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What Faith Requires by Cyrus Nowrasteh

Christian Leadership Alliance

By Cyrus Nowrasteh ~ 

Often in life you discover what faith requires is great perseverance and a miracle to accomplish what you are called to do.

Many obstacles had to be overcome to bring this beautiful story of The Young Messiah to film. From book to script to screen it has taken nearly six years. Just getting here has truly been a miracle. An earlier incarnation of the movie failed miserably, enough to bury the project completely but somehow we overcame it and completed the film.

Here’s what happened.

We began pre-production initially in Italy in early 2013, all seemed to be going well and then our financing fell through shutting us down, devastating the production and everyone involved. It seemed as if we would be unable to resuscitate the project. My wife and co-writer, Betsy, became ill with acute bronchial pneumonia and we were stuck in Rome, advised by a doctor to not travel until she fully recovered. Everyone else had left, it was rainy and cold in Rome and I paced and wondered and worried about Betsy’s health, having plenty of time to contemplate what had happened, why the film fell through…

I couldn’t help wondering:

Was it my fault?

Was God telling me something?

Was I the right person to make this film?

Was I being tested?

Perhaps it just wasn’t meant to be…maybe it would be better if I didn’t make this, perhaps someone else should.

Perhaps I’m unqualified. I wandered contemplating this dilemma, and then I spoke to my daughter-in-law who said to me: “God often chooses the unqualified. This is a test.”

This connected with me. I felt it was a test, certainly, a test of faith, belief and conviction. As Betsy recovered we started to rewrite the script seeking a deeper and more theologically correct approach to the story. This seemed to regenerate Betsy and she started to recover. It also regenerated me as I realized this was a better script than we had before, both dramatically and theologically.

Returning home we committed ourselves to pushing even harder to get the film back up. With support and faith and unity of purpose with our producers, the film came back to life in a better form than originally planned. It took a year-and-eight-months but the film was back up and completed in June 2015, well before its March 2016 release date.

Yes, we had been tested and the film was better for it. God had been watching over this film as we persevered. We were blessed by the experience.

It was truly a…miracle.


Cyrus Nowrasteh is an award winning writer and director. His latest film, The Young Messiah, is scheduled to release domestically on March 11, 2016 by Focus Features. Learn more about the film and how you can support it:  The Young Messiah

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