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Filmmakers Focused on the Family

August 28th, 2006 by Paul Martin

Hollywood can be a land of creative opportunity, but also a dark place that can eat away at the soul. But, make no mistake, there are people, and companies, determined to enliven the heart while also respecting the entreaties of the Bible rather than ignoring them. One such multi-media entertainment company is Walden Media.

Walden Media actually is located in Boston, but then, there is no geographic Hollywood nucleus; rather, it is a city of the mind.

Headed by CEOs Micheal Flaherty (that’s how he spells it) and Cary Granat (no kidding), Walden Media was formed seven years ago with the aim of making great films from celebrated literature.

“We want to be the next great trusted brand for families, particularly for teachers, libraries and parents,” Flaherty says.

Walden’s “I Am David” was a powerful adaptation of Anne Holm’s internationally acclaimed novel “North to Freedom” about a 12-year-old boy who escapes a communist labor camp possessing only a compass, an inherent distrust of people and a sealed letter. A compelling drama about a person discovering the world for the first time, the film moved along with a sincere tone but never neglected the light whimsical touch needed to entertain.

Walden’s other early projects likewise contained both heart and life lessons, generating positive feedback and thus moving the studio toward its goals of both respecting and entertaining moviegoers.

After wisely beginning with small theatrical projects, the company’s CEOs then faced their greatest challenge and very likely their most rewarding contribution to the film world — the making of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”

Based on the best-selling children’s book by C.S. Lewis, the story focuses on four children who discover a magical wardrobe that transports them into the realm of Narnia, a land inhabited by talking animals and many a life lesson. There, the children join forces with the courageous lion, Aslan, to defeat the evil forces of the White Witch.

“For me, the main themes in the book are family and forgiveness,” Flaherty says. “We made sure those themes were in the film.”

[Read the rest at BP]