12 April, 2024

Indiana Church’s Newest Movie, ‘I Can,’ a Story of Redemption

by | 28 March, 2023 | 2 comments

By Chris Moon 

First Capital Christian Church in Corydon, Ind., has produced its second feature-length film. 

I Can tells the story of Katelyn Pavey, who became an All-American softball player at Kentucky Christian University despite being born with only part of a left arm. [We wrote about Katelyn last fall; see “Leading Off for the KCU Knights . . .”]. The film also dives deeply into the regrets and guilt of Pavey’s father, Eric. Katelyn Pavey was born out of wedlock, and her father thought for a time that her congenital anomaly was his fault. 

It is a redemption story, said Tyler Sansom, the movie’s director and lead pastor of First Capital Christian Church. 

TYLER SANSOM

“God restored what was beyond restoration,” said Sansom, who started at FCCC in 2013, about the same time as Katelyn’s family.  

“I’ve watched Katelyn grow up into an amazing young lady, and I’m honored to be the lead pastor for their family,” Sansom said. “Her dad, Eric, and I teach a Bible study together weekly and do a lot of ministry together.” 

The movie is the latest in what the church hopes to be a long line of films based on the redemption stories of its church members. 

I Can won’t be released until sometime this summer, but it will have its red-carpet premiere within days at the Corydon Cinemas, Sansom said. Additionally, local businesses purchased tickets for exclusive showings at the same complex “so everyone in our town could see the film. . . . We wanted our hometown to have a chance to see it first. It is also a way to say thank you for their support.” 

The new film comes on the heels of FCCC’s first movie, A Father’s Fight, released in March 2021. The success of that film attracted attention from Hollywood.  

The church now is working with Kappa Studios, a company that does the post-production work for The Chosen, the popular streaming series about the life of Christ. 

Because of that, I Can is “a significantly larger production” compared to FCCC’s first film, Sansom said. 

Actress Danner Brown plays Katelyn in I Can. The church also was able to draw in more experienced actors this time around, including Vernon Wells, who was in the movie Mad Max, and Daniel Roebuck, who was in the 2022 film The Munsters. I Can also features Cameron Arnett, who has been in several larger Christian movies. Former college football coach Mark Richt also makes a cameo appearance in the film. 

But among the main cast and crew members, who numbered about 100, “I would say about 60 to 70 percent were part of the church,” Sansom said. And among the more than 1,000 total extras from the community, “probably 80 percent were from the church.” 

ACTRESS DANNER BROWN (LEFT) PLAYS KATELYN PAVEY (RIGHT). IN MIDDLE PHOTO, KATELYN ADJUSTS DANNER’S SUNGLASSES.

BUILDING ON PAST SUCCESS 

Years ago, FCCC began investing heavily in its digital ministry, launching a microsite initiative called Church Anywhere. Today, the church has a weekly attendance of about 2,000, Sansom said.  

FCCC also began producing narrative testimonies for its ministries. That expanded into short films and now feature-length movies.  

A Father’s Fight is a boxing movie that emerged from Sansom’s work in youth shelters. It demonstrated the need for parents to fight for their children through difficult circumstances. 

The film was released in the state’s prison system. Sansom said every prisoner in the state of Indiana had an opportunity to watch the film. He said 35 people were baptized as a result.  

“What was crazy was after they got out of prison, they started showing up in church,” he said. 

The church then got connected through its casting company with a film school in Uganda. So far, more than 1,000 people have given their lives to Christ in Uganda after watching A Father’s Fight, Sansom said. 

“It’s a bizarre story,” he said. 

Meanwhile, A Father’s Fight also caught the attention of Kappa Studios, located in Hollywood, not far from Warner Bros. Studios. Kappa did some work on the audio of A Father’s Fight and was interested in how the film was released in local prisons.  

“I think it was refreshing for them,” Sansom said. 

Kappa Studios then partnered with FCCC on I Can. 

Kappa Studios itself has an interesting story. For more than three decades, according to Brad Silverman, the studios’ chief content officer, Kappa was a “major one-stop shop, post-production facility” for all kinds of film projects. But the studio’s founder and president came to Christ and was bothered by the content of the projects Kappa was working on. A few years ago, Kappa announced they would work only on projects that were “for the glory of God.” 

“We love Tyler and are honored to be involved with I Can,” Silverman said. 

MORE STORIES TO TELL 

More First Capital Christian Church films are to come. Sansom said the church baptized nearly 300 people last year. FCCC also has numerous people who have been involved in their jail ministry, as well as some who have spent time in jail themselves.  

“With that, there’s a lot of colorful stories to tell,” Sansom said. 

A firm release date for I Can hasn’t been announced, but Sansom said it will play this summer in theaters and churches nationwide. It will be on streaming platforms later this year.  

FCCC also has created small-group material to accompany I Can. More information is available at www.icanmovie.info

The goal is for people to hear the message of redemption that emerges from I Can. Sansom said many people live guilt-ridden lives because of past mistakes. “Everybody struggles with sin from the past. This movie speaks directly to that,” he said. “I think our world needs to hear this message of redemption right now.” 

Chris Moon is a pastor and writer living in Redstone, Colo. 

2 Comments

  1. Bob Stacy

    Talk about exciting! I am absolutely thrilled to hear this good news. May God continue to bless the plans and projects of those working to produce Christian movies. I’m praising God as I read this good news!

  2. David E Edwards

    HUMBLED AND EXTREMELY GRATEFUL FOR THE GRACE AND VISION OF THAT CHURCH TO LIFT GOD’S STORIES TO THE WORLD IN THIS WAY.

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