RUTH: A FAITHFUL JOURNEY Releases DVD and web streaming August 18
UHRICHSVILLE, OHIO – It’s not every day the dreams of a few church youth group members turn into a feature film, but in the hands of 18-year-old Richie Johns and with the support of Rush Community Church of the Nazarene, a congregation has done just that, and announces the release of RUTH: A FAITHFUL JOURNEY on DVD and web streaming-on-demand on Friday, August 18.
The 92- minute drama, (available at www.ruthmovie.org) is a modern day retelling of the Biblical book of Ruth, and is the first film produced by the church and written and directed by their filmmaker/valedictorian/polymath Richie Johns.
The “Ruth Movie” premiered in April, with 12 showings at New Philadelphia, Ohio’s Quaker Cinema.
Shot in picturesque rural Ohio, the idea for the project came during a trip with a church group who decided it would be fun to make a modernized Christian movie. Johns and his eventual associate producers Samuel and Gabriel Brewer thought of potential bible stories that could be made into a modern adaptation.
“There are so many stories to be told,” he said, “but I decided I would like to try the story of Ruth because of its lessons in faith.” Johns began writing the script in 2015, filming began in the summer of 2016, and production wrapped this past spring.
According to the Bible, Ruth personified faith and love when she told her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi, “Where you go, I’ll go,” a statement that has become famous in literature. In this updated version, they move to Naomi’s previous home in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. While on the lookout for some form of income, Ruth stumbles upon B&B manufacturing, owned and operated by Boaz himself. She seems to have been searching for employment when romance unexpectedly finds her.
Johns cast his sister Hannah Johns in the title role, along with friends Carrie Rooks as Naomi and Kyle Henry as Boaz. Associate producers were Samuel and Gabriel Brewer, and made use of Steadi-cam and drone resources available to him through Claymont High School, from which he graduated in May.
Explaining his entry into film, Johns says “When we were little kids, we used to make all kinds of videos. Eventually I joined my teacher Chad Shoemaker in making a full-length science fiction movie. It was an after school activity, and I liked it so much I quit basketball the following year.”
Funding for the project came from private and business donations, and from a small budget from the church. A great number of local businesses supported the project by making their locations available along with providing in-kind support.
“Serving my church remains the purpose driving me forward,” says Johns. In addition to the film, Johns has created a curriculum and small group discussion guide for ministries to use in home bible studies or Sunday school classes that incorporate clips from the film. This ministry resource is available from the website. Churches in five states have already requested to host screenings.
“I am so grateful to my mentor, Douglas Downs, and my current pastor, Brett Warkentine, for their inspiration in this work.”
Richie Johns will attend Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, Ohio, this fall, majoring in Intercultural Studies and Journalism/Media Production. “I hope to continue making documentaries and stories that spread the Gospel. Ruth will not be the last one.”
For Media inquires, please contact filmmaker Richie Johns at (330) 340-9682, email@example.com.