What a great time we had at the ICRS in St. Louis this week! I’ll be posting video interviews for the next couple of weeks, but wanted to give a brief introduction to all that we saw and did.


The show kicked off Sunday afternoon with a media meet and greet and a panel discussion on the trends in Christian media. The discussion was led by Mark Elfstrand of The Morning Ride on Moody Radio Chicago, Molly Young from the 700 Club, Rob Kerby from Beliefnet, and Leo Blair from Christian Post.

Mark Elfstrand, Molly Young, Rob Kerby, and Leo Blair lead the panel discussion.

Monday morning began with a press conference where Rick Santorum announced his endorsement of Christian filmmaking as the new CEO of Echolight Studios. He and Echolight President Bobby Downes revealed their vision for Echolight’s production and distribution of Christian films.

Following the press conference, we spent the rest of the day doing back to back video interviews with directors, producers, actors, speakers, and music artists.

CBA President Curtis Riskey introduces Rick Santorum and Bobby Downes at the press conference.

Our first interview was John Schlitt, former lead singer of Petra. What a fun way to begin the day! John has had a fascinating music career that has included a number of songs being included in movie soundtracks. Not only is he musically talented, he’s a very funny guy.

Next was Michelle Borquez, an author, speaker, and television host. She shared about her new “God Crazy Freedom” speaking tour as well as an upcoming television show.

Filmmaker Rick Eldridge enlightened us on his new movie The Ultimate Life coming to theaters in September. The Ultimate Life is the sequel/prequel to the very popular movie The Ultimate Gift.

Actress Brittany Wilharm poses with new Echolight Studios CEO Rick Santorum.

Veggie Tales is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year and we got to attend the festive celebration taking place in the exhibit hall. We then meet one-on-one with Veggie Tales co-creator Mike Nawrocki who is also the voice of Larry. He introduced us to their upcoming movie MacLarry and the Stinky Cheese Battle.

David A.R. White is a familiar face in films such as The Wager, Me Again, Marriage Retreat, and The Encounter: Paradise Lost. His newest movie, Revelation Road 2 screened at the show.

Cheri Keaggy is an artist who hopes that someday her songs will be used in movie soundtracks. Her desire is to impact lives through her heartfelt lyrics and music.

We had two bonus interviews with filmmakers who were friends of friends. One of those was director Tracy Trost. His popular films include The Lamp, A Christmas Snow, and Find Me.

Scotty Curlee is an assistant professor at Liberty University in their brand new Cinematic Arts program. Echolight Studios has teamed up with Liberty to provide students the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals to produce quality faith-based features.

Actress Erin Bethea entertained us with stories of her film projects including her most famous role as the wife in Fireproof. Her film credits include Amazing Love, This Is Our Time, and her newest movie, The Redemption of Henry Myers, a Christian western.

Another bonus interview was Clay Crosse, a familiar name in the CCM world. Clay is currently busy writing and performing all over the country.

We concluded interviews with an unexpected opportunity to interview Michael Landon, Jr. Michael’s films include The Confession, The Shunning, Love Comes Softly, and The Last Sin Eater. He shared about his preference for period films over contemporary due to their timeless appeal.

Sharon Wilharm interviews Michael Landon Jr.

The final highlight of the day was getting to meet with David Blaire of VCI Entertainment and  Glenn Atamaniuk, an associate from GAIAM Vivendi. VCI is the distributor for our movie Flowers for Fannie and they’re partnering in their distribution efforts with GAIAM Vivendi. It was exciting to hear their plans for Flowers for Fannie. We also had opportunity to discuss our new project, The Good Book, an evangelistic silent feature.

All in all, ICRS was a great experience and I look forward to returning next year.

Stay tuned for all the video interviews coming soon!

Larry and Bob greet guests at the 20th Anniversary Celebration.


Photo credits: Brittany Wilharm


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