Cast and Crew Talk New Faith-Filled Movie I CAN: ‘God Doesn’t Make Mistakes’
By Cooper Dowd, Movieguide® Staff
After years spent in the secular entertainment industry, Paul Long, founder of Kappa Studios, teamed up with Brad Silverman to focus on faith and family content.
Kappa studio’s most recent project, I CAN, tells the inspiring, hope-filled true story of Katelyn Pavey, an All-American softball player who was born with only one arm.
The movie, which released on Sept. 22, stars Dan Roebuck, Cameron Arnett, Jeff Armstrong and Danner Brown.
Movieguide®’s synopsis of I CAN reads:
I CAN tells the true story of Katelyn Pavey, a girl born with only one arm. Despite her disability, she becomes a phenomenal softball player. With the support of her parents, grandparents, and her faith in God, Katelyn pursues her dream of receiving an athletic scholarship and becoming an All-American softball player in college. However, tragedies strike Katelyn and her family. Will they lean on God and one another? Or will their faith be tested to the breaking point?
Long recalled that he felt God calling him to transform Kappa Studios into a faith-focused business.
“We’ve been in business for a long time, working in the secular entertainment industry, and we came to a place where we just really needed to pivot the company,” Long told Movieguide® in a recent interview. “I was conflicted and convicted. The Lord was just poking me more and more, and when Brad came on board, we had a plan to do a lot of projects together.”
“We just kind of came down to the place of saying, ‘We need to do it God’s way or just not do it anymore,’” he added.
Now, Kappa Studios partners with many faith-focused directors–like THE CHOSEN’s Dallas Jenkins–to create morally uplifting content.
In I CAN, Long and Silverman tackled a true story that starts out of the sinful act of an affair. For actor Dan Roebuck, this created a unique opportunity to show the power of God’s grace.
“It’s intriguing to me because you feel bad for the Pavey family, that they even for a moment considered God would punish them through their child,” Roebuck told Movieguide®. “But the movie is about them coming to terms with the fact that this kid is unique and godly and perfect, exactly how she is.”
Long continued: “What this speaks to is the sovereignty of God. I think that is what is very delicious here is that part of theology, that a lot of people move around and adjust for their own purposes.”
The real-life Pavey family worked alongside the cast and crew, which gave the actors a unique perspective on the characters that they were portraying.
“I’ve been part of many, many faith-based stories,” Roebuck said. “This is a unique moment of my life, where I can actually go live with the people who I’m portraying. I’ve done that in this movie, and it’s great to play like legitimately great, faithful people. I also like playing villains, but thankfully, we don’t have any yet in the stories.”
“We feel like we’re part of the experience,” he added. “So that’s God multiplying His grace amongst all of us.”
Long and Silverman said that Christian entertainment has made a shift over the past few years–a shift that they are glad to contribute to with movies like I CAN. Along with the Erwin brothers, the Kendrick brothers and Dallas Jenkins, the quality of Christian entertainment has grown exponentially, they said.
“It’s been really exciting. There were times we would hang out back 10-15 years ago, and I don’t know if any of us could have envisioned a time when we could see the growth that we all hoped for and prayed for,” Silverman explained. “We would always liken it to the Christian music industry, where the ’80s and early music was kind of clunky. You loved the heart behind it, but it was just clunky. And it was seven notches below secular counterparts. So were the movies 10-12 years ago. This has been super exciting to see God raise up more and more people and let us grow in the craft. You look at the stuff we were doing 15 years ago, we’ve gotten better by God’s grace.”
“It’s attracting more people,” he continued. “It’s been exciting to see how the Lord has kept us going. And lastly, what’s more exciting is that you see who the real deals are after 10 to 15 years, who really loves Christ, and who is really called to do this. It’s not a job for us, it’s truly a mission.”
Long and Silverman said that they see I CAN as a gospel opportunity to share a real-life story of how God uses broken people to accomplish his perfect will.
“We all may have things in our pasts that really prevented us from living a life of joy in Christ today,” Silverman said. “So I think a big takeaway that just naturally seems to be happening as people come out of the film, they get inspired to say, ‘What is God’s true grace? What is His grace? And how do I truly appreciate the forgiveness that comes through Christ and Him alone, and the price he paid on the cross for my sins, and his resurrection to ensure my new life and him? How is that appropriated to my life?’ And that’s been truly the most exciting and inspiring thing for me to watch as people walk away from the film.”
“Invite a friend for the very thing that Brad’s talking about,” Long added. “Invite a friend to have a cup of coffee with them after the movie, and let’s use this as an on-ramp for gospel conversation. We don’t have to solve every problem we can’t. But what we can do is come alongside people, wrap around them and say, ‘Hey, you know what the things you’re talking about, I think our church family, we’d love to help you walk that path.’ Relationships are messy, and the scripture instructs us to come alongside people, and give them the comfort that we’ve been comforted with.”
Kappa Studios won Movieguide®’s Epiphany Prize in 2014 for their movie, GRACE UNPLUGGED. They also partner with Dallas Jenkins for the Movieguide® Award-winning TV series, THE CHOSEN.
Read Movieguide®’s full review of I CAN, and don’t miss it in theaters starting Sept. 22.
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