Big thank you to all who have funded this project! Could you please spread the word around as well. We're on our way to Canaan Land.
THANK YOU AGAIN!
MONEY RAISED SO FAR: $5100.00
ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE
A Word From the Director:
CANAAN LAND STORY & MY 7 PROMISES TO YOU
Hi, I'm Richard Rossi, director of "Canaan Land." Please check out the info below, & tell me what you think and/or support the campaign. All donations are tax-deductible, & there's great perks for you for participating. Thanks for taking a moment to check it out.
I'm enthused to share with you the story of my journey to make Canaan Land, and to make 7 promises to you at the end of this page.
WHERE DOES THE NAME COME FROM?
Have you ever taken a leap of faith? The Israelites were oppressed in slavery for 400 years. When they made the exodus to freedom, (celebrated at Passover), they made a journey to Canaan Land, the Promised Land, a land of milk and honey.
My wife, 2 children and I moved 3,000 miles from my hometown of Pittsburgh to her native California. We felt like the Israelites, a mobile family on a journey to a new land.
Working as a minister in Pennsylvania, I discovered telling stories touches people. I made a documentary, exploring the role of prayer in healing. While editing that
movie, I met a director from India named Amin Q. Chaudhri. He stoked my interest in filmmaking. He made films at his studio in Pennsylvania with actors like
Sharon Stone, Patrick Swayze, & Forrest Whitaker. Between films, he lived in L.A. on Muholland Drive as a neighbor to Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson. He
told me "If you ever move to California kid, look me up."
After our cross-country move, I played the role of Elmer Gantry in a play about the fictional evangelist. It was a part that came to me easily, having been a healing evangelist myself. Here's a link to me doing a monologue from 'Elmer Gantry": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoLount3Ye8
Amin saw me perform the role on stage at Stella Adler Theater in Hollywood and in Long Beach. Amin wanted to direct me in a new film story of an Elmer Gantryish
evangelist. The news was in Variety, Hollywood Reporter, etc... but I backed out. I felt too green to do it at that time, much to the disappointment of Chaudhri. I got a call a while later that
he'd passed away.
Looking back on my years as a healing evangelist, I never did anything fraudulent to fake healings. I prayed wanting God to heal people, and refused to report healings without medical verification. I was honest when people weren't healed and up front about the suffering we go through.
However, my time in that world allowed me to see tricks some big names do. They fake miracles, such as a gold dust stunt... a trick they claim is angel feathers
and gold flakes from Heaven. This hoax helped turn a church in California into the mecca for the charismatic movement.
When you watch our new movie, "Canaan Land: The Saga of Sister Sara and Brother Gantry" though fiction, you'll see will how some churches con people. The project's stirred up controversy among faith-healers, before a single frame of film's been shot. To read article about the international controversy the film's causing, even though we're in preproduction, click HERE: http://catholicnewswire.blogspot.com/2016/02/rossis-controversial-new-film-exposes.html
Canaan Land is about a consummate charismatic con
man played by me, meeting "Sister Sara," a female faith healing evangelist. Over 1,000 actresses have tried for the lead and our casting associates have it narrowed down to a few stellar
candidates. Sara's a true believer. Here's an animated promo of the contrast between the pure Sister Sara & the con man Brother Gantry:
Our movie's not a remake of the 1960 film "Elmer Gantry," nor is it based on the 1927 Sinclair Lewis novel. Like those prior works and the controversy they caused in their time, this updated portrayal of televangelists will show the toxic aspects of religion, contrasted with sincere faith. Brother Gantry’s focus on offerings and building a bigger ministry is the antithesis of Sister Sara's hunger for God.
The film is not an attack on religion. It is my intention in exposing the counterfeit to show the search for that which is pure, lovely, true. Defensive believers may say we shouldn't expose the counterfeit, but a counterfeit testifies that there is a truth sets us free.
It is a 21st Century story from my upcoming novel "CANAAN LAND," and will utilize original music I wrote for the soundtrack. Youll find this film is a needed expose and search for authentic faith, based on my past experiences in the world of evangelism. You'll see us dramatize how frauds deceive followers into believing pastors who claim to be prophets and miracle workers worthy of donations. Some abuse the most vulnerable by implying healing is tied to giving money.
Is this film an indictment of everyone who is a devotee of sketchy TV evangelists or megachurches selling sensationalism? No. There are
spiritual people who glean good from bad. How is this possible? Because of the sincerity of their hearts, some are touched even from unhealthy ministries. Our film will deal with the question
of how when a person has sincere faith they can get healed even if the preacher is a fraud. My film is fiction and will change names to protect the innocent and avoid lawsuits. The
movie has a redemptive ending that I don't want to spoil, in which even the narcissistic evangelist running the gold dust con is confronted by the reality of unconditional love.
There are 30,000 denominations yet too few do what Jesus said to do: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and fallen (Matthew 25), judge not lest ye be judged (Matthew 7:1), and go into a closet to pray (Matthew 6:6).
As you view this film, you'll be left to ponder questions like: Who am I following? Am I following someone real? Are they walking the walk or just talking the talk? What is the difference between rigid religion & a healthy concept of God & the gospel?
I'm ready to make this film now to communicate
love to millions of people. I made two prior films about Aimee Semple McPherson (she was the inspiration for the prior film and novel "Elmer Gantry").
Two of Hollywood's Royal Families starred in "Sister Aimee." Director/Actor Ron Howard (aka "Opie" on the Andy Griffith Show & "Richie Cunningham" on Happy Days) got in the business because of his actor-father Rance Howard who play's Aimee's father in the film. (In the trailer below he's on the horse talking to her.)
The second member of Hollywood Royalty starring in the film is Charlie Chaplin's beautiful blonde granddaughter Kiera Chaplin. Here's the trailer from my film "Sister Aimee" to show you a sample of my work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvBovQ6Hczc
I've been blessed with wonderful collaborators and publicity on those films and my last film on my childhood hero Roberto Clemente. Here's the trailer from my last feature, "Baseball's Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories" starring two-time Olympian Jamie Nieto as Roberto, Project Runway Winner Marilinda Rivera as his wife, and yours truly as the scout "Birddog" who convinces Clemente to play for the last place Pirates, watch by clicking HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p22ueAmYRk8
I was Academy Award-considered for my first film on Aimee. I received a letter from Pope Francis about my movie on Clemente. The Clemente film was made through $15,000 raised online through crowdfunding by Eternal Grace, our 501c3 non profit organization. Here's the letter from the Pope:
I also received a commendation from the Governor of Pennsylvania for my Roberto Clemente film:
CANAAN LAND will use the money raised to make this feature. Indie filmmakers are in search of financing because their work & values
sometimes doesn't coincide with studio pictures. Movies cost money and without big backers, a filmmaker needs to raise funds. I want the creative control to have the final cut and maintain my vision.
I don't want to lose control of the creativity, originality, and spiritual quality supporters of my work expect from me - and that I expect from myself. So I put my own money from my own pocket in my
films. Making this movie is a spiritual journey & labor of love, co-creating with the Great Creator, the Master Artist who created us in His image.
Though challenged by making films without big studio budgets, I've gained experience, and grown psychologically, spiritually, and technically, learning with each film.
It's not easy for me to do this, but I'm coming to you with my hand out, asking for money and feeling like I'm an explorer embarking on a journey to the New World. Your generosity keeps the flame burning like a pillar of fire to lead us to Canaan Land.
The strongest asset I have is faith. I'm making a movie about faith on faith. I've seen faith create my movies out of nothing before, and I believe that come hell or high water, this new film, "Canaan Land" will make it to the New World. I need your faith too. Faith that the right people, resources, and circumstances will coalesce together to move the movie through preproduction, production, and post production. I'm not talking about the toxic faith that hurts, but a healthy faith that heals, that brings together an effort of many people working together in creativity. Here's our current focus:
Making this independent picture by raising a goal of $95K on is a tall order, but not an impossible dream. Besides, I’ve chased such dreams before by making my
feature films "Sister Aimee" and "Baseball's Last Hero." Those pictures succeeded enough to give me the faith to carry on. Thank you for your faith in this dream to support me with a tax
deductible donation and to share this campaign on your social media.
Jesus said unto him, 'If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.' (Mark 9:23)
Forgive me for begging like a Baptist for their building fund, but I need your help to make my dream come true. We use some terms TV evangelists use like "seed-sowing," a bit tongue-in-cheek. Unlike the TV televangelist, I won't tell you that you owe me ten percent or you're robbing God. The Elmer Gantry characters also promise you health and wealth for a donation. We make no false promises.
What do we promise? The following 7 Promises:
1. We promise we will finish this film.
2. We promise we will put every dime you give up on that screen.
3. We promise we will expose the false prophets of our day who harm the cause of Christ.
4. We promise "Canaan Land" will contrast the false with those who truly follow the teachings of Jesus, those who care for the sick, the poor, and the disadvantaged children.
5. We promise the film will be done to the best of our ability in an artistic way.
6. We promise the film will be distributed internationally.
7. We promise to share who God truly is, unconditional agape love, and that love will reverberate to people throughout the world who see the film. A portion of the proceeds will go to demonstrating love in action through food ministry to the hungry & disadvantaged children.
How can you spread the word? You can tweet about the project on Twitter, share the link on Facebook, tell a friend in person or via email. Forward the project to a journalist, blogger, podcaster, radio or TV host. Richard is available as a guest or interviewee on live streaming or TV, radio, & press outlets.
Here are the details on the various levels of giving and the rewards for each. Check out the rewards below and thank you for your consideration. SELECT A REWARD LEVEL Or Donate a Different Amount by email through www.paypal.com (send to email firstname.lastname@example.org ) or by snail mail by sending check to: ETERNAL GRACE, 5030 Whitsett Avenue, Suite One, Valley Village, CA. 91607
SEED SOWERS ($5)
Reward: Our sincere thanks for helping us make "Canaan Land." All donations are tax-deductible & all donors are listed in the credits.
BLESSING BRINGERS ($10)
Reward: Thanks in credits & personal thank you from Director (Fully Tax-Deductible)
WIND UNDER WINGS ($15)
A personal Thank You from the Director, access to the film's Facebook project updates, and a Special Thank You in the credits. All donations are tax-deductible.
DVD DONORS ($35)
All of the above plus a copy of "Canaan Land" film on DVD, link, or download, includes shipping. All donations are tax-deductible.
AUTOGRAPHED DVD ($40)
All of the above, however, at $40 pledge, the movie DVD is autographed by Writer-Director Richard Rossi. Includes shipping. All donations tax-deductible.
FILM FEEDBACKER ($55)
All of the above plus + an invitation to screen the first cut of the film, plus a chance to give your comments which we will take into consideration. All donations are tax-deductible.
GUARDIAN ANGELS ($75)
All of the above plus + you'll also receive a signed copy of the novel "Canaan Land" & 2 tickets to a screening of the finished film. Includes shipping. All donations are tax-deductible.
DREAM MAKERS ($110)
All of the above plus + autographed CD of "Canaan Land" soundtrack. Includes shipping. All donations are tax-deductible.
BRIGHT LIGHTS ($250)
All of the above plus + director Richard Rossi will write & record an original song about you. All donations are tax-deductible.
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER ($500)
All of the above plus + tix to Red Carpet screening of the film & "ASSOCIATE PRODUCER" credit in the film end credits & on www.imdb.com All donations are tax-deductible.
MOVIE MUSE ($750)
All of the above plus + an original one-of-a-kind sketch by Director on a subject of your choice. All donations are tax-deductible.
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT ($1000)
All of the above + spend the day on set as Richard Rossi's personal assistant for a day & be credited as such in end credits. (Transportation not included) All donations are tax-deductible.
ALL STARS ($1500)
All of above plus + Roberto Clemente pic & "Baseball's Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories" poster made by Disney animator. Both items autographed by director & others. All donations are tax-deductible.
STAR CAMEO ($2500)
All of the above plus + lunch with the Director, & a cameo appearance in "Canaan Land" or another of the Director's future films. All donations are tax-deductible.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER ($5000)
All of the above plus + Associate Producer credit is upgraded to an "EXECUTIVE PRODUCER" credit in the film which will appear on www.imdb.com All donations are tax-deductible.
UNIVERSAL STUDIO ($8000)
All of the Above plus + a fun day with Director Rossi at Universal Studios Theme Park in CA. (Transportation not included) All donations are tax-deductible.
DIRECTOR'S HOST ($10,000)
All of the above plus + Director flies to your town to do screening in your home for you & any friends you invite, featuring live commentary & Q/A. Limited to U.S. All donations are tax-deductible.
HOLLYWOOD BOUND ($25,000)
All of above plus + 2 RT tickets from US locations only to Hollywood screening, 2 consecutive night stay at historic Hollywood hotel, & private dinner with Director. All donations are tax-deductible.
All of above plus + a DVD copy of every prior Richard Rossi film (Baseball's Last Hero, Sister Aimee, Saving Sister Aimee, Quest for Truth, Live At Grafitti's) All donations are tax-deductible.
MASTER FILMMAKER ($40,000)
All of above plus free Master Filmmaking Class with Richard Rossi & other filmmakers in Hollywood & opportunity to intern & work on set. All donations are tax-deductible.
RED CARPETERS ($50,000)
All of above plus + private dinner with Director & some cast & crew, poster autographed by members of cast/crew, & walk red carpet at screening.
Donate a Different Amount by email through www.paypal.com (send to email email@example.com ) or by snail mail by sending check to: ETERNAL GRACE, 5030 Whitsett Avenue, Suite One, Valley Village, CA. 91607
Here's just a few of our donors:
Happy Father's Day!
To my friend to whom I wish the best and praise for his work.
Go Richard go. I hope this little bit helps because I want to see this film get released and be there for the opening.
Hey Richard! I hope this helps. Much respect to you
Richard, wishing you the best of luck on your project. Blessings!
Got to support my fellow filmmaker! Knock it out of the park Richard!