The film's producers hope the movie will inspire audiences while benefiting charity. "90 Minutes" is the first movie by Giving Films, founded by entrepreneur Rick Jackson. Profits from ticket sales will benefit organizations such as the Christian Alliance for Orphans, FaithBridge Foster Care, Hire Heroes USA and Hope International. (For more information about the film and its charitable partners, see givingfilms.com).
The Atlanta premiere for “90 Minutes,” held Sept. 1 at the Fox Theatre, was a night of pomp and pageantry as the stars posed for photos on a dazzling red carpet. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle appeared.
Jackson’s heartfelt remarks, directed to the foster children invited with their foster families to be part of the event, were among the highlights of the evening.
“I know the pain you guys are experiencing,” said Jackson, who described the dysfunctional home he grew up in. “You wonder, why is this happening? Why does no one love me? This film talks about things in life that happen to you. Our earthly parents might not be good. They may even abuse us. What I found out is my heavenly father was my parent.”
The day after the premiere, the movie’s principals sat for numerous rounds of interviews with journalists at the Georgian Terrace, across the street from the Fox. Nicole Piper Flenniken, portrayed by Elizabeth Hunter in the film, was 12 when her father was injured and had to grow up in a hurry.
“There were a lot of times that I questioned, ‘God why did this have to happen to us?’” she recalled. She felt the responsibility of helping her two little brothers enjoy their childhood as much as possible, while emotionally supporting her mother and praying for her dad. Why was he so sullen? Why wouldn’t he respond when his family visited?
“There was a lot of loneliness,” Flenniken said. “My prayer life really developed during that time.”
Don Piper, who has shared his story with thousands of congregations and millions of readers, said it was surreal to have his life portrayed in film. He and his family attended the Fox premiere and he closed the evening in prayer.
“A lot of people have heard me say if you’ve been there you don’t want to be here,” he said, referring to heaven. “Tonight, I can honestly say I sure am glad I’m here.”