By Holly WoodUPDATE
(1/24/10) - - "To Save A Life" had an opening weekend of $1.5 million on a production budget of $500,000 and playing in 441 theaters. (BoxOfficeMojo
Jim Britts, the youth pastor at New Song Community Church in Oceanside and a former film student at Biola University, and his wife, Rachel, converted teen angst into a screenplay. Their full-length feature film, "To Save A Life
," opens Friday on 430 theater screens nationwide. The film examines the hypothesis that may be the most hurting and depressed generation of teens of all time. The film, shot during most of 2008, stars several successful Hollywood teen actors, including Randy Wayne ("Grizzly Park"), Deja Kreutzberg ("Law and Order," "CSI: Miami"), Kim Hidalgo ("The New Adventures of Old Christine") and Sean Michael Afable ("Akeelah and the Bee"). The film also employed dozens of North County residents, and numerous local volunteers, including many from New Song church.
Two of those residents include our president's Goddaughter Maya Mozon and her younger brother Orin, both pictured at left. Their parents, navy chaplain Ollis Mozon and psychologist mother, Almena Mozon, are Godfather/mother to our president's son. Orin has a speaking role in the film, while Maya and Almena are extras and pop up periodically in the background during the movie. Maya tells us about her experience:
"Seeing how filming worked from the inside was fascinating. I think a lot of the kids learned some things. I think the success of [faith-based] films shows there is a need."
Orin Mozon, a 17-year-old El Camino High School senior, plans to attend Point Loma Nazarene and major either in music and ministry, or film, believes "To Save A Life" carries an important message. He says:
"It's really about preventing teen suicide, and along with that, dealing with the loneliness so many teens feel. If we can prevent a suicide everywhere this film plays, we've accomplished something huge. I was there every day, doing whatever I could to help out. That's the way it was on this film, people from the community just showing up and helping out."
Britts, New Song's Executive Pastor Steve Foster and the church are producers, along with independent filmmaker Nicole Franco. Financing was raised, and eventually Samuel Goldwyn Films stepped in as distributor and marketer of the film. After the theatrical run, the film will be available for special licensing by youth and church groups, then enjoy a major DVD release. A novelization of the story is also now available in bookstores. (North County Times
, 1/16/10--serving North San Diego & Southwest Riverside counties)
Orin quoted in FOX 5 News San Diego Clip below:
Orin Mozon Explore Talent