In the Bible, Jesus reflected spiritual truths through everyday stories commonly referred to as parables. With the theatrical release of their new film, Like Dandelion Dust, brothers and Christian film producers Kevin and Bobby Downes present their version of a modern-day parable.
Co-produced with Kerry David (Agent Cody Banks), directed by Jon Gunn (My Date with Drew) and based on a novel by best-selling inspirational author Karen Kingsbury, the movie examines the lives of two couples forever entwined because of their love for a single six-year old boy. Like Dandelion Dust reflects a significant picture of the spiritual concept of sacrificial love.
“The most important thing I want to convey to people through my movies is God’s love for the world,” Kevin Downes says in a telephone interview from his home in California. “We want to accomplish that while telling stories that are relevant to people’s lives today. We think the story in Like Dandelion Dust does just that.”
Downes, who began an interest in filmmaking as a teen acting in high school and community theatre, transitioned to a behind the scenes role early on. He has had a hand in producing several faith-based films, including: Time Changer, starring Hal Linden (Barney Miller), Gavin MacLeod (Mary Tyler Moore), and Jennifer O’Neill (Summer of ’42); Midnight Clear featuring Stephen Baldwin (The Young Riders) and Victoria Jackson (Saturday Night Live); and Mercy Streets starring Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight) and Stacy Keach (Mike Hammer).
Downes’ ability to draw a stellar cast is evident in Like Dandelion Dust. Calls went out in Los Angeles, New York, and Canada and drew the likes of Oscar winner Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite) and Golden Globe nominee Barry Pepper (Seven Pounds), who portray Wendy and Rip Porter.
The characterizations of adoptive parents Jack and Molly Campbell are equally compelling, brought to life by Cole Hauser (Chase) and Kate Levering (Drop Dead Diva).
“We knew we needed to select actors that would really capture these characters,” says Downes. “The most difficult part to cast was that of Joey Campbell, the 6-year old little boy. It was about the last major part we did cast. We were nine months into the casting process and Maxwell Perry Cotton (Brothers & Sisters) was the last boy to walk through the doors. We knew right away he was Joey. And Pepper and Sorvino, well they just do a phenomenal job as the birth parents.”
Pepper’s portrayal has already won him best actor nods at the Las Vegas International Film Festival and New York VisionFest. Sorvino’s depiction of Wendy has garnered her best actress accolades at New York VisionFest, San Diego Film Festival, and the Sonoma Valley Film Festival.
Marketing for Like Dandelion Dust has been an extensive grass-roots effort conducted and coordinated primarily through social networking sites and with the help of Kingsbury’s enormous, and loyal, fan base. The target has been aimed both inside and outside the faith-based community.
“This is Karen Kingsbury’s first movie adaptation, and we really feel like it touches a wide swath,” says Downes. “We have been screening it at mainstream film festivals for a year now. Places where we might not normally be able to take a faith-based film. Karen’s wonderful writing – she’s been compared to Nicholas Sparks – has really made that happen.”
Like Dandelion Dust opens in select theatres nationwide on September 24 and is rated PG-13 as some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Background information from www.imdb.com.