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Producer, Amazing Grace
Executive Producer of CBS TV series Christy
He has acted in over 35 films and television shows
Producer, The Tamarind Seed, Islands in the Stream, and the miniseries, John Steinbeck’s East of Eden and many other films
Graduated with honors from the School of Cinema at The University of Southern California
Co-authored, Sea of Glory
CBN.com “You may choose to look the other way but you can never again say you did not know.” -- William Wilberforce, 1789
From acclaimed director Michael Apted comes Amazing Grace, the inspiring story of how one man’s passion and perseverance changed the world. Based on the true life story of William Wilberforce, a leader of the British abolition movement, the film chronicles his epic struggle to pass a law to end the slave trade in the late 18th century.
Ioan Gruffudd plays Wilberforce, a man born into the age of the Great British Empire when the country's influence around the globe was at its most powerful. It was, however, an age when the rumblings of social discontent were emerging, and a time when reformers faced an uphill struggle to be heard.
A good friend of England’s youngest Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger (Benedict Cumberbatch), Wilberforce is elected to the House of Commons at the age of 21, and entrusted by Pitt with the cause for the abolition of slavery.
In spite of his political prowess, Wilberforce finds himself torn between his successful rising career and his desire to give it all up for a life of spirituality. He seeks the advice of friend and mentor John Newton (Albert Finney), a former slave trader who turned to the Church in order to atone for his earlier life, who suggests that the best way for Wilberforce to serve God would be to fight injustice with his political influence. Inspired by Newton, Wilberforce quickly becomes the rallying voice in Parliament for a fragmented group of like-minded people to fight the cause and make the people of Britain, and ultimately the world, acknowledge the horror of the slave trade.
Amazing Grace follows Wilberforce's career through his 20's and 30's, when he and his fellow humanitarians made the issue of slavery a talking point, not only in political circles, but also throughout the country. They waged the first modern political campaign, using petitions, boycotts, mass meetings and even badges with slogans to take their message to the country at large. Wilberforce steered this cause through the corridors of power and ultimately opened the way for the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire. His success came after decades of fighting when Parliament finally passed the first anti-slavery bill in 1807.
IT’S NOT ALL HISTORY
Veteran filmaker Ken Wales, one of the producers of Amazing Grace, says that Wilberforce is not only a historical figure, but a man of our times as well. He hopes that people will look at Wilberforce and use his life to begin a reform of manners, morals, decency and civility in today’s culture. He says this movie is a good example of how one man can change the world and how we can become civil in today’s society.
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