'Holy Roller' Comedy Uplifts Those Struggling

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The faith-based film "The Holy Roller" has had much success since its 2011 release in New Zealand. Now, the movie heads to theaters in the United States this month.

"The Holy Roller" follows the unusual relationship between a Christian pastor and a feisty nightclub owner. Pastor Luke moves to a bigger city in search of work after his church fails. There he meets Simon, the debt-ridden club owner.

Shine TV, CBN News' sister station in New Zealand, spoke with Angus Benfield, the star, producer and writer of the film about the story line and its purpose.

"The night club owner owes a whole lot of money to an underworld boss who's threatening to knock him off ... and Pastor Luke prays for him and a miracle happens," Benfield explained.

Owing a big debt, Simon tricks Pastor Luke into going into business with him and turning the club into a church.

Little did they know, the church becomes a success. Drug trade and crime drop in the city, which upsets the underworld boss.

Benfield said the movie is based on a lot of true stories, but he wanted to keep the tone light and uplifting.

"I had friends who I grew up with who made wrong choices in their lives, and I would make the choice to follow the Lord and stuff and be a Christian," he recalled.

"One thing I saw was that they would kind of get themselves into real messes and would ask for my help and I'd come and try and help them," Benfield added.

"So, I was hoping through the film that ... the people who aren't in the church, who aren't even thinking about going into the church, will still watch it and say, 'Hey that's where I am at. Maybe there's a hope for me,'" he explained.

Benfield said God made the filming process easier than it should have been.

"We had a really smooth shoot. Things weren't going wrong," he said.

"When certain doors would shut and then other doors would open, then when I realized that door that shut, was like 'Thank God that door shut' because if we went down there it would have been disastrous, like bad location," Benfield recalled.

Benfield hopes people will walk away from the movie knowing God sees them.

"The main message was always ... that God is wherever you're at," he told Shine TV.

"For the person who has fallen away or disgruntled with the church or never even set foot in a church," Benfield continued, "I really hope that those people just go, that they realize God's right there, right there in the gutter."

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The Holy Roller

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