Sports, glimpses of heaven and parenting all scored big in the burgeoning market of faith-and-family films. But now a family-adventure genre blows open as Burns Family Studios deliver on Beyond the Mask, a swashbuckling serving of U.S. history as a former British mercenary overcomes his past, wins his beloved Charlotte and–with the vast ingenuity of one Ben Franklin–defuses a plot of, well, historical proportions.
For a theatrical date of April 6, 2015, Gathr Films’s Beyond the Mask pioneers both a Christian filmmaking genre and a theatrical on demand distribution platform expected to reach 1,000-plus theaters.
“Beyond the Mask majors in surprises,” Burns said of the film that opens in the English countryside and ends in high action. “From production quality and special effects to acting to the storyline combo of gospel and adventure, this is Christian filmmaking 2.0,” Burns said, adding proudly, “and from a strongly homeschooled production community.”
Impressed by the artistic values, Dr. Bruce Eagleson, founder of the Alliance of Christian Home Education Leadership, praised Beyond the Mask as endorsements also pour in from state leaders. “Movies should be a good story well told,” Eagleson wrote in his movie critique, “and while Beyond the Mask remains faithful to the gospel, primarily it is a good story well told.”
“It’s unlike just about any movie I’ve ever seen,” said Christian filmmaking legend Stephen Kendrick, who contributed to Paul McCusker’s Beyond the Mask script. Kendrick’ films – like Courageous and Fireproof – made with his brother, Alex, ushered in the new Christian film era, and the praise hardly stopped at the script. “This movie has more green screen shots and CG effects than any other live action Christian film in history,” he exuded. “The real adventure has been their creative climb of that digital Everest.”
Crowdpleaser Andrew Cheney (Seasons of Gray) is the dashing Will Reynolds, opposite Kara Killmer (“If I Can Dream” and “Chicago Fire”) playing Charlotte. Welsh actor John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones) rounds out top action.Chad Burns directed; Aaron Burns produced and Tracey Burns is associate producer.
Joining box-office category giants such as Frozen, The Lego Movie, and National Treasure, Beyond the Mask is the first faith film in the family-adventure genre – for 30 years now the second most popular movie category in North America. This Film is Not Yet Rated.