A unique film production team recently converged in the Shirlington area of Arlington, Va. to shoot scenes for a riveting Christian documentary film called “VicStory,” which is the story of Christians who have become disenfranchised in the new economy. The people portrayed in the film are like countless Christian people in the U.S. who are living in shelters or on the street because of unemployment and eviction and not because of drug addiction, alcoholism, mental illness, and/or fiscal irresponsibility.
Dr. Lotus Seng, owner of Lente Tresor Productions, LLC and the executive producer and director of “VicStory,” which stands for “A Victory in God and A Story, became aware of the plight of a Northern Virginia Christian family facing eviction because the breadwinner lost his job and the family could no longer pay their rent. Lotus learned about the family through the Hope Center in Stafford, Va., which offers food and clothing for families who are suffering from economic hardship.
“We will follow up with the family after we raise money for post-production, complete the edits and enter the film in festivals,” Lotus said. “At that time we would like to tell the rest of their story, which is already highlighted by their continued faith in God despite their grueling hardship.
Upon learning of the family’s challenges, Lotus was prayed selflessly for them, and it was then that God revealed to her that she could produce a film to raise money to help them. Because she is not one to ignore God, she obeyed, and within a matter of a few days, put the script together, gathered a group of committed actors and crew, found locations, and began shooting the film guerrilla-style.
“VicStory is a story about a Christian people going through the eviction process while keeping their relationship with God intact from beginning to end” she said. “In fact central in this story is each character’s relationship with God.”
Lotus’s script was based on some real-life experiences of a single mother and child and she created the other characters of Sarah, Jesiah, and Dante to show how much Christians are affected by eviction and homelessness. What made these portrayals unique, raw, and authentic was that she asked the actors to allow their characters to evolve organically.
Sarah has been living with her daughter and her son-in-law and because of conflict between her and the son-in-law she is being forced out of the house. She is an athiest who has been fighting God, and in the midst of her challenges, she is unable to see how much God is loving her despite her resentment, loneliness, and bitter heart. Single mother, Anna and her young daughter, Linda love God and despite Satan’s efforts to make them discouraged, they never stop believing in His promises. Jesiah is a man of God, but he is also angry at the world and himself. His relationship with God is solid, and he is wondering why he is going through such hardship. He believes he has been obedient, so he wonders why God is not blessing him. Dante is a person who had left God to pursue his worldly desires of being an actor. Despite his early church training, his choices in life have made him turn his back on God.
“Each cast and crew member of “VicStory” were dreams to work with,” Lotus said. “Maria was a trooper,”she said. “ She worked hard and made great observations; I would give her directions and before I knew it, Sarah, the character she plays, was coming alive exactly as I intended.”
WKeith Scott is an actor who does his due diligence. He spoke to Lotus and wrote her repetitively to get into her head and understand how he should portray his character, Jesiah.
“Both Maria and WKeith Scott facilitated our production by offering their homes as shooting locations and without their help, we would not have been able to shoot so quickly,” Lotus said.
Sheila Spann is a young actress and part of Avellino Studios, the co-producer of VicStory. Sheila plays Anna, the single mother who is about to be evicted. Through Sheila’s strength in conveying emotions, she was able to make Anna her own.
Lotus’ daughter, actress and singer, Lente Tresor, who’s an established talent represented by New York’s Wilhelmina Modeling Agency, plays Anna’s daughter, Linda.
“Lente asked before we began shooting how she could help the family that was soon to be displaced,” Lotus said. “I shared what God had revealed to me, and she responded by praying, so when it came time for her to do her role, she took direction effortlessly.”
Cast members were just as enthusiastic and thankful for the opportunity to participate in the project as Lotus was.
Sheila Spann said it was absolutely worth the time spent to shoot the film.
“Not only did we all bond and get to know each other, we also got to see firsthand the work the Hope Center is doing.,” she said. “It was beautiful, and we need to get the word out about them and this film will do just that.”
WKeith Scott shared Sheila’s enthusiasm about being in “VicStory.”
“As a Christian actor, I leap at the chance to do Christian/faith based films,” he said. “If you visit my website www.wkeithscott.com you will see that doing this kind of film is part of my mission and vision as an actor; I feel that doing Christian film helps me spread the word of God's blessing and His gift of everlasting life because He sent His only begotten son to die on the cross for us.”
Despite Lotus’ and her cast and crew’s sincere and loving efforts, the family was evicted, but they did not land on the street. Alternative housing, resources, and services were found for them, so they will survive this season of hardship.
VicStory has its own Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/VICsTORY-A-Christian-Documentary/193524097... There is also an Indiegogo campaign http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/vicstory-and-eviction that is raising money for “VicStory,” so that it can be completed and submitted to film festivals and shown at churches locally and across the U.S.
There’s also an effort to obtain grant money to cover the cost of DVD duplication, so that copies of “VicStory” can be sold to raise money to help the Hope Center in their effort to feed and clothe people in need. There are no corporate requirements to receive help from the Hope Center, so no one is turned away.
Dr. Lotus Seng, Owner of LenteTresor Productions, LLC http://www.lentetresorproductions.com/ is a filmmaker whose work spans the globe. She works on cutting-edge projects including feature films, shorts, documentaries, commercials, television, web content, and music videos. All crew are veterans in their areas of expertise. Always gifted with a high intellect, Lotus skipped three levels in school and acquired her Bachelor’s degree at age 16 and then went on to earn her Ph.D. at the age of 20. Growing up in Europe, Lotus’s passion for filmmaking took her from Kenya to Shanghai and Aruba. She worked on productions for television, music videos, and music festivals. She was featured as a model and the youngest business executive of her decade in the Magazine Flair. Her TV program, “To Date or Not to Date” reached record numbers of views during its opening week. She produced in conjunction with T. NJiru two award-winning TV Programs for KTN: Landing Gear and InSync in 2009 to 2010. Both were the most viewed programs during those years. She remains a consultant to Njiru’s production firm. Her work for CNT TV resulted in three seasons of TV series and her debut feature film on the network was widely viewed and acclaimed by teens in Asia.