Virgin Mobile USA’s To Build Water Wells In Sudan To Honor MACHINE GUN PREACHER


Warren, N.J. Sept. 21, 2011 Virgin Mobile USA and production company Virgin Produced announced a special program today to support Relativity’s upcoming Machine Gun Preacher, featuring Gerard Butler’s (300) searing performance as Sam Childers, the impassioned founder of the Angels of East Africa rescue organization in this moving story of violence and redemption, directed by Golden Globe-nominated Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball). The program will encourage both college students and Facebook fans at large to pledge their support for the story behind Machine Gun Preacher, which releases theatrically in New York and Los Angeles on Sept. 23, and in additional markets in the weeks to follow.

Virgin Mobile USA will first ask Facebook fans on their fan page ( to sign a pledge to support this film. This pledge will inspire several ways a fan can support the film’s release, including viewing the trailer or spreading word about the film via Facebook or Twitter. Fans who pledge their support for the film on during the first two weeks of the film’s release (ending on Oct. 2) will also have their names engraved on one of the wells in Africa. To build awareness and momentum for this effort, Virgin Mobile USA will invade social networks and college campuses with an army of street teams to attract pledges to raise awareness in the New York City and Los Angeles areas. Among campuses targeted are UCLA, USC, Columbia University, NYU, and Baruch College.

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My 5 Minutes With The President – Gary Safady

Gary Safady

Gary Safady is the president and founder of Safady Entertainment LLC. Safady’s latest production, “Machine Gun Preacher,” had its world premiere last week at the Toronto International Film Festival and will be released in theaters this month. “Machine Gun Preacher” is the story of Sam Childers (played by Gerard Butler), a former drug-dealing biker who turns his life around when he finds God and becomes a mission crusader for thousands of Sudanese children who’ve been forced into war due to the tyranny of the LRA regime. Directed by the critically acclaimed Marc Forster, “Machine Gun Preacher” boasts an A-list cast, with Michelle Monaghan (“Mission: Impossible III”), Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road”) and Madeline Carroll (“Flipped”).

Safady is in pre-production on his next film, “Cobra 405,” based on a novel by author Damien Lewis, a thriller about an extraordinary heist involving nine soldiers and $150 million of missing gold, set in the late ’70s in war-torn Beirut, Lebanon.

ROBIN BRONK: If you had five minutes in the Oval Office with President Obama, what would you discuss with him? What issue would you like him to know about?

GARY SAFADY: I would like to discuss foreign policy with him, specifically on human trafficking issues dealing with children. After learning firsthand about the issues concerning the children of Africa during the filming of “Machine Gun Preacher,” I would talk about the atrocities that are occurring to these children and what we need to do to stop it. I would like him to know that Africa doesn’t need just another hospital or more relief food, it needs a real plan that provides economic stability, which in turn can provide hope and a future.

RB: If you could give President Obama one piece of advice, what would that be?

GS: Have perseverance and long-range plans, not short-term goals for the purposes of appeasing lobbyist groups or for reelection.

RB: If you could ask President Obama one question, what would that be?

GS: With all of your duties as president, is it hard to find the time to relax or go to sleep?

RB: What book would you offer to lend President Obama? Why?

GS: “A Man in Full,” because it epitomizes how one man, Charlie Croker, who was on top, can’t stay on top after overextending himself. Similarly, the USA, which has been on top for a long time, is now experiencing a steady decline and, like that story, if the USA doesn’t watch itself, it too may fall. My advice in diplomacy is to be humble, because no one likes a “big shot” — so humility is the secret to success.

RB: If you were going to send the president to one place in the United States for one day, where would that be? Why?

GS: I would send him to children’s orphanages and an inner-city public high school. I would want him to address what the future holds for these kids and what can be done to solve the challenges facing our youth today.

RB: Would you ever consider a political career?

GS: No.

Bronk is a seasoned Capitol Hill strategist and advocate. She started her career at The Creative Coalition, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group for the arts and entertainment industry, in July 1998. During her tenure as CEO, Bronk has taken The Creative Coalition from a New York-based entity to a national organization.

View the full article here. 

Machine Gun Preacher Review (myETVmedia)

Directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland,), starring Gerard Butler (300), Michelle Monaghan (Due Date) and Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road), with music by Chris Cornell ‘The Keeper’, Machine Gun Preacher is based on a phenomenal true story derived from Sam Childers’ book ‘Another Man’s War’.

‘Another Man’s War’ is “terrorism…against more than 200,000 children in northern Uganda and Southern Sudan.”

Gerard Butler is perfectly cast as Sam Childers, a hardened criminal and ex-biker who “finds Jesus” after almost killing a man while stoned. Following a preacher who recently came back from a mission in Uganda, the born anew Childers decides to go to Africa and put his construction skills to use. While there, he makes a weekend trip to the Sudan. The atrocities he witnesses first hand, committed as a result of the country’s civil war, momentously change him yet again. So moved, Childers takes it upon him self to build an orphanage for the child victims of the war. What he initially thought to be a simple undertaking proves to be much more complex and challenging, especially after a first rebel attack on the orphanage. Luckily, this ex-cons’ particular combination of life skills are very well suited for survival in Sudan.

Six Movie Clips from MACHINE GUN PREACHER (


by Jason Barr    Posted:September 14th, 2011 at 11:44 am


Six new clips from director Marc Forster’s Machine Gun Preacher are now online. Starring Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan and Michael Shannon, the “based on a true story” pic centers on Sam Childers (Butler), a once upon a time drug dealer who turns his life around and dedicates it to saving kidnapped and orphaned children in Sudan. Hit the jump to watch some new footage from the film. Machine Gun Preacher hits limited theaters in the U.S. on September 23rd and opens in the U.K. on November 18th.\

View the clips.

TIFF’11: Praise for ‘Machine Gun Preacher’ (Examiner)

TIFF’11: Praise for ‘Machine Gun Preacher’

Lynn Fenske's photo

, Toronto Film Examiner

September 12, 2011

For a few fleeting moments Rev. Sam Childers is a movie star. Wearing his customary uniform of black jeans and Harley jacket, he walks the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival as part of the entourage for Machine Gun Preacher, the film based on his remarkable true-life story.

Childers is no ordinary preacher. A born-again convert to Christianity, he’s quite literally on a mission from God, delivering salvation and humanitarian aid to the forgotten and orphaned children of Sudan. Nicknamed the “machine gun preacher” he does it as much with an AK-47 as with the Lord’s Prayer.

In his memoir Another Man’s War: The True Story of One Man’s Battle to Save the Children of Sudan Childers documents his dramatic tale of redemption as he transforms from being a drug-dealing, volatile bike-gang member to an ordained minister fighting renegade militia in Africa.

His story is a brutal, life-or-death battle that the most talented screenwriters in Hollywood couldn’t make up. Yet when word got out about Childers and his ability to rescue hundreds of Sudanese orphans and care for them in an orphanage he built, Hollywood came calling. The film adaptation became a labour of love for producers Deborah Giarratana and Robbie Brenner with Jason Keller writing the script.

The resulting Machine Gun Preacher is a movie you won’t soon forget. Gerard Butler stars. Marc Forster directs. The supporting cast includes Michelle Monaghan, Madeline Carroll, Michael Shannon and Souleymane Sy Savane.

The film had its red carpet premiere at Roy Thomson Hall on September 11 at 6:30 p.m. An additional screening is scheduled for September 16, 12:00 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre 1.

Machine Gun Preacher opens in Toronto theatres September 30, 2011.

See you at the movies.

Read full article here.

The Spotlight (Award) is on Michelle Monaghan

 The Spotlight (Award) is on Michelle Monaghan

By Katherine Monk, Postmedia News September 12, 2011 11:36 AM

Michelle Monaghan of ‘Machine Gun Preacher’ poses for a portrait during 2011 Toronto Film Festival on September 9, 2011 in Toronto, Canada.

Photograph by: Matt Carr/Getty Images, .

TORONTO – Had the fates cooperated, Michelle Monaghan would be sitting in this chair as the bedraggled reporter, not the glamorous actor in sheer leopard print.

Monaghan studied journalism and had hopes of being one of the invisible and inky, but instead ended up on the other side of the fence of fame as one of the beautiful people – first as a model, and, not long after, as an up-and-comer in film and TV.

The change of plans panned out for the pixie-faced talent, but the inner voice that led her to her first passion remains intact. Monaghan is committed to making the world a better place, and at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, the Iowa-born actor is one of a select few to be honoured by the Creative Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to recognizing and supporting people and projects in the creative community that inform and enlighten the general public, as well as itself.

“To be honoured with a Spotlight Award means a lot to me, actually,” she says. “I think it’s important to recognize projects that take a risk, and this one isn’t afraid to confront the audience with some tough material.”

Monaghan is talking about Machine Gun Preacher, the new film from Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Monster’s Ball) that tells the real-life story of Sam Childers, a former biker and convicted criminal who found Jesus Christ, and soon became the unlikely defender of the orphans of Sudanese genocide.

“I think this film has such an important message behind it, because it says one person can make a difference. And it doesn’t matter what that person may have done in the past, because it’s about what you can do today.”

They are simple messages, but with Gerard Butler playing Childers and Monaghan playing the loyal wife who is forced to stand by and watch as her entire home life is turned upside-down by her husband’s self-assigned mission, the movie finds beats that vibrate on a deeper level.

“I think what’s happening in the Sudan . . . is something we’ve learned to ignore. This movie has a chance of bringing it home to people,” she says.

By taking on the role of Lynn, wife to Childers, Monaghan says she found her own entrance to the narrative: through personal conflict.

“There is one scene in the film where I really had to fight my own instincts. My instincts told me to get emotional and to be upset and angry. But then I had to remind myself that I’m playing a real person. And you have to honour that,” she says. “Lynn just did not have that angry energy. She was just so incredibly strong and calm. I was constantly humbled by her self-sacrifice.”

Monaghan says it’s often easier playing women who are completely different than herself, but it’s all a process of self-discovery.

“This job gives me so much self-awareness because, in every person I play, there is a little piece of myself. Even the pitfalls I appreciate wholeheartedly, because I end up discovering something new about myself. You know:Why I am this way when this (character) acts completely differently? Or, Why is this scene so hard when others can be so easy?”

As far as hard goes, Monaghan says comedy would have to be the most demanding task.

“People tell me I’m funny, and then they say, ‘Just play yourself,’ and that’s the hardest thing of all. But I love action movies. They’re a complete departure for me. But I love moving around and they’re a lot of fun.”

Monaghan has actually assumed Linda Hamilton’s mantle as the gal with heroic mettle in movies such as Source Code opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Mission: Impossible III opposite Tom Cruise, and she’s revelling in it. The young mother who gave birth to her daughter Willow Katherine in 2008 (with partner Peter White) is actually so fond of crash-bang-boom movies, she’s decided to produce one of her own.

“I’m so excited. We just got financing for the project, so we are moving ahead,” she says with a truly giddy expression crawling across her features.

Based on the book The Blonde, by Duane Swierczynski, the new film will feature Monaghan – “of course I’m going to be in it!” – as well as a group of like-minded collaborators, because that’s how Monaghan works: “I feel like I have a family of supportive friends and colleagues. I like working with like-minded people, because then, you really are sharing. You can be bold. You can improvise. So much of this business is about confidence,” she says.

All the spunkiness that Monaghan embodies on film is present in the flesh, too. She loves being physical and she’s got tomboy energy – despite the glam look du jour, and the animal-print blouse.

“I think I’m doing exactly what I was meant to be doing . . . even if it started off as something that I thought, ‘Well, you got an acting job, just roll with it.’ . . . Now, I really can’t see myself doing anything else.”

Machine Gun Preacher is slated for a release later this fall, but in the meantime, Monaghan will finish production duties on The Blonde, as well as wrap up Better Living Through Chemistry, in which she stars opposite Sam Rockwell and Olivia Wilde.

Toronto 2011: ‘Machine Gun Preacher’ opens to standing ovation (24 Frames)

24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Toronto 2011: ‘Machine Gun Preacher’ opens to standing ovation

September 11, 2011 |  8:41 pm


You could feel the collective sigh of relief Sunday night coming from the filmmaker section of Roy Thomson Hall when the credits began to roll for the Toronto International Film Festival screening of “Machine Gun Preacher,” the Gerard Butler-starrer about real life ex-con-turned-African-vigilante Sam Childers. The world premiere of the film, which has been a labor of love for all the parties involved — including Butler who says he made a fraction of his regular salary to play Childers — kept audience members rooted to their seats.

They only stood once the final credits rolled, and then it was to give an ovation to the filmmakers. Both Butler and Childers, who attended the festival with his wife, Lynn, stood and grabbed hands for a final curtain call.

The movie centers on Childers, a violent gun-toting ex-con from rural Pennsylvania, who turns his life around after finding Jesus and becomes obsessed with the child massacres occurring half a world away in the Sudan. He starts an orphanage that houses more than 200 children and helps fight the men who have left them orphans. His quest for vengeance and his drive to save the young people comes at great sacrifice to his wife and daughter.

The audience seemed engrossed for the often violent and disturbing film, directed by Marc Forster (“Monster’s Ball,” “Quantum of Solace”) and written by Jason Keller. Having Childers in the audience was a great endorsement too — the 49-year-old Harley Davidson biker has made it clear he would not have been in Toronto had he not liked what he saw on the screen.

Butler, particularly, seemed quite relieved by the response. Once the lights came up, the Scottish actor, announced, “Let’s go get a drink.”

Read entire article here.