/15) Synopsis: The Giver (Jeff Bridges) is designated by a future society that confuses conformity with peace to be sole bearer of the violent truth of […]

Faith-based film and TV development company hangs shingle in Mexico

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Producer Pablo José Barroso launches Dos Corazones Films.  A new player in the world of independent film and TV development, finance and production has emerged out of Mexico as […]

“God directed this movie”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture “We say that God directed this movie because we literally waited on him to show us where to go and what to film.” – Wanderlust Productions CEO Braden Heckman […]

Seeing GOD in the life of a DOG + Jeff Bridges a real-life “Giver”

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. UP TV airs true story Susie’s Hope tomorrow (8/3) at 8:00 PM (ET). Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and A Half Men, CSY: NY) stars as Donna Lawrence, a  Greensboro, NC […]

Planning ahead: UP and Hallmark gear up for Christmas

posted by John W. Kennedy

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture. Christmas is nigh. If by “nigh” we mean nearly six months away.  Which I guess is nigh if you’re in the business of producing holiday movies. There was a […]