The movie, based on true events, revolves around a high school football team in 1973 Birmingham, Ala., that experiences turmoil amid government-mandated desegregation of the school. “Woodlawn” opens Oct. 16.
The team’s fortunes turn around after an uplifting session with an outsider who urges players to follow the teachings of Jesus. The team’s star player, played by newcomer Caleb Castille, winds up attracting the attention of famed University of Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.
Jon Voight co-stars as Bryant, along with Sean Astin, Nic Bishop and C. Thomas Howell. Brothers Jon and Andy Erwin directed the film, which was produced by Kevin Downes (“Faith of Our Fathers”).
“Woodlawn” is produced and distributed by Pure Flix, which focuses on faith-based projects, and Provident Films.
Burnett and Downey’s involvement, through their LightWorkers Media banner, will help raise the profile of the movie in mainstream media as well as in the faith-based arena. The pair are highly regarded for their success in shepherding spiritual and Christian-themed productions, such as the 2013 miniseries “The Bible” and 2014 film “Son of God,” to general audiences.
“The goal of all of our faith-based projects has been to spotlight the power and goodness of God,” Downey said. ” ‘Woodlawn’ fits that bill perfectly: It’s an exciting and emotional look at how faith changes the fortunes and hearts of a football team, a high school and an entire city. This story is an important reminder of what faith in action looks like.”