David A. R. White: Redemptive Films Reach New Pinnacles

By Diane Howard, Ph.D.

The Renaissance and Reformation of Redemptive Films continues to grow, develop, and expand into 2022.  An example of this is Pinnacle Peak Pictures, which is an American film production and distribution studio which David A. R. White and Russell Wolfe have founded. Pinnacle Peak Pictures has produced, acquired, marketed, and distributed over 100 faith and family-friendly films, which include notable redemptive films such as: “God’s Not Dead” (2014), “Do You Believe?” (2015), “Woodlawn” (2015), “The Case for Christ” (2017), and “Unplanned” (2019). The company has headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The mission of Pinnacle Peak Pictures is to provide a full-service Production and Distribution company that focuses on Theatrical Film and International TV & Video Distribution in the Family and Inspirational marketplace. Its goal is to tell stories that are only entertaining and compelling but that the whole family can enjoy.

DAVID A.R. WHITE is one of the most recognizable actors in redemptive films including the God’s Not Dead films. His father, a Mennonite pastor, has told him to make sure that God was first in his life. White has adhered to that guidance.

White and two friends became the founders of PureFlix, which has been the #1 indie faith studio in the world. In 2020, SONY acquired PureFlix streaming service. PureFlix was renamed after the sale to SONY as Pinnacle Peak Pictures.  PureFlix, which began as an independent faith movie studio, has now become a part of the SONY legacy with its Affirm Films.

SONY’s Affirm Films, which produces, markets and the distributes inspiring content, has produced such Christian blockbusters as “War Room,” “Heaven Is for Real” and “Miracles From Heaven.”  Starring Jennifer Garner, “Miracles From Heaven” was made on a $13-million budget and generated nearly $74 million in global box office ticket sales. Just last year, the Kendrick Brothers film, “Overcomer” grossed $38 million on a budget of $5 million.

Pinnacle Peak Pictures is scheduled to release several notable faith films in the near future. As PureFlix’s co-founder and Chief Content Officer, White is now a founding partner of Pinnacle Peak Pictures and has joined Affirm Films as head of the service’s outreach and special projects.

Here’s my exclusive interview with David White with an update on new developments in production, distribution of redemptive films:

DH: How has the pandemic affected redemptive films and filmmaking?

DW: The theatrical movie world has shifted. It is harder to launch films in Hollywood. Streaming numbers have gone up. The studio has also allowed us to edit and clean-up movies for families.

DH: What are new developments with redemptive film companies?

DW: There are more exclusive deals with a wide range of producers from independent, individual ones to legacy studios.

DH: How is Pinnacle Peak Pictures unique?

DW: It produces and distributes.

DH: How does Pinnacle Peak Pictures work with other distributors in local areas in other countries?

DW: It works with foreign sales departments.

DH: Can redemptive filmmakers with screenplays ready for production seek your services?

DW: They can seek our development people and can meet them at film festivals.

DH: How can mature talent and crew work with Pinnacle Peak Pictures?

DW: They can seek reputable agents with good track records and resumes, such as Michael Van Dyck, Founder at Inspired Entertainment.

DH: Can redemptive filmmakers seek your company for distribution of their films?

DW: They can seek development people for distribution, such as Dave Beecham or Ron Gell for foreign distribution.

In conclusion, White says that it is important that redemptive filmmakers keep going, don’t stop, grow in excellence, and persevere through new developments in redemptive film making for the long haul.

One of White’s latest movies seen in theaters, “God’s Not Dead: We the People” (2021), is now available on Digital and DVD and includes exclusive, bonus content. It is an uplifting and inspirational film about family, education, faith, and hope. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has also released the complete “God’s Not Dead” 4-movie collection, which includes two separate DVDS (including “God’s Not Dead: We the People”).

“God’s Not Dead: We the People” was also distributed through Faith Content Network, a new development in distribution in which churches can host first-run redemptive movies without hosting, licensing fees. For example, it was hosted by the First Methodist Church of Temple, TX at the historic Beltonian Theater, owned by a church member. The moviegoers paid for their tickets directly to the company (at the theatre and/or online) and the Beltonian was offered a percentage. https://faithcontentnetwork.com/titles.

The first “God’s Not Dead” movie became a worldwide success as one of the most profitable films when it released in 2014 with a $1.5MM budget and grossed over $65MM at the box office.

The franchise continues in “God’s Not Dead: We the People”  in cultural timeliness as Reverend Dave (White) is called to defend a group of Christian homeschooling families. The pastor finds himself taken aback by the interference of the government and believes that their right to educate their own children is a freedom worth fighting for. A prime example of “art imitating life,” homeschooled students in the United States increased from 2.5MM to 5MM since the pandemic, as of March 2021.

Reverend Dave is called to Washington, DC to testify in a landmark congressional hearing that will determine the future of religious freedom in our country for years to come. The movie features a riveting fight for freedom that starts in the heart of the country and runs into the corridors of our Nation’s Capital, Washington, DC.

This engaging movie prompts audiences to ask compelling questions such as: If your individual liberties and the education of your children are threatened—What Will You Do?

Diane Howard, Ph.D. is a dialogue, dialect and voice-over coach, as well as a journalist who writes about the role of faith in movies and in the entertainment field. Her website is dianehoward.com.