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TRAILER

It’s not what you believe, it’s what you do that matters.

 

American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel takes audiences into the buckle of Bible belt where a group of defiant Oklahomans are rising up to challenge deeply rooted fundamentalist Christian doctrine. Labeled as “heretics” for their beliefs and actions, they refuse to wield their faith as a sword sharpened by literal interpretations of the Bible. Especially those interpretations that continue to justify nationalism and hack away at landmark civil rights protections for women, minorities, immigrants, and the LGBTQ communities. These American Heretics are still interested in saving you from hell, but it’s the earthly one, where poverty, discrimination and nationalism oppress those “who are the least among us.”

Directed and Produced by Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Jeanine and Catherine Butler; edited by award-winning editor Jamie Lee Godfrey (National Geographic, Newseum); and lensed by Peter Hutchens (Showtime’s “The Trade,” and Oprah Winfrey’s “Belief” series).

 
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ABOUT THE FILM

 

“We’ve entered a time where the power of negative partisanship has sorted us along lines of race and religion.  So if you look at Republicans, they’re about seven in ten white and Christian. Democrats are only three in ten, white and Christian.   And what it means is that two parties have exploited race and religion, two of the most visceral things you can think of in terms of the human experience, and they’ve locked them in partisan identities."

– Robert P. Jones, CEO Public Religion Research Institute 
Author of “The End of White Christian America”


 
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CHARACTERS

At what other point in our history has the line between church and state become so tangled and polarizing? 

We’ve entered a time where the power of negative partisanship has sorted us along lines of race and religion. And what that means, according to Dr. Robert Jones, head of the Public Religion Research Institute “is that the two parties have exploited race and religion, two of the most visceral things you can think of in terms of the human experience, and they’ve locked them in partisan identities.” 

American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel takes audiences into the buckle of Bible belt where a group of defiant ministers, congregations, and community leaders are challenging deeply rooted fundamentalist Christian doctrine in favor of a Gospel of Inclusion. Labeled as “heretics” for their beliefs and actions, they refuse to wield their faith as a sword sharpened by literal interpretations of the Bible. Especially those fundamentalist Christian interpretations that continue to justify nationalism and hack away at landmark civil rights protections for women, minorities, immigrants, and the LGBTQ communities. 

This poignant story challenges what we think we know about the Christian heartland by offering a rare personal glimpse into the contentious and often misunderstood history of religion, race, and politics in America. These Heretics are still interested in saving you from hell, but’s the earthly one, where poverty, discrimination and nationalism oppresses “…those who are the least among us.”

Directed and Produced by Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Jeanine and Catherine Butler (www.butlerfilms.tv). Edited by award-winning editor Jamie Lee Godfrey (National Geographic, Newseum); and lensed by Peter Hutchens (Showtime’s “The Trade,” and Oprah Winfrey’s “Belief” series). 

 

PRODUCTION TEAM

 
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Jeanine Butler

DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER
Jeanine is an award-winning director, producer and writer. Specializing in documentaries and non-fiction entertainment, her work has been broadcast across multiple platforms, screened at film festivals worldwide and garnered numerous awards, including three National Emmy nominations for Documenting the Face of America (PBS), The Science of HIV/AIDS (The Discovery Channel), and Africa (BBC/Discovery Channel). Butler has produced, written and directed longform documentaries for Explorer, the premier documentary series for National Geographic and crafted strategic storytelling for nonprofits and international NGOs.  Currently she has two short films screening at the Newseum in Washington, DC. and is wrapping up post-production on American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel with her producing partner and sister, Catherine Butler.

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Catherine Lynn Butler

PRODUCER
Catherine Lynn Butler is an award-winning documentary writer/producer with global experience developing and delivering impactful long and short form documentaries for television, museums, educational nonprofits and NGOs. Catherine’s work has been awarded two Emmy’s, including Journey of the Universe(PBS); Women of Tibet (PBS); and a National Emmy nomination for Documenting the Face of America (PBS).

She also produced the critically acclaimed feature-length investigative documentary The Future of Food, which enjoyed global theatrical and digital distribution.  She’s currently wrapping up post-production with her producing partner and sister, Jeanine Butler on American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel.

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Peter Hutchens

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Peter Hutchens is an award-winning cinematographer whose clients include HBO, Showtime, PBS, and National Geographic. In 2011, he won the Sundance Cinematography Award for his work on the feature documentary The Redemption of General Butt Naked. Peter was a principal DP for Oprah Winfrey’s international series Belief, and most recently served as Director of Photography on Showtime’s critically acclaimed series The Trade, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

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Jamie Lee Godfrey

EDITOR & MOTION DESIGNER

New York-based Jamie Godfrey is an Emmy-nominated editor and motion designer. She has worked on short- and long-form documentaries, infographic animations, and large-format video installations for companies such as National Geographic, The Newseum, The Smithsonian, Great Big Story, and The World Bank. Her work has been recognized with Telly, New York Festivals, and Cine Golden Eagle awards.

Her large-format video includes creating two multi-screen video installations for the National Geographic museum and two large-scale seamless video installations (12x1 and 18x1) for the Newseum in Washington, DC and John Kerry’s 2016 ocean initiative.

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Tara Farrell Conlan

ARCHIVAL RESEARCHER / RIGHTS & CLEARANCES SUPERVISOR
Tara Farrell has over fifteen years experience as a, visual researcher, photo editor and clearance supervisor for editorial and commercial clients such as Sony Television, Showtime, People Magazine,Vanity Fair, NBC, New York Times, National Geographic and CNN. A former Associated Press photographer with 10 years of international experience, she worked together with Seamus Conlan photographing more than 21,000 lost children to help reunite them with their parents after the Rwandan genocide in 1994. For the unique compilation image of 21,000 children they were given the Art Directors Club award and ‘The Lost Children of Rwanda’ was named one of the “100 images that changed the world” by Life magazine.

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Drew Takahashi

ANIMATION ARTIST
Drew Takahashi is presently the Emperor of Funjacket Enterprises where he designs and directs. Previously he was co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of (Colossal) Pictures. Using any and all techniques in film and video, he directed or creative directedbroadcast identities (MTV, Showtime, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network andNickelodeon), commercials (Coca-Cola, Intel, Nike, Honda and Levi’s) music videos (Bobby McFerrin, Prince, Joe Cocker, Kronos Quartet), and interfaces(Apple, Americast, Nuvana, Microsoft).At Funjacket Enterprises Drew has continued to design and direct over an even more diverse range of opportunities now including naming and identities (LaikaEntertainment, House Special, Nuvana), corporate communications (Apple, Intel,Mozilla, Inkling, Corning/Mythbusters), transformative games (CPB, NikeFoundation, Stanford D School, Alameda Probation Department) and animated portions of documentaries (National Geographic, NRDC, Sea Studios, ActualPictures, Room 608).

 
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UPCOMING SCREENINGS


HUDSON, NY — Aug 3 - Aug 25 (10 dates)
Time & Space Limited
[Tickets On Sale]

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Aug 9 - Sep 5 (select dates)
Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA)
[Tickets On Sale]

JOPLIN, MO - Aug 30, Sep 4-5
Bookhouse Cinema
[Tickets On Sale]

SEBASTOPOL, CA - Sep 3
Rialto Cinemas Sebastopol
Q&A with filmmaker Catherine Butler
[Tickets On Sale]

CLEVELAND, OH - Sep 3
Capitol Theatre
[Tickets On Sale]

BERKELEY, CA - Sep 4
Rialto Cinemas Elmwood
Q&A with filmmaker Catherine Butler
[Tickets On Sale]

CORDOVA, TN - Sep 4
Malco Cordova Town Cinema
[Tickets On Sale]

WASHINGTON DC - Sep 6
Newseum - Knight Conference Center
[Register for Free Screening]
Panel discussion with Bishop Carlton Pearson, Rev. Marlin Lavanhar, Robert Jones, Ph.D.,
Rachel Laser, director Jeanine Butler, producer Catherine Butler
Moderated by The Hon. Suzan Johnson Cook

CHICAGO, IL - Sep 6, 8, 14, 21, 30
Gene Siskel Film Center
Q&A 9/8, 4:45pm show with subject Rev. Marlin Lavanhar & film story consultant James Kasper
Q&A 9/14, 5:00pm show with director Jeanine Butler, producer Catherine Butler & film story consultant James Kasper
Q&A 9/21, 5:00pm show with subject Bishop Carlton Pearson & film story consultant James Kasper

[Tickets On Sale]

NORMAN, OK - Sep 12
Sam Noble Museum of Natural History’s Kerr Auditorium
[Tickets Coming Soon]

DENVER, CO - Sep 15
Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake
Q&A with film story consultant James Kasper
[Tickets On Sale]

TACOMA, WA - Sep 17
The Grand Cinema
[Tickets Coming Soon]

NASHVILLE, TN - Sep 19
Belcourt Theatre
[Tickets On Sale]

SEATTLE, WA - Sep 23
SIFF Cinema Uptown
[Tickets Coming Soon]

OREM, UT - Oct 2
Reflection Center at Utah Valley University
[Tickets On Sale]

PAST SCREENINGS

TULSA, OK — July 19 - Aug 15
Circle Cinema
[Tickets On Sale]

NORFOLK, VA - Aug 14
Naro Expanded Cinema
[Tickets On Sale]

NEW YORK, NY — July 12-18
Village East Cinema

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — July 12-18
Celebration! Cinema Woodland Mall

TULSA, OK — July 14
Circle Cinema

SCHENECTADY, NY — July 20
Proctors Theatre

HOUSTON, TX — July 28
14 Pews

COLUMBUS, OH — July 31
Gateway Film Center

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — July 19 - Aug 8
Rodeo Cinema

CAMAS, WA — Aug 2-8
Liberty Theatre

PASADENA, CA — Aug 7
Laemmle Playhouse 7

SANTA MONICA, CA — Aug 7
Laemmle Monica Film Center

HOUSTON, TX — Aug 8 & Aug 22
14 Pews




 PRESS

“Eye-opening”

- Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times 

This documentary has the potential to move hearts and minds

- Kimber Myers, Los Angeles Times

“Offers a ray of hope”

- John Anderson, America Magazine 

“A friendly conversation-starter”

- John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

“A fascinating history lesson”

- Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“Compelling”

- Nick Schager, The Daily Beast 

“Authentically inspiring”

- Micah Bucey, Spirituality & Practice

“Uplifting and entertaining”

- Roger Moore, Movie Nation

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CONTACT

 

Press Inquiries
Falco Ink
[Email]

Community & Educational Screenings
Abramorama
[Email]

Theatrical Bookings
Abramorama
[Email]

Filmmakers
Butler Films
[Email]