The cross-cultural, inspirational drama, The Pastor, will release in select U.S. movie theaters nationwide on January 25, 2016. Depicting the story of a former gang leader’s spiritual transformation, the highly-anticipated event will be presented as a special one-night engagement by WolfGang Cinema in partnership with Fathom Events.
The Pastor stars Arturo Muyshondt (The Two Lives of Maxi Kaplan), Franky G (Starz’s Power) Micah Hauptman (Everest, Showtime’s Homeland), Angelic Zambrana (Precious), Victoria Cartagena (Salt, FOX’s Gotham,) and Pastor Carlos Ortiz.
The Pastor is both a dramatic character study and an action parable that has audiences rooting for the underdog. Set in Brooklyn, N.Y., after a brutal knife attack in prison, a former gang leader (Muyshondt) ends up in solitary confinement, where he discovers his faith in God and finds his true purpose as a Pastor after being released on parole. He seeks out the underprivileged youth of his predominantly Hispanic community so that they may find an alternative path to the dangerous gang lifestyle so rampant around them.
As turf wars heat up between the two most prominent gangs, one gang leader targets the Pastor’s new mission and community – the church is vandalized, his life is threatened and his estranged wife is kidnapped. Fighting his inner demons and violent instincts, the Pastor must decide between maintaining his newfound faith or returning to the cold-blooded killer he once was.
Deborah Goodwin (The Two Lives of Maxi Kaplan) directed the feature from the screenplay she wrote based on Mushondt’s story, inspired by his research in gangs both in communities and inside jails, in the US and in parts of Latin America. The Pastor was produced by Muyshondt alongside Courtney Andrialis (The Erotic Fire of the Unattainable, Sleeping with the Fishes) and Mike Harrop (I Smile Back, Newlyweds, The Fitzgerald Family Christmas). Executive producers are Marcelo Paladini (Sympathy for Delicious), Mike Dinnen and Pastor Carlos Ortiz.
“What Traffic did for the drug trade, The Pastor does for the alarming reality of gang violence all across the U.S.,” says Muyshondt. “We see our main character as he goes from a disadvantaged young man struggling with his purpose to a Pastor bent on saving kids from falling into the same trap. We also see the origins and societal woes that drive so many kids to gangs in an utterly human and believable way that we hope will provoke much discussion and create awareness. I am thrilled to be sharing our project as a theatrical experience through Fathom Events.”
As an actor and story teller, Muyshondt is drawn to complex characters and stories that ring true to life while still being socially relevant. The story of The Pastor is based on a world he knows all too well after being born and raised amid the violent civil war in El Salvador. Even now, gang related violence is prevalent in Central America but is also in almost every single state in the U.S.
Muyshondt adds, “What’s important to take on from my character’s journey and spiritual transformation, is that we all have the ability to change and to find God, no matter where we are or how dark our life might be.”
“Fathom is excited to bring this highly anticipated title to movie theaters and share an important message with U.S. audiences. Families and communities will have a special opportunity to gather together and experience a truly moving story together, all at their local cinema,” said Fathom Events CEO John Rubey.
The Pastor was produced and financed by Arturo Muyshondt’s WolfGang Cinema, a film production company founded with a mandate to develop and produce cross-cultural stories with social relevancy for multicultural audiences in the US and abroad. “Our goal is to work with like-minded writers and directors to share real life based stories with redeeming qualities, that can entertain, educate and inspire audiences,” Muyshondt noted.