By Riley Manning
TUPELO – On Friday, brother and sister Jeremy and Kendra White will see the final product of over two-and-a-half years spent working on their first feature-length film. “Summer Snow” marks the first feature film for the American Family Association as well.
The movie tells the story of Hallie, a young girl bent on performing small acts of kindness, while she and her father struggle to hold it together in the wake of her mother’s death.
“The mother was the spiritual leader of the family, and when she’s gone, the dad is the one left to pick up the pieces,” Kendra said. “We wanted to show a father trying to be Superman and failing. He learns through the movie that he can’t be everything.”
Jeremy said they set out to write a story about a family because everyone would have something to relate to. Once they set about defining the characters, he said the story practically wrote itself.
“We asked ourselves, ‘What’s this person like? What’s their job? What are their struggles?’ Once we got a feel on that, they really came off the page for us,” he said. “At its core, this story is really about a mother’s legacy, and how one life can make a huge difference.”
Kendra and Jeremy said they have been telling stories from an early age, and majored in film at Asbury Theological Seminary in their native Kentucky, where “Summer Snow” was shot. Kendra came to AFA in Tupelo in 2009, and Jeremy joined her in 2012.
“Before I came [to AFA], I worked at a church and produced children’s musicals that Kendra and I wrote together,” he said. “It was actually helpful in learning the things people respond and don’t respond to.”
Meanwhile, Kendra has put in work on a documentary, “Flame On,” and short film “Paper Dream,” but she said “Summer Snow” is her biggest accomplishment yet. While dealing with real-life issues, she said, the movie has been approved by the Dove Foundation as entertainment suitable for the whole family.
“If you’re faithful in the small things, the Lord will put you in charge of big things,” she said. “There are very few faith-based films that aren’t silly. It goes back to AFA’s roots to produce something positive that parents don’t have to worry about being inappropriate.”
“Summer Snow” will air on TRU TV and be released on DVD this fall. The official premier will take place on Friday at 7:20 p.m. at the Malco. However, the movie will be shown at various times on Friday and through the following week.