NASHVILLE, TN - Across: The Father Tolton Movie has raised over $100,000 in their unique crowd-investing initiative. Based on the life of America’s first black priest and a short film by Director Christopher Foley, the project now has to momentum to go into production in the coming months, and possibly make it to theaters by late 2020.
Bolstered by the news that Father Tolton has been named Venerable by Pope Francis - a step just short of canonization to sainthood - the fund saw accelerated growth in recent weeks. The crowd-investing strategy is the brain-child of Faith Film Fund director Jon Graham, who bested his $80,803 fund for another faith-based film, Kind Katie. “We’re ecstatic,” he said. “It’s a testament to a public hungry for great films that reflect their values.” Unlike traditional crowd-funding initiatives, investors in Across actually own a share of the profits through the SEC-approved company, TruCrowd.
Foley is confident that fund will reach its maximum of $107,000 before the August 15 closing. “We have so much going on - screenings, meetings with studios, and growth on social media,” said Foley, “that we are popping the champagne already. We feel like we will be able to attach a known actor to the project now, and raise the remainder of the budget from traditional film financing sources. The first money is always the hardest to raise.” Across will likely be budgeted at somewhere between $5 and $10 million when it goes into production.
The rise from a low-budget short film to a feature is a hard path toward what many see as the closed doors of Hollywood. The fact that Across is on the brink has inspired all who have participated. Nina Hibbler-Webster, who plays Tolton’s mother in the short film, was animated as she talked about the film and its momentum in a recent interview. “You can just see in this story that anything is possible. I don’t think that God allows us to imagine things and then not allow them to be possible.”
For more information on the the film, and Father Tolton, the hero who inspired it, please click like on the official facebook page.