New Film ‘The Hopeful’ about Adventist Pioneers Debuts in Theaters

Hope Channel International

New Film ‘The Hopeful’ about Adventist Pioneers Debuts in Theaters

The movie is the premier release from Hope Studios, based at Hope Channel International.

Media | United States | Hope Channel International and Adventist Review

A new Adventist motion picture is being released in April, titled The Hopeful, which tells the story of the origins of the Seventh-day Adventist Church from William Miller to John N. Andrews and his children. The film will be playing in theaters in the United States on April 17 and 18.

John N. Andrews was the first missionary sent by the Adventist Church to a destination outside the United States. The film, directed by Kyle Portbury, centers on the widower Andrews traveling to Switzerland with his children. He tells them stories, which are portrayed in the film, of the beginnings of the Advent movement and the pioneers who featured in it. As the film goes back in time, it takes the audience on the emotional journey of the pain, disappointment, joys, and hopes of the church pioneers, and how the movement’s development brought the Andrews family to their posting overseas.

The producers’ description of the film reads:

William Miller’s faith is in ruins. After miraculously surviving a fierce battle in the War of 1812, Miller questions why God spared him. His search for wisdom leads to an astonishing prophecy—the world is going to end. The Hopeful unfolds as a story of a man burdened with the knowledge of Christ’s return. Miller’s message resonates with some—even as it is scorned by others. When a young woman named Ellen Harmon listens to one of his sermons she is transformed. And through her witness the message begins to take hold. Her preaching grows beyond prophecy and develops into a more holistic vision for how Christians should live and worship. We see blossoming the seeds of a new global movement of faith—the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Hopeful is the true story of a community whose lives were transformed as they learn what it means to truly wait for Jesus. This sweeping drama, set in 19th-century New England, invites audiences of all ages to imagine how hope can change the world.

Hope Studios’ producers developed The Hopeful to share In May 2023, the film took the spotlight as the headline screening at the International Christian Film Festival (ICFF) in Orlando, Florida. ICFF, founded by Seventh-day Adventist filmmaker Marty Jean-Louis, has grown to become the world’s largest Christian film festival, boasting an international subscriber list of more than 20,000. While the festival typically hosts multiple simultaneous screenings, The Hopeful claimed a unique status as the sole Thursday night feature, drawing the largest audience. Attendees representing various Christian denominations praised the film’s cinematography and storytelling, with many expressing that it served as their introduction to Seventh-day Adventism and its history.

The film’s screenings highlighted its potential as an effective tool for evangelism and outreach, the producers said, and culminated in an official endorsement from the North American Division at its Year-end Meeting in October 2023.

The film runs 1 hour and 30 minutes and was produced by Hope Studios, based at Hope Channel International in the headquarters building of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Hope Studios has provided resources for promoting the film.

This article was published on the Adventist Review website.