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Actor Erik Estrada will once again star in a motion picture being filmed in Lynchburg, Va. this summer with Liberty Counsel, Liberty University, Liberty Christian Academy (LCA) and Thomas Road Baptist Church, and in association with JC Films.
The new movie, to be released next year, is an effort to bring awareness about religious freedom in public schools.
The movie comes on the heels of “Finding Faith,” which also starred Estrada along with Liberty and LCA students. According to a press release for “Uncommon,” the film will help to educate teens, parents and school officials about freedom of religion within secular classrooms.
“The film is about high school students who run into conflict with those who think public schools should be religion-free zones,” Charla Bansley, communications director for the Liberty Counsel, said.
“Uncommon” follows students from the fictional Rosewood High School after the theater, music and dance programs are cut. According to Executive Producer Christina Day, the students create their own program and combine different stories from the Bible for their script.
“We could make a film about anything we wanted. Why not make it about what we are based on — our faith?” Day said.
The best part of the film for Day will be the ending, which contains a song.
“The song is a time to let our voices be heard,” Day said. “It is an anthem to God in America.”
Day contacted people from all walks of life to join in the filming.
The filmmakers wanted to cast local talent in the film and conducted casting calls the last two weekends in March.
Courtney Buck, a high school student who auditioned for a lead role in the film, said that she felt the movie would really minister to audiences.
“We all have a fire to be a light for God, and the movie tells that you shouldn’t apologize for being who you are,” Buck said.
Summer filming will take place in Lynchburg.
Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel Mat Staver continues to regularly defend religious liberty in public schools.
“Students do not lose their constitutional right to free speech when they step to the podium at graduation,” Staver said. “While schools should not force people to pray, neither should they force them not to pray.”
Day and Staver’s experience in this area of protecting the religious rights of students will ensure that the movie is legally sound and realistic.
“This doesn’t sugarcoat the issue,” Day said.
“‘Uncommon’ is both educational and motivational,” Staver said. “It is our hope that more people will be inspired to take a stand against those who want to remove God from the public square.”