When veteran faith-based filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick were shooting their latest movie, Lifemark, they didn't know Roe v. Wade would be overturned weeks before its release.
They knew only that they felt God calling them to make a pro-life movie spotlighting adoption.
"The timing of this film is divine appointment," Stephen Kendrick told Christian Headlines.
Releasing for one week in theaters beginning Sept. 9, Lifemark (PG-13) tells the story of an 18-year-old high school student who learns that his birth mom wants to meet him, face to face. Via flashbacks, the movie follows not only his life story but also that of his adoptive parents and birth parents. It's based on a true story and reveals how the birth mom nearly chose abortion.
"This whole story, I believe, is very timely," Stephen Kendrick said.
The movie will hit theaters just over two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
Kendrick wants the movie to help boost support for pro-life ministries, including crisis pregnancy centers (often called "pregnancy help centers"). CareNet, a nonprofit organization that supports crisis pregnancy centers, is a movie partner.
Lifemark is based on a true story.
"The [pro-life] battle is not over," Kendrick said. "It's dropped down to the state level, and the local level. And as the body of Christ, we need to be standing up and showing incredible compassion at every level to these girls in crisis pregnancies, to the infant in their womb, to these parents that can't have children and want to adopt, to orphans in foster care – kids in our community – we have an opportunity as a body of Christ to shine.
"And this movie delivers on an emotional level, on a mental level with the stats and the science and the research. But more importantly, on the heart level, based on a true story, how we can step into this arena with love and compassion. And I think it will not only reinforce the value of the unborn and show compassion for a girl who's in an unwanted pregnancy but also shows this beautiful picture of adoption and how amazing it can be."
It's the first Kendrick Brothers film based on a true story. They serve as producers.
"When the Lord told us to make this into a movie, it was definitely a faith journey because it was outside of our usual box," Stephen Kendrick said.
Photo courtesy: ©Kendrick Brothers/Fathom, used with permission
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.