What do you get when you have five kids in one family? Over the years I’ve heard quips about parents raising their own basketball team. But Joel and Lisa Steege have something different in mind for their family. They are raising an all-star movie cast right in their back yard – literally! Their sixth child was born during production, so he didn’t make it onto the big screen of their first feature film production, The Runner from Ravenshead. You can be sure that it won’t be long, though, before he joins the ranks of cast member along with his older siblings! I had a chance to visit with the Steege family recently and interview them about their film. I’ll be sharing more about that later, but for now here’s a peek into this highly original adventure!
The number one thing that sets this film apart from the typical movie fare is that it is comprised of an all-children cast. The cute factor is a major bonus, but I was equally enthralled by the depth of the storyline, the scripting, the acting, the camera work, and the music. Several years ago, I read a commentary on the Christian film industry that highlighted the problematic approach of many Christian filmmakers who were utilizing film as a means of preaching. The commentator went on to make the point that film is a visual medium, and only those who rightly understand and harness it as such will be effective. That’s one thing that The Runner from Ravenshead does so well. The dialogue is sufficient to communicate its message with clarity, but the story largely unfolds before the eyes, not the ears, of the viewer. That said, the accompanying soundtrack, recorded live by the FILMharmonic© Orchestra of Prague, goes a long way toward conveying the tenor of the film and keeping the viewer on the edge of his seat!
From the website, “After a daring escape from Ravenshead Prison, Sam finds herself in worse trouble. Outrunning the relentless wardens seems impossible…she wonders how much longer her strength can hold
out. But help is on the way – kind of. Henry, janitor for the City of Refuge Guide Service, is unexpectedly thrust into the line of duty when all the trained guides are called out on other missions. As he sets out on his long-awaited first assignment, he gets more adventure than he bargained for. Will the enthusiastic but awkward amateur guide persuade Sam to trust him before it’s too late?”
If one of the measurements of a good movie in our family is the number of times we rewind in order to replay a funny line or scene, then The Runner from Ravenshead ranks right up there with the best of them! We were laughing hilariously at points, sitting in suspense at others, and empathizing with the depth of emotions Sam felt in her desperate attempt to gain freedom from her warden. Another thing I love about this film is that it doesn’t do your thinking for you. There are important truths woven throughout the plot, but there is plenty of room for each viewer to ponder the implications and personal application of the story.
In case you can’t tell yet, I really love this movie and highly recommend it for any family. It’s one that our family will be watching over and over again! The film is hot off the production lines and has just become available, so check out the trailer below, and then order your copy today! 🙂