Amanda “AJ” Michalka, James Denton, Kevin Pollak, Shawnee Smith and Jamie-Grace star in story about faith, love and reconciliation on the road to a music career
LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company and Roadside Attractions announced today that production has completed on the inspirational film GRACE UNPLUGGED and it will release in theaters on October 4, 2013. The film features a cast led by AJ Michalka (Super 8, The Lovely Bones), James Denton (“Desperate Housewives”), Kevin Pollak (A Few Good Men,), Michael Welch (“Joan of Arcadia”) and Shawnee Smith (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager”). Lead actress Michalka is known for both her acting roles and her singing career as half of the duo Aly & AJ, more recently known as 78Violet.
The film features the acting or feature film debuts of three music stars: Christian singer Jamie-Grace, American Idol Season 10 Finalist Pia Toscano, and an appearance by renowned Christian artist/songwriter and Grammy Award® winner, Chris Tomlin. Written and directed by Brad J. Silverman (No Greater Love) GRACE UNPLUGGED is produced by Russ Rice, Larry Frenzel (Courageous), Chris Zarpas and Robert Norton, and executive produced by Mark Burg, Larry Mestel and Dan Heffner.
Over the next seven months Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions will be showing the film to a variety of Christian leaders and youth pastors as part of early outreach plans for the film. In addition, both Capitol Christian Music Group and Lifeway Christian Resources have teamed up to promote a film they feel will strongly appeal to Christian audiences throughout the world.
“We love GRACE UNPLUGGED, an entertaining story of a talented teenager rising in the music industry who gets a chance to achieve her dreams but realizes in the process the importance of family and her faith. While the story is specific to the world of music, the themes are universal to every family in this inspiring movie,” said Lionsgate President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions Jason Constantine.
“We are thrilled to be releasing GRACE UNPLUGGED, a terrific, emotional story of a contemporary father and daughter who must each reconcile their faith with their love of music and performing,” said Roadside Attractions’ Co-President Howard Cohen.
“GRACE UNPLUGGED is the perfect film to showcase the power of music in our culture and the positive impact it can have on lives,” said Bill Hearn, CEO of Capitol Christian Music Group. “We’re thrilled to be the music and soundtrack partner with Lionsgate which allows us to offer powerful songs to enhance this incredible story of reconciliation.”
GRACE UNPLUGGED stars Amanda “AJ” Michalka as 18-year-old Christian singer/songwriter Grace Rose Trey, who plays guitar and leads worship with her dad Johnny (James Denton). Her dad is a former rock star who has left his secular career behind and is now a worship leader at their small-town Alabama church. Grace is restless for her own shot at pop stardom, and seizes on an opportunity to go to L.A., against the wishes of her family. Cutting off contact with her parents, Grace seems prepared to walk away from her Christian faith and music to achieve her Hollywood dream. Will the experience cause her to reject her faith or rediscover it? GRACE UNPLUGGED is a modern day prodigal-daughter story and is Rated PG.
About Lionsgate — Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of primetime cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 27 shows on 18 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy® Award-winning “Mad Men,” “Weeds” and “Nurse Jackie,” the new comedy “Anger Management,” the network series “Nashville,” the syndication successes “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” its spinoff “Meet the Browns,” “For Better Or Worse,” “The Wendy Williams Show,” “Are We There Yet?” and the upcoming “Orange Is The New Black,” an original series for Netflix.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first installment of The Hunger Games franchise, the 13th highest-grossing North American release of all time, The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn – Part 2, which has grossed more than $800 million at the worldwide box office, Tyler Perry’s Temptation, Snitch, Warm Bodies, Texas Chainsaw 3D, The Expendables 2, The Possession, Sinister, The Cabin in the Woods, Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection and Arbitrage. With the January 2012 acquisition of Summit Entertainment, the Company has now added the blockbuster Twilight Saga, which has grossed more than $3.3 billion at the worldwide box office, to its current slate, giving the Company the two premier young adult franchises in the world.
Lionsgate’s home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 15,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
About Roadside Attractions — In its tenth year of operation, Roadside Attractions has released films grossing over $150M at the U.S. box office while garnering twelve Academy® Award nominations and one win. Roadside has released such critical and commercial hits as Winter’s Bone, The Cove, Arbitrage, Margin Call and Super Size Me. Its upcoming 2013 slate includes Jeff Nichols’ Mud with Matthew McConnaughey, Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, the Kristen Wiig starrer Girl Most Likely and Oscar® nominee J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost, starring Robert Redford.