Screenwriter Candace Lee on new film Christmas Candle

The Christmas Candle is a new film by the screenwriter Candace Lee. As the title suggests, the film is due for release this Christmas. It is based on the novel by best-selling author Max Lucado and introduces Britain's Got Talent singing sensation – and devout Christian - Susan Boyle in her first acting role. The film is set in a Cotswolds church in the 1890s, where nothing out of the ordinary ever happens, until a mysterious angel suddenly appears in a lowly candlemaker's shop. And also stars Hans Matheson and Samantha Barks.

What made you write this script?
I am just one of the co-writers along with Eric Newman, who is also from the US, and we were both interested in being involved in this project because we just fell in love with the story. It's a great novel and we thought it would be great to do a film adaptation.

What challenges did you have while writing the script?
You know what, there were so many characters and it was difficult to choose what characters to focus on. The film also carries a lot of community spirit and we really wanted to bring this out by choosing the right characters to feature. So I believe selecting characters was quite difficult because we had to narrow it down.

What did you enjoy the most while working on this project?
The film is based in a completely different time period and this was really a lot of fun, experiencing this time period and seeing how the local community at the time dealt with the changes. The small town, being confronted by modern elements like electricity, because the story is based in a time period where a lot of advancements were taking place.

Do you believe many Christians will be able to relate to the film?
The film is a Christian story, a story of hope and faith, and all of these themes of Advent are very much present in the film. Families coming together and the idea of unity and community spirit are evident in this feature. Every believer can relate to that aspect of hope and faith throughout the film. Having God in their lives is something that they hope and believe in, and that is definitely something that Christians can relate to.

How was it working with the likes of Susan Boyle, Hans Matheson and Samantha Barks?
We were so fortunate to have an amazing cast to work with. They each brought so much to their characters. It was great working with Hans and Samantha, they are very talented. Susan Boyle was also great and this is her first film debut so she also brought something special to her character. We have been very fortunate with our cast.

When is the film going to be released?
The film will be out around November/December time period. It will line up with the Christmas period.

Candace Lee will be speaking more about the film and her work as a screenwriter at the Christian Resources Exhibition at 12pm on Friday 17th May.  Find out more here