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ABOUT THE MOVIE
On February 17th, CCM veteran Michael W. Smith and stage actor and playwright jeff obafemi carr (who, as a personal reminder of his submission to God, spells his name in all lowercase letters) come together for the film The Second Chance, produced by Steve Taylor.
In the film, Smith plays Ethan Jenkins, the assistant pastor of a mega-church in the wealthy, mostly white suburbs of Nashville. When Ethan’s unorthodox style gets him into trouble with church leadership, his senior pastor/father sends him downtown to serve at their sister church, a black congregation in the projects. But things don’t turn out as planned.
carr stars as Jake Sanders, the street pastor of Second Community Church. In the film, Jake struggles to hold his small congregation together with every ounce of energy he can muster.
He and his wife Amanda (played by Lisa Arrindell Anderson from Clockers and Madea’s Family Reunion) struggle to find common ground with Ethan as they face street gangs, systemic poverty and those who would destroy their church for political gain.
Sparks fly between Ethan and Jake from day one when Jake takes Ethan on a tour of the ‘hood, and the situations they encounter lay bare Ethan’s misconceptions and insecurities.
While the two men spend the bulk of the film trying to find a common ground, the overarching idea is that communities must find that same ground.
The hope of carr is that the movie gets people talking. In fact, he says that after a trade screening, a pastor from Chicago called to tell him about a conversation he’d had with several others afterward about what the church needed to be doing. “In the end,” jeff says, “they ended up praying together. That really speaks to the potential of the film.”
The Second Chance will open in 35 key markets on February 17 with plans to expand to additional markets in following weeks. A full market and theatre listing will be available in coming weeks on www.thesecondchancemovie.com.
ABOUT THE ACTORS
With The Second Chance, jeff obafemi carr will add one more significant line to his resume — screen actor in an original motion picture. After an invitation to read for the film, producer Steve Taylor was so impressed by carr ’s passion and insight that he asked carr to help further shape the realism of the script.
As a teenager carr was a talented choir member, promising drama student, and devoted church member by day. But at night, he led a different life — as a part-time thief, hustler, and mischief-maker. Soon, his worlds collided when a vandalism prank resulted in his expulsion two weeks before he would have graduated from high school. He landed in a juvenile detention cell, and that’s when carr decided he’d had enough. He wouldn’t risk becoming a statistic anymore.
Eventually, carr graduated from high school and college, and he built a career as a stage actor, writer and director. Perhaps it’s his own experience with second chances that have allowed the 15-year veteran to sensitively portray the streetwise, urban pastor.
A licensed minister, carr spends his personal time with his daughter, friends, young people, or with total strangers, looking for opportunities to share knowledge he has learned through his experiences.
carr is not the only one branching out in The Second Chance. Michael W. Smith will also add the title "actor" on to his already extensive list of achievements. Since he rarely does anything small, it’s not surprising that his acting career starts with a lead role in Steve Taylor's latest film project.
Smith wrote his first song at age five. After dropping out of college to pursue a music career, he landed his first job as keyboardist for Amy Grant. In 1993, Smith debuted his first album Michael W. Smith Project which included the now famous “Friends”. His success in the music business exploded. Healing Rain, released in 2005, is his 18th album and first pop studio record since 1999’s This Is Your Time.
Throughout his career, Smith has had the opportunity to sing for presidents and national leaders and counts among his friends the Reverend Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham. But for all of Smith’s accolades -- including his teen outreach Rocketown, leadership in his local church body, the business of being an artist, an author and a record label executive -- Smith sums up his life as this: “to be remembered as a God-fearing man who loved his wife and kids well.”
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