10 West film premiers at Manistee’s Ramsdell Theatre

MANISTEE — After years of work, the most recent film by a Mason County native hit the big screen in a special premier at the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts (RRCA) on Friday night.

Harold Cronk, director/producer of the film, used an area of downtown Manistee — featuring “Joe’s Auto Repair” — as a primary set in the 10 West Studios company’s movie titled “God Bless the Broken Road.”

Other sites in Manistee used during the production of this film include places like the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church or even a house on Fourth Street.

Cronk, who is the co-founder of 10 West Studios, has produced and directed for the nationwide, well-known films “God’s Not Dead” and “God’s Not Dead 2.”

“God Bless the Broken Road” officially premieres on Sept. 5 in Los Angeles and will not be released nationwide until Sept. 7, but the special screening in Manistee gave the cast, crew and community members a first look at the final product.

On Friday, the premier nearly had a full house in the Ramsdell Theatre. Before the premier Shelly Newman, associate producer, and Edgar Struble, producer, made a few statements on the film.

“This is the first public showing,” said Struble. “We finished filming this thing north of two years ago in Manistee and Grand Rapids. It has not exactly been a broken road, but it has been a long road to get from then to now.”

“God Bless the Broken Road” tells the story of a young widow, Amber Hill, whose husband, an American soldier, is tragically killed in Afghanistan. Amber now has to work her way through life, raising their daughter, Bree.

A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales benefits the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization.

Combining elements of faith, country music and stock car racing, the film also pays tribute to those who serve or have served in the U.S. Military.

At the premier, Cronk thanked the crowd, cast and crew for their part in the film. He said, when it hits the theaters, he hopes that it proves to be a success and helps veterans across the nation.

“This is to honor all of the hard work and tireless effort that went into shooting this thing,” said Cronk. “We are super excited about it. When we started this project the core mission of this thing was, if we are going to do another film like this, we are going to make sure it (has) a positive impact on people’s lives.

“Outside of the film, we decided to make sure it was going to make a difference for veterans.”

Leading roles in the film are played by the following actors/actresses:

• Lindsay Pulsipher, starring as Amber Hill;

• Jordin Sparks, starring as Bridgette;

• LaDainian Tomlinson, starring as Pastor Williams;

• Andrew W. Walker, starring as Cody Jackson;

• Robin Givens, starring as Karena Williams;

• Makenzie Moss, starring as Bree Hill;

• Kim Delaney, starring as Patti Hill;

• Gary Grubbs, starring as Joe Carter;

• Arthur Cartwright, starring as Mike Nelson;

• Liam Matthews, starring as Darren Hill;

• Adam Agee, starring as Johnson; and

• Madeline Carroll, starring as Hannah.

A select number of roles in the film were also played by local residents, along with extras on set. West Michigan was the primary location, a staple Cronk typically features in his films.

For more information on “God Bless the Broken Road,” visit ww.godblessthebrokenroad.com.

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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