The saints in England gather to hear the commandment to move to Zion.
- Remember Films
* Most external filmography links go to The Internet Movie Database.Home/Social Media Links
17 Miracles (2011)
Opened: 06/03/2011 Limited
Trailer: Click for trailer
Genre: Historical Drama
Rated: PG for thematic material involving hardships and suffering.
As part of the Willie Handcart Company, Levi Savage (Jason Wade) feared that leaving late in the season would lead to despair and death. What he came to find is that for every tragedy, there is a multitude of miracles.
Based on unbelievable actual events, and brought to you by filmmaker T.C. Christensen (Praise to the Man, The Work and the Glory), 17 Miracles will open your eyes to the stories of the Mormon pioneers as you have never before seen them. Something extraordinary is about to happen.
From the Director's Chair: Sitting down with T.C. Christensen
When did you first start researching and getting interested in the handcart pioneers?
It's been two years now. Wow! I'm also personally interested in the handcart pioneers because my grandparents joined the church in Norway and made the trek to Zion.
What made you interested in doing a movie about the Willie and Martin Handcart companies?
Ron Tanner and I started out thinking that the famous rescue at Sweetwater was the story. I started researching that and as I did, I kept coming across these faith promoting miracles. I decided that was the real story. As I did more and more research, I became more and more hooked to the idea. This story has so much relevance to our day. These amazing pioneers can teach us many lessons if we will simply listen.
How did you pick which miracles to portray in the movie?
There are many recorded miracles that are not in the movie. The factors that drove us to the miracles that are in the movie are:
- Did more than one miracle happen to the same people? (This allowed for more threads throughout the film.)
- My own personal reaction to the miracle (Some resonated more with me than others)
- What lesson is learned by the miracle?
- How feasible is it to show the miracle... especially with our limited budget.
Are there any actors or actresses who are descendants of people portrayed in the film?
Yes, actually about 30 percent of our extras are descendants of handcart pioneers. Some of the actors actually flew in from different states and countries to be a part of this film. McKenzie Stinger, and her three brothers, Kalvin, Kaleb and Lego, are all descendants of a man from the Martin Company. McKenzie plays Betsy Cunningham, Kalvin and Kaleb are the two Linford boys, and Lego plays Niels Nielson.
About the Filmmakers
T.C. Christensen (Producer / Writer / Director / Director of Photography)
T.C. Christensen is one of the brilliant minds behind the camera when it comes to these family favorites: 17 Miracles (Excel Entertainment); Emma Smith: My Story (Morning Dew); Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration (LDS Church); Testaments (LDS Church); The Work & the Glory (Manchester Pictures); Forever Strong (Go Films); Sea Monsters (National Geographic); Roving Mars (Disney); The Buttercreme Gang (Family Films); Rigoletto (Family Films); The Mouths of Babes (LDS Church); Finding Faith in Christ (LDS Church); Treasure in Heaven: The John Tanner Story (LDS Church); Only a Stonecutter (LDS Church).
T.C. has won over 270 national and international awards for his work in directing and photography. In 2010, he was invited to join the American Society of Cinematographers.
Ron Tanner (Producer)
Ron Tanner has been managing Fort Union LLC and Titan Golden Eagle LLC, private investment companies in Salt Lake City, since October of 2002. Recent investments include film co-production, with T.C. Christensen, of 17 Miracles, Treasure in Heaven, and Only a Stonecutter. Prior, Ron was managing director and senior securities analyst for Legg Mason (Baltimore based securities brokerage, asset management, and capital markets firm) for nine years. Before that, he was an analyst at Goldman Sachs in New York City, and prior to that, an analyst for Duff & Phelps in Chicago. Mr. Tanner also worked for Southern California Edison for 10 years in investor relations and financial planning.
Ron has also been a presenter at various utility industry and investment conferences, and a guest lecturer in finance at universities in California, Maryland, Missouri, Utah, and Wisconsin. He participated in numerous television, radio, and newspaper discussions on utility investments. Ron is married and has four children and four grandchildren, and resides in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.
About the Cast
Jasen Wade as Levi Savage
Jasen makes his official debut, outside the film festival audience, with 17 Miracles. This film is Jasen's third collaboration with T.C., the first being The John Tanner Story, the second a Questar commercial, and he hopes it won't be the last he works with T.C. and his immensely gifted crew. Three other films in which Jasen is appearing are currently finding much success in film festivals this year: The Farm, Amber Alert and Dead West. Jasen has also been seen in several commercials for companies such as Symantec, Novell, Payless Shoes and is currently the spokesperson for Union Wireless.
Nathan Mitchell as Captain James G. Willie
On screen, Nathan has portrayed Joseph Smith in Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration, Emma Smith: My Story, Treasure in Heaven: The John Tanner Story and Praise to the Man. Nathan Mitchell is a family therapist/shadow for the Anasazi Foundation. Nathan earned his master's degree in mental health counseling from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor's in fine arts/acting from Brigham Young University. He enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, and is an avid woodworker, hiker, and fisherman.
Natalie Blackman as Sarah Franks
Natalie graduated summa cum laude from the University of Utah's Actor Training Program and currently resides in New York City. Natalie also trained with Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City. Professional theatre experience includes: Our Town, Dracula, Touch(ed) (Pioneer Theatre Company); Master Class with Anne Cullimore Decker (Salt Lake Acting Company); The Music Man (Egyptian Theatre Company); A Funny Thing...Forum (The Grand Theatre). Film: The Jerk Theory (SAG), Theory of Forms.
Jason Celaya as George Padley
Jason has been involved in a number of theatrical and film performances including: John Willoughby in Scents and Sensibility; Garth in Disney's Read it and Weep; Gregor in Immortality Bites; Ryan in RX; Ryder in Jonah and the Great Fish; Everwood; Touched by an Angel; Colonel Cooke in Mormon Battalion at the Mormon Battalion Visitors Center; Matthew in Broadway's Altar Boyz. He has also been involved in Sundance and Tuachan's Summer Theatres, Origins Professional Dance Company; was the President of BYU Young Ambassadors and works as a Choreographer, voice and acting coach to students all over the country.
Tomas Ambt Kofod as Jens Nielson
Tomas Kofod, from Denmark, has played the Savior in two LDS film productions: "The Testaments" and "Finding Faith in Christ." Originally he trained as a stage actor in Denmark, but has mostly played leading roles in a number of musicals, such as: Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, Raoul in Phantom of the Opera, the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, Tony in West Side Story, Chris in Miss Saigon, Leo Bloom in The Producers, Rum Tum Tugger in Cats, Danny in Grease, Nick Piazza in Fame, Lun Tha in The King & I, along with several other parts in various high-end music productions and concerts.
Emily Wadley as Elizabeth Panting
Emily Wadley has a degree from the University of Utah in vocal music education and has enjoyed teaching music for the last 14 years. She started doing theater in elementary school and has loved it as a hobby ever since. Emily has portrayed Emma Smith, Lucy Mack Smith, Anna Fordham and other women in the Nauvoo Pageant. She has been the director for numerous shows in schools, as well as the music director for Savior of the World at the Conference Center in Salt Lake. 17 Miracles is Emily's first venture into the film world. Emily is married and has four children.
Bruce Newbold as The Traveler
Actor/writer Bruce Newbold has guest- or co-starred in television programs such as Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, Touched by an Angel, Highway to Heaven, Tour of Duty, Major Dad, Everwood, and Father Dowling Mysteries. He has also appeared in such films as Bonneville (with Jessica Lange), The Executioner's Song (with Tommy Lee Jones), A More Perfect Union, Perfect Murder Perfect Town, Silk Hope (with Farah Fawcett), and the Disney TV movies Pixel Perfect and The Poof Point. He is well known among LDS audiences for his work in films such as How Rare a Possession: The Book of Mormon, The Lamb of God, Testaments, Finding Faith in Christ, Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration, Only a Stonecutter, and 17 Miracles. He is married to the former Lisa Lindsay. They have five children.
Copy courtesy Excel Entertainment. All rights reserved.