DeVon Franklin, actor and producer, latest movie hopes to bridge the gap between faith and entertainment. “Breakthrough” shares the incredible journey of one mother, Joyce Smith, who prays her son back to life after he falls through an icy Missouri lake. Her son eventually was revived despite being pronounced dead for several minutes.
The film will be released Friday April 17 in theaters everywhere. Franklin, who produced the film, spoke to the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper about the inspiration behind the story.
LOS ANGELES SENTINEL NEWSPAPER (LS): What was your intention in creating “Breakthrough?” What did you hope to achieve by producing the film?
DEVON FRANKLIN (DV): My intention was to provide hope through entertainment. That’s what I exist to do. When you look at entertainment, you can see it has the power to change people’s hearts and mind. I heard this story and had to bring it to the big screen.
LS: Can you describe your experience when you first heard the Smiths’ story?
FRANKLIN: It really blew me away when I first heard the story. It was amazing especially the medical record that said the son was pronounced dead. His mother then prayed him back to life. The moment I heard Joyce, the mother, talk about her story, I just knew I had to tell it.
LS: Producing a film seems like a big job. Did you have any hesitations or fears?
FRANKLIN: I think the biggest hesitation is that I wanted to get it right. I wanted to make sure I was sensitive to the Smith’s family needs. I also wanted to make sure I was authentic to the original story. But the family has watched the film and they enjoyed it. I’m happy they are pleased.
LS: Where was the movie filmed? From the trailer, it looks like somewhere north possibly? Did the cast enjoy that?
FRANKLIN: It was freezing! We shot in Winnipeg Canada. The majority of the movie was shot below freezing temperatures. However, the cast was incredible. It stopped just becoming a job. That’s always a nice feeling when people understand the bigger picture behind the job.
LS: What do you want people to leave feeling after viewing “Breakthrough”?
I want the audience speaking life into the idea that all things are possible to those who believe. We live our life frustrated and often without hope. That hopelessness can lead to depression. Even with impossible odds, you can succeed.