Small Group the Movie
|Directed by||Matt Chastain|
|Written by||Matt Chastain|
|Music by||Kevin Cronin|
|Distributed by||Limesoda Films|
|Coming Fall 2018|
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Small Group the Movie is a 2018 American Christian Comedy/Drama written and directed by Matt Chastain and starring Sterling Hurst, Emily Dunlop, Matt Chastain and Caleb Hoffman. The film will be released theatrically by Limesoda Films in the fall of 2018.
The narrative film follows the story of a documentary filmmaker who infiltrates a church small group in order to explore the diminishing influence of Christianity in America.
R. Scott Cooper is a documentary filmmaker whose last film was met with less than stellar critical reviews, having been accused of a less than objective perspective. With just one more shot to get it right, he is hired by producer Ballard Nelson to direct an undercover documentary on the dwindling influence of Christianity in America.
Reluctantly, Cooper accepts the job and begins to execute Ballard’s plan by infiltrating one of the most intimate settings in Christian culture, the Small Group. Cooper works hard to remain objective while still challenging his new friends and their faith, all while keeping his infiltration under wraps . Coop’s exposure broadens when he is recruited on a mission trip to Guatemala under the guise of producing a promotional video for the mission.
When personal tragedy strikes Cooper’s life, his small group friends are there for him and his family, deepening the bond between them. But everything is thrown into jeopardy when Ballard, unhappy with the direction of the documentary, exposes Cooper’s infiltration.
Now we’re left to see how the Small Group will respond to the invasion and deception.
- Sterling Hurts as R. Scott Cooper
- Emily Dunlop as Mary Cooper
- Matt Chastain as Shane Baxter
- Derick Gilliam as Robert Mathison
- James Cole as Kenny Lynch
- Copelyn Chastain as Casey Cooper
- Liza Jaine as Elyse Baxter
- Nelson Bonilla as Sam Channel
- Robert Riechel Jr. as Ballard Nelson
- Rachel Sorensen as Monica Mathison
- Rebecca Robles as Cori Crowder
- Marilyn Chung as Emily Lynch
- Kassandra Bandfield as Rebecca Kailani
- Caleb Hoffman as Billy
- Griffin Hood as Chaz
- Matt Mercurio as Deke Kailani
Full Cast and Crew List IMDB
In 2013, Writer/Director Matt Chastain and his wife had just joined a new small group at their church, Watkinsville First Baptist near Athens,GA. Just a few months in, energized by the excitement of “doing life” with a group of fellow believers, Chastain felt a calling to tell a story in the ripe medium of a small group. After spending 18 months developing the script with producers Chris Hines and Hollywood veteran Dale Wheatley, a script emerged that allowed the team to quickly raise the seven-figure budget necessary to produce the feature film.
Small Group was shot over five weeks in and around Athens, GA with an additional week of filming in Zone 18 of Guatemala City. Shooting in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Central America added a viceral reality to the film that was only made possible by the film’s partnership with Engadi Ministries, a mission whose founders have been serving the community for nearly two decades. The irony of the movie’s title is that its cast is huge relative to most films in its budget range. Over 50 actors came together to deliver staggering performances from top to bottom.
Small Group has been screened in front of several test audiences in churches and college campuses and regardless of the demo or demonination, the film played exceptionally well, earning the film a 96% “recommend see.” Audiences filled out an extensive, five page questionnare and were asked to complete many short answer questions. The depth of the answers made it clear that it’s the quality of the film - not polite audiences - that earned such a response.
Engadi Ministries is both central to the story and to the production of Small group. A small ministry in Guatemala City, Engadi’s mission is to reach young boys in one of Guatemala City’s poorest neighborhoods and minister to their physical, emotional and spiritual needs in order to prevent them from certain early death or imprisonment that comes with what often feels like the only choice of joining a gang.
Small Group will be released theatrically in the fall of 2018 by Limesoda films, mostly in theaters around the southeast.
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