The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone is opening in theaters this weekend. Opening on March 1, the PG-rated movie will make its premier in about 100 select theaters across the country.
Starring Billy Unger, Sammi Hanratty and James Hong with Alex Kendrick and Mark Dacascos, this faith-based, action-adventure movie is geared toward children six through fourteen and their families.
“I’m excited that there is a family film coming out this weekend that kids, their parents and grandparents will love. Based on its soft touch, there will be many tears in moms’ eyes at the end,” said writer/director/producer Bill Muir of MeThinx Entertainment. “I’m also excited that viewers will be presented an affirming statement about God and His love for us.”
Muir said his hope is that children will leave the theater recognizing that significance, meaning and purpose come from the inside out. Kids, who might typically determine their worth based on who their friends are or the clothes they wear, can reflect, look inside and know that they are important, no matter what parties they go to or not, because God created them.
Filmed in the jungles and beaches of Thailand, this quality, action-adventure film presents positive values about being loved by God, finding one’s value and the power of friendship.
Aimed at the tween population, the movie’s plot begins to unfold when Daniel Anderson (Alex Kendrick, Courageous, Fireproof and Facing the Giants) visits a foster home to drop off some donations and he is quickly roped into telling the kids a story.
He tells them about Billy Stone and Allie, two 13-year-old friends, who uncover a long-lost medallion and then accidentally wish themselves back in time. Viewers go along with them in their journey as they gain a new perspective about who they are and what their lives really mean. Daniel finishes his story by letting the children know how valuable they are to God, who loves and created them.
According to Muir, the movie ties into his own experience with foster care and adoption. He and his wife have been foster parents for 30 years. They began taking in children in 1984.
“We took in foster children. It was there that I started to see kids that had been pulled from families, or abandoned and we brought them in,” Muir said. “We discovered how broken they were, and struggling. We demonstrated love and noticed that we could be a part of kid’s lives and bring some softness, kindness and calmness to their story, and that was powerful.”
Muir, a Moody Bible College graduate, who spent 30 years of his career with Youth for Christ, and served 10 years as a pastor, views his time in the film industry as another career endeavor.
“This is really like a third career. What’s holding my attention now, and why it captured me is I see its power. Good films are a motive. They resonate with people, internally. They are harder to shake than a 30-minute sermon. They are viewed more than once. The shelf life of a good film can be around for 10 or 15 years,” Muir said.
He said the last five years of being involved in making movies has allowed him to recognize how powerful films are in our culture, how people talk about them and how deeply they resonate with people as well as their shelf life.
“A good film can be seen by millions of people,” said Muir. “Those elements are what keeps me working in this genre, and it’s a very hard genre. Films start out a pure art when you type the first word on a white piece of paper, and end as pure business when you try to distribute it. And, it’s a collaborative art form, so if anyone on your team drops the ball – bad focus, recording, sound or acting – the whole art suffers. So, It’s a lot of pressure. If you get it right, it’s very rewarding.”
Going beyond the church walls, Muir and his industry partner John Duke, who acts as executive producer in The Lost Medallion, desire to create films with positive virtues and those that make affirming statements, rather than to focus on where culture is headed.
“[We said] let’s counter that and be salt and light. Let’s elevate good virtues and values. So, we created a company that was designed to produce family-friendly films in the marketplace of life,” Muir said “The theme of The Lost Medallion is that we all have value, and that value is because God created us, and we ought to love and be kind to each other. Love and kindness will trump meanness and evil.”
Fifty percent of the movie’s net proceeds go toward supporting a local charitable organization. Those who see The Lost Medallion in theaters will also be able to see a 12-minute, award-winning film, Beyond the Sky, which fosters dialogue and answers questions viewers may have about faith. For more information, or to view Beyond the Sky, visit www.thelostmedallion.com. In Ohio, the movie will debut at AMC Easton in Easton’s Town Center in Columbus, AMC Dublin Village in Dublin and at Cinemark 14 in Mansfield/Ontario.
The movie is also debuting this week at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) convention in Nashville. Several screenings are scheduled for Monday night, March 4. Muir was also on hand for media interviews.