‘BELIEVE ME’ OPENS TO TOP REVIEWS
New York Times calls Riot Studio’s first feature “A smart, sly comedy . . . “
Starring UNBROKEN’s Alex Russell and ‘Glee’s’ Max Adler–with ‘Park & Rec’s’ Nick Offerman,
‘Boardwalk Empire’s’ Christopher McDonald, and Hip-Hop’s No. 1: Lecrae
BELIEVE ME, the feature film comedy from Riot Studios, opens today with praise from mainstream critics and beyond:
“[BELIEVE ME] parodies the machinery of faith-based fund-raising with its heart on its sleeve and its jokes above the belt. The film’s congeniality, however, in no way dulls its humor or the sharpness of its observations.” — New York Times
“Christian satire is hard to do well, especially in a movie. But this one gets it right. . . . Riot’s leadership trio–writer Michael B. Allen, director Will Bakke, and producer Alex Carroll–seem to have found their mojo.” — Christianity Today
“BELIEVE ME is something we don’t see very often: Christian satire. . . Arguably it’s best done by insiders making fun of themselves and their own subculture’s idiosyncrasies.” — Plugged In
“Disturbing, eye-opening, and necessary, BELIEVE ME may be the most important film about church you’ll ever see.” — Baptist Press
BELIEVE ME premieres in 14 markets nationally and on demand on Friday, Sept. 26.
BELIEVE ME stars Alex Russell—also in Angelina Jolie’s upcoming UNBROKEN—with Zach Knighton (Happy Endings) and Johanna Braddy (EASY A), Max Adler (Glee), Miles Fisher (FINAL DESTINATION 5), and Sinqua Walls (Power). Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) is Sean, and Christopher McDonald (Boardwalk Empire) is Ken. Current Billboard-topping rapper, Lecrae, makes his feature debut in the film.
Riot Studios is Will Bakke, Michael Allen and Alex Carroll–three friends who used the past three years to conceive, write, raise funds for, produce, direct, shoot, edit and now distribute a feature-length film with an impressive cast. Oh, and the young men are 26 years old.
High school friends from Dallas who attended different colleges, they spent their college summers making movies. Their documentary/college road flick BEWARE OF CHRISTIANS drew devoted crowds at college campuses across the U.S. as they created their own tour and sold DVDs with an innovative “pay what you can” pricing strategy.
Bakke describes BELIEVE ME: “Four college friends see people believe any voice that shouts loud enough, and they use it for their own gain by starting a fake charity. BELIEVE ME looks at the power of platforms, particularly among today’s young Christians.”
Sam Atwell (Alex Russell) stands on stage as thousands of fans go wild. Smart, charismatic, handsome, he moves them with his message, and when he calls for donations to his charity, the money pours in. Only thing, Sam doesn’t believe a word he’s saying.
Months earlier, Sam was a typical college senior focused on keg stands, hookups and graduation. But when a surprise tuition bill threatens his dream of law school and leaves him thousands of dollars in the hole, he’s forced to think outside the box. Convincing his three roommates they can make a killing exploiting the gullible church crowd, the guys start a sham charity and begin campaigning across the country, raising funds for a cause as fake as their message.
For Sam, embezzling money is easy compared to getting attention from the person he cares about the most. When Callie (Johanna Braddy), the tour manager and Sam’s love interest, finally uncovers the guys’ ruse, it’s Sam’s moment of truth. On the final night of the tour, before a packed auditorium but alone in the spotlight, it’s time for Sam Atwell to decide what he really believes.
“BELIEVE ME is a satire of religious scandals,” Allen said. “It holds up a mirror for viewers to see themselves and their assumptions from a new perspective.”
BELIEVE ME is produced by Alex Carroll and co-produced by Sandhya Shardanand, Gary Cogill, and Richard Touissant. John Rutland is director of photography with casting by J.C. Cantu.
A Riot Studios Production in association with Lascaux Films, BELIEVE ME is distributed by Headline Features and Gravitas Ventures.
See BELIEVE ME—In Theaters
College Station, Texas
Los Angeles, Calif.
New York, N.Y.
On Video on Demand—U.S. Cable and Satellite Systems
Charter On Demand
Time Warner Cable
Video Google Play
Rogers on demand
For interviews, contact:
Michael Conrad / Michael@Lovell-Fairchild.com / 214-616-0320
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