INDIANAPOLIS—Nov. 15, 2016—FACING DARKNESS—a gripping documentary from Samaritan’s Purse and Executive Producer Franklin Graham—claimed the Best Feature Documentary Premiere Award at the 2016 Heartland Film Festival.
“A powerful documentary, FACING DARKNESS is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of conviction and hope in the face of despair,” said Greg Sorvig, the festival’s director of programming and marketing said. “Congratulations to the Samaritan's Purse team on bringing Dr. Kent Brantly's story to screen. Heartland Film Festival audiences have been inspired and transformed.”
The festival—celebrating its 25th year—drew 250 entrants and featured more than 130 independent films. Heartland’s mission is to “inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film.” The festival selects films that “inspire and uplift, educate and inform, or have the ability to shift audiences’ perspectives on the world.”
FACING DARKNESS—in theaters March 30, 2017, for one night only—brings to life the true story of Brantly and Nancy Writebol, two American aid workers in West Africa stricken in 2014 with the deadly Ebola virus, and the race against time to get them home and save their lives.
“We are grateful for this award and give all of the glory to God for it,” said Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse. “We made this movie because it is important to us to let the world know how the Lord worked through Samaritan’s Purse to save the lives of Kent and Nancy.”
Featuring interviews with those who fought the Ebola outbreak firsthand, FACING DARKNESS was filmed on location in Liberia and the U.S. where the events took place. It is a story of true heroes, risking their lives in an effort to stem one of the deadliest epidemics of the century. Ebola infected more than 28,000 people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, and claimed more than 11,000 lives.
Brantly and Writebol were in ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, fighting the surge of the killer virus when they caught the disease themselves. The team at Samaritan’s Purse worked around the clock toward the only hope for Brantly and Writebol. It was something that had never been done—evacuate the Ebola patients to the U.S. for treatment and cure.
FACING DARKNESS not only tells the story of saving Brantly and Writebol, it shows what happens when people choose compassion over fear in service to others.
FACING DARKNESS premieres in theaters nationwide in a one-night Fathom event, March 30, 2017. Besides the Heartland Film Festival award, the film earned an Award of Excellence from the Accolade Global Film Competition.
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About Samaritan’s Purse International Relief
Samaritan’s Purse works to meet the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in crisis situations. Led by Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse works in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution. For more information visit www.samaritanspurse.org.