The distribution company behind hit Christian film "God's Not Dead" announced yesterday that a new Christian documentary project, "God the Father," will be released in October.
The documentary will present the life and spiritual deliverance of former mobster Michael Franzese, and will be sold at the Cannes Film Festival next week.
Franzese, son of Colombo underboss John "Sonny" Franzese, dropped out of college to become a gangster. He eventually became a captain in the Colombo crime family, and served time in prison for racketeering, counterfeiting, extortion, and tax fraud.
While incarcerated, Franzese, 62, renounced his Mafia oath, and dedicated his life to Christ.
He speaks to audiences across the country about his past and transformation through a Christian ministry called Outreach, and he is the founder and chairman of a youth counseling organization—the Breaking Out Foundation.
Franzese has also authored several books about his life, including "Quitting the Mob," and "The Good, the Bad, and the Forgiven."
"God's Not Dead" distribution company Freestyle Releasing will present the film, which is produced by Moshe Diamant, directed by Simon Fellows, and executive produced by Sagiv Diamant and Jonas McCord. Franzese and Moshe Diamant wrote the script. The film will include archival footage, interviews, re-enactments, and animation, with Vilmos Zsigmond as cinematographer.
Freestyle Releasing Co-President Mark Borde said that his company was excited to present "God the Father."
"Freestyle was immediately onboard this provocative film when we saw it," Borde told Variety.
"The journey of Franzese from outlaw to devout believer is one that will spark interest in a wide variety of audiences, and we very much look forward to working with the filmmakers on taking their message to the masses."
2014 has been a great year for films with Christian themes. "God's Not Dead" has grossed $57 million, and "Noah" has grossed over $330 million internationally.