Monday, November 17, 2008

The Child King

Continuing the previous post's theme about Christmas gifts, here is another great one: The Child King. This is a movie that was released straight to DVD last year and its website describes the film as "the inspirational story of a determined young man with Down syndrome who takes his little brother on a life-changing quest to find Santa Claus at the North Pole." It's truly a gem of a family film and the actor with DS that plays the older brother steals the show. Watch a trailer and buy the DVD here. Added bonus: 100% of the producer's profits go to the Child King Foundation which provides funds and grants to those groups and individuals that assist people with intellectual disabilities.

I love the background story as to how the movie came to be made. Again from The Child King website:

"It is a bittersweet irony that The Child King, an inspirational tale of love and redemption, was born in the midst of a famously tragic event in American history.

In 1993, Jeff Kerr was a federal agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) assigned to the siege of David Koresh's Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas- a siege that would end in a horrific loss of life. On the day of his departure for Waco, Jeff had a chance encounter at the Federal Building in Boston, Massachusetts with a fellow agent who had brought along his three year-old son for a visit. The boy was captivating, energetic, full of affection… he also had Down syndrome.

In the following weeks during the long siege at Waco, Jeff found free time to begin developing an idea about two brothers traveling to the North Pole to find Santa Claus. Recalls Jeff, "The Child King was written during off-duty time and while sitting in one of the Jeeps surrounding the Branch Davidian compound. Our Jeep was stationed way out in the dark countryside, the middle of nowhere, with nothing but cows and bulls for company. There were two agents assigned per Jeep and we alternated taking hour-long breaks. During my off-time I would scribble The Child King under a flashlight."The story he scribbled needed a hero. Inspired by his earlier meeting with a certain precocious young man in Boston, Jeff made his hero a teenager with Down syndrome.

Twelve years later he would team with brother Frank, a longtime filmmaker, to finally realize the feature motion picture, The Child King." His brother became the director and co-producer.

I was tickled to receive a phone call from the writer Jeff Kerr after I had placed my order, wanting to confirm my address. Apparently he's handling the merchandising himself.

If you find yourself stuck for a Christmas gift idea, you can't go wrong with this movie!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I saw the movie as well. It is unbelieveable that a story so inspiring (and funny) was made without fanfare and without a huge Hollywood budget. The relationship of the brothers in the movie was touching. This movie was so much better than so much of what I see on tv and in the theatres. My children were glued to the set as we watched.