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Army's short film on biblical servant airs on US pay TV channel

Army's short film on biblical servant airs on US pay TV channel

Army's short film on biblical servant airs on US pay TV channel

Victor, played by Saul Martinez, and his pet goat in The Salvation Army-produced film, La Deuda, which has been screened on American television.

A new short film, produced by The Salvation Army in the United States, has had its premiere on American subscription television network HBO.

The Spanish-language film, La Deuda (The Debt), was produced by Share Change – the Los Angeles-based multimedia arm of Army’s Western Territory in the United States – and was screened on 1 February.

The film was shot in a rural colonia outside of Tijuana, Mexico, and is loosely based on the parable Jesus told of the unmerciful servant, which is recorded in Matthew 18.

It was shown on the Latino channel in the US and Bermuda and can be seen on HBO streaming services, including HBO Max.

La Deuda was nominated for the HBO Ibero-American Short Film Award at the Miami Film Festival in March last year. It was a runner-up in the category.

The film is a ‘coming-of-age tale’ and follows the journey of a young Mexican boy, Victor, in his quest to save the life of his beloved pet goat, Isabel. It includes English subtitles and a companion Bible study is available to download in Spanish and English from salarmy.us/LaDeudaStudy.

A study guide has been produced to go with the film.
Victor, played by Saul Martinez, lives with his father and Isabel (the goat’s real name.) When his father’s debts catch up with them, they are given an ultimatum: payment in full or ‘The Collectors’ take the goat.

Lieut-Colonel Lisa Smith, the territory’s Secretary for Program, said the producers wanted to showcase the “continued power of Jesus’ parables and narrative storytelling to teach the universal truths we all need to understand”.

A study guide has been produced to help people in small groups to explore the message from the film or for personal devotion.

Director and producer Jeff Prahl said the film was a fictional story, but the setting – Colonia El Niño outside of Tijuana, Mexico – was essential to its fabric and its characters.

“The family of our co-writer/producer Maria Vera lives there and assisted heavily with the production,” Jeff said.

Josh Cowing, who is part of the team that oversees the ShareChange team, said the goat, which co-starred in the movie, was acquired by the crew in Mexico just before shooting began and was “left with our host family” when filming was finished.

Jeff said La Deuda was made “with a lot of love” – from the community in El Niño to the “talented and dedicated cast and crew” from either side of the US/Mexican border.

“We’re tremendously blessed that HBO is distributing our film. HBO has been the gold standard for decades, and so to have our film playing on HBO Max and HBO Latino is an incredible honour.

“God is good. May he receive all the glory and may this film help spark conversations and contemplations on the boundless love and grace of Jesus Christ,” Jeff said.

To watch the trailer of the film, follow this link: https://vimeo.com/379836855

Edited from IHQ Communications and reports by the USA Western Territory

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