Alone Yet Not Alone is a historical adventure drama film which is based on Tracy Leininger Craven’s novel of the same name. It is the true story of two sisters and how their Christian faith enables them to endure their four year captivity. Through the terrifying ordeal, they never lose hope and “their faith becomes their freedom.” It was the dream of George Escobar, co-director and co-producer to bring the message of this book to the big screen.
This film tells the inspiring true story of Barbara and Regina Leininger and their journey of faith and survival during the French & Indian war in 1755. Captured by the Delaware Indians in a raid on their home and transported over 300 miles of wilderness to Ohio, the sisters are sustained only by their abiding trust in God, and their hope of escape against all odds to be reunited with their family.
Alone Yet Not Alone has been endorsed by many faith leaders such as James Robison, Tony Perkins, Rick Santorum, Josh Duggar, and James and Shirley Dobson. James Dobson deems it, “An outstanding film with technical quality, beautiful acting, and an inspirational story which will get to your heart and elevate your spirit.” The opening scenes of this film introduce you to its amazing cinematography. This film is family-approved by Dove for ages 12 and up due to violence which is handled with care. This is the year of wonderful movies in Christian film and this is a powerful film with an inspirational message.
The movie website provides complimentary, downloadable study guides for both adults and students grades seventh through twelfth grades which are written by educators to enhance learning. The student version is suitable for Christian Schools, homeschoolers and church youth groups. Historical dramas are my favorite genre of movie because they allow greater understanding as you sense the emotions and feelings of that time period in history.
Sonoma Christian Home contributor Ginny Dent Brant interviewed producer George Escobar at the National Religious Broadcaster’s Convention about his deeply moving film that is soon to release nationwide on June 13, 2014.
SCH: What drew you to this story and motivated you to bring it to the screen?
GE: I love historical novels, especially true stories. As a first-generation immigrant myself, coming to the U.S. as a 10-year old from the Philippines with my family, I could instantly relate to the family in the movie, Alone Yet Not Alone.
They were immigrants from Germany who settled in the western frontier of Pennsylvania. The two daughters in the movie, Barbara (12) and Regina (9), who were taken captive as children, were true historical characters with whom I could very much relate identify with. I know what it is like to be a stranger in a strange land. Showing that God is loving and faithful was my motivation for this story and movie.
SCH: Your Isaiah 9:10 Judgment DVD has been the top selling Christian video for the past two years. Tell us about your training and career as a film producer.
GE: I trained at the American Film Institute Conservatory as a Producing Fellow 30 years ago. The last seven years I co-founded my own production company, Advent Film Group, to make three feature films. I also work as VP of World Net Daily Films, where I’ve produced and directed six feature length documentaries. One of those documentaries is The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment, based on the NY Times bestseller, The Harbinger, by Jonathan Cahn. We were blessed that the Isaiah film has become Amazon’s No. 1 Faith DVD sales for 75 weeks. It still remains in their Top Ten list.
SCH: An original and inspiring theme song is a great way to market and bring attention to a movie and usually independent films have a difficult time paying for such a feat. So how did you get such a fantastic one as Alone Yet Not Alone?
GE: One of our executive producers, Ken Wales (producer of Amazing Grace), called me one night during pre-production. He introduced me to Bruce Broughton over the speaker phone. I nearly fell off my chair. Bruce is one of my favorite composers, especially for his Academy nominated score for Silverado.
We talked about needing a powerful song for the movie. But it had to be true to the colonial period, in which songs where more hymn-like, reverential, and prayerful. We also faced the challenge that the song still had to be sensitive and attractive to modern ears. Finally, we wanted a song hopefully as memorable as Amazing Grace. Bruce didn’t flinch a bit about writing the music to meet those tough standards. And Dennis Spiegel, who wrote the lyrics, and Bruce certainly delivered an instant classic with the song Alone Yet Not Alone.
SCH: I agree wholeheartedly. The song is inspirational as it delivers the words to penetrate hearts. I do believe the song itself will win other awards in the near future.
SCH: What made you decide to ask Joni to sing the theme song to Alone Yet Not Alone?
GE: The executive producers heard Joni Eareckson Tada sing excerpts of songs, incorporating them into her presentation at an NRB conference in Nashville in 2013. Afterwards, they told her about Alone Yet Not Alone, and asked if she would consider singing it for the movie. She was perfect for it, because her life story matches the theme of the song: That God promises to never leave us or forsake us. We may feel “alone, yet (we are) not alone” because God is with us through trials and triumphs.
SCH: I know you were excited when the song was nominated for an Oscar. How did you feel when the nomination was withdrawn?
GE: I was disappointed by the Academy’s decision to rescind the nomination. As a result, however, much more attention was paid to the movie by the media and audiences, especially Christians. I trust in God’s providential hand and in His timing. He is putting Alone Yet Not Alone right in the middle of this amazing SURGE in audience interest and support for Christian films. Son of God was a hit, so is God’s Not Dead. Then Heaven is for Real became a hit, and now Mom’s Night Out. Hopefully and prayerfully, Alone Yet Not Alone will continue this trend. It’s always an adventure making movies for His glory.
SCH: Since other films purposely hire publicists and actively campaign in hopes of getting their movies Oscar Nominations, did you feel that the withdrawal was for other reasons than actually stated by the Academy?
GE: There were many theories postulated by Academy insiders and worldwide audiences about the cause for the withdrawal of the nomination. They ranged from discrimination charges to uneven application of policy, bad politics and hypocrisy, all sorts of plausible reasons. To me, it is all providential. God has His reasons for how Alone Yet Not Alone was produced, gathered attention, and now is marketed and distributed. His audience for this film is going to be the ‘perfect audience’ whom He has ordained to see it. I’m just glad to be one of His instruments to bring it to them.
SCH: What is your favorite part of this movie?
GE: I love the scenes showing the Leininger family. There is genuine love for God and family in those scenes. Also the way the song Alone Yet Not Alone was inherently part of the story. It was not tacked on. It was sung by Mama Leininger to her daughters for comfort. It was sung again by young Barbara to the other captives for hope. And finally it was sung by two people who find strength in God’s promise of faithfulness. It is truly an amazing song for this movie, and for all time.
And what a powerful scene this is! How often we forget the courage our forefathers displayed when they settled this country and the price they paid to obtain freedom. Many in this day have been spared the trials and tribulations that those before us have endured. But we in this country appear to be approaching days ahead when our faith will be tested in ways we never anticipated. The message of this movie and the moving words of this song may well be the instrument God uses to remind us, “That He will never leave or forsake us.” For we all will have testings in our lives.
For more information and to bring this movie to your city go to Alone Yet Not Alone
Follow the link to read Ginny’s SCH interview with Joni Eareckson Tada and Music’s Inspiring Influence on her Life