BEST Inspirational Movie of the Year 2013
ICM Inspirational Country Music Association-Nashville TN
Spirit of Love : The Mike "Stinger" Glenn Story      
A Darla Rae Film - Produced by Film-It Productions

News Article

Colorado Kids in Promo Shoot for Film with Darla Rae in April 2012


Community Behind Spirit of Love Film
By Sara Kennedy, The Communicator

“Soon to be a major motion picture…” Hands & Voices recently caught up with filmmaker Darla Rae, who is producing and directing her next film called The Spirit of Love in Denver, Colorado.

Hands & Voices: Tell us what inspired you to tell Mike Glenn's story. Who is Mike Glenn?

Darla Rae: Mike Glenn is a retired NBA player who played in the pros for ten seasons with the New York Nicks and later with the Atlanta Hawks. He still serves as a commentator for basketball. The story was brought to me by a couple of his coaches who were familiar with my previous work. Truthfully, I put the story aside at first. It’s difficult to raise the funds to tell a story like this. I kept it in the back of my mind, and eventually, I connected with the story through watching my nephew play basketball. He has a severe hearing loss, and watching him play… hearing him say that “this is the first time I really feel accepted” was the catalyst for me. I remembered the story about Mike, and wanted to share it with everyone.

Mike himself is not deaf, but he grew up around the Georgia School for the Deaf when his father taught there. He knew he wanted to start a camp connecting deaf and hard of hearing kids and basketball for as long as he can remember.

My goal for the film is to make sure that kids who are deaf or hard of hearing know that nothing is out of their reach, no matter what they want to do.

H&V: You may or may not be aware that there can be some controversy between people who think there is one right way to educate children who are deaf or hard of hearing. How will the film treat those issues?

DR: That’s one of my main focuses in the body of the plot. These are personal choices, none are right or wrong. Whether someone uses a cochlear implant, sign language, hearing aids, how they communicate --it’s not important. They all communicate, and that’s the important thing. I don’t know sign language personally, but I am smart enough to know to work with an interpreter, to work with deaf people behind the scenes, and I know the audience will get the message that all that’s important is that we communicate and that a community comes together.

H&V: And that makes the film all the more compelling to Hands & Voices members! Do we have to enjoy or understand basketball to enjoy the film?

DR: Basketball is the backdrop to this story about life lessons. Teenagers come of age in this story, and deal with their own monsters. It’s not a basketball story, or a deaf story, or a hearing story. It’s about how Mike Glenn used basketball to help teens overcome their insecurities. It’s a universal story. It’s an inspirational story, and there aren’t many of those being made.

H&V: When and how can we expect to see this independent film?
DR: The film will be captioned and distributed. I have been down this road before and know how to do this. My objective is to have this accessible to all members of a family. When the curtain rises depends on fundraising, but generally one could expect three to six months after completion. Our target time to film is July and August.

H&V: We can't wait to see the full story in the theaters! How can people help get Mike's story told?

DR: Even a famous producer has to raise funds for the production. We face the same obstacles as any other film. To gather support, we have set up a website where people can donate $5.00 or more. Don’t think that a small donation doesn’t matter – it shows sponsors that there is grassroots support for the movie’s completion. It’s much easier to raise funds once the movie is made and can be seen, but as of this date, we have raised 26,040.00 with a goal of $100.000 for shooting and $100,000 for marketing. Once we reach $100,000, we can lock in dates for production, locations, and actors. Supporters wanting to spread the world can post our message on Facebook, use Twitter, and spread the news at events.

H&V: We understand that there are some unusual opportunities for young people in the making of this film.

DR: We have a unique situation in this film by being able to mentor young people who are interested in all aspects of this industry. Young adults will be exposed to photography, marketing, writing, directing, producing, editing, and more. We will also be using young artists and set designers. This is a business like any other, with opportunities for kids, all kids. We are looking for actors now in Colorado who have basketball skills, who can play campers between the ages of 14 and 18, and for family members who can join in the championship game crowd scenes. We are excited to offer so many opportunities for so many people.

H&V: Anything else?

DR: One other aspect that is unique to this film is that proceeds of the film will be shared with community partners who have supported the fundraising campaign and the making of the film.

The theme of the movie is community – community coming together for the good of all. Please look for the website at www.spiritoflovemovie.com, the Facebook fan page connected to the website, the current list of sponsors and supporters, and share my contact information at darla@film-itproductions.com.

H&V: We hope our readers will get behind this project and help make it happen.

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