3:16: Stories of Hope
by Phil Boatwright

(PRESS RELEASE, LOS ANGELES, Calif.) Lionsgate announces that it will release 3:16: Stories of Hope, a DVD based on The New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Max Lucado’s newest title, 3:16 The Numbers of Hope (Thomas Nelson) on September 11, 2007.  Scheduled to release simultaneously with Lucado’s book, 3:16: Stories of Hope, is a DVD release that will feature a powerful short film (based on a short story written by Lucado) and personal commentary from Lucado sharing the meaning of the scripture verse, John 3:16.

As a full-time pastor, Lucado watched the world stand up and take notice, questioning faith and the brevity of life on September 11, 2001.  As he experienced the pain first hand and the hurt that continues to affect the world, he knew that the world needed an answer and a hope for their hurts.  Whether for someone directly affected by the horror of September 11, 2007 nor not, Lucado’s new film addresses needs and shares with the world what many have not been able to find, no matter where they have searched.

The short film is about Katherine, a woman who finds herself in a dance club far from home, remembering a more innocent time in her life, exemplified by her dancing with her father.  Katherine's story of eventual rebellion and consequence leads to an inspiring account of forgiveness, grace and unconditional love. The cast includes Elizabeth Keener (upcoming Death Sentence, Pin Wheel, Eighty Eight Keys), Kaira Whitehead (Madea’s Family Reunion) and Susanna Lewis (Madea’s Family Reunion , Black Oasis). The DVD also shares 12 exclusive segments featuring Max Lucado that impart the timeless message of John 3:16, phrase by phrase, in the signature way that only Lucado could portray.

Widely respected as America 's favorite Christian author with over 50 million copies of his writings in print, Lucado’s upcoming work paints a brilliant picture of how a scripture verse of only 26 words serves as a starting point for addressing some of the most critical issues of life and religion.  Lucado explains in the introduction: “Believe or dismiss them, embrace or reject them, any serious consideration of Christ must include them. Would a British historian dismiss the Magna Carta? Egyptologists overlook the Rosetta Stone? Could you ponder the words of Christ and never immerse yourself into John 3:16?  The verse is an alphabet of grace, a table of contents to the Christian hope, each word a safety deposit box of jewels.”

Along with the DVD 3:16: Stories of Hope and 3:16 The Numbers of Hope, Thomas Nelson and an exceptional group of licensed partners will release an assortment of products under the 3:16 brand during 2007 and 2008, reaching both the domestic and international markets in numerous languages.  Some of the additional ancillary products from Thomas Nelson include a hardcover book, a gift book, an evangelism booklet, a pre-school board book, a teen edition, a DVD small group study and even a branded apparel and jewelry line.  In addition, LifeWay will release an adult church curriculum with a companion workbook and a church musical.  Indelible Music will issue 3:16 – Songs of Hope, a compilation CD featuring major artists and Hallmark/Dayspring will produce greeting cards and gift products.

In 2008, Palm Sunday will fall on March 16 (3.16.2008).  To commemorate this occurrence, Lucado will serve as the keynote speaker and will be joined by musical guests for an international satellite simulcast to U.S. churches alongside international events in multiple countries worldwide.  “It is no coincidence that Palm Sunday 2008 falls on 3.16.08,” says Max Lucado.  “It is our hope and prayer that people world-wide will be touched with the life-altering, undeniable hope found in the verse ‘God so loved the world…’”

With more than 50 million books in print, Max Lucado’s 60+ titles are read worldwide in more than 20 languages.  Christianity Today magazine dubbed Lucado “America’s Pastor,” and Publishers Weekly, the general market publication for books and bookselling, recently proclaimed “there aren’t many authors bigger than Lucado.”  In 2005, Reader’s Digest called him “America ’s Best Preacher.”  His books are regular fixtures on national bestseller lists including The New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly.  Lucado has been featured in a wide range of media, including USA Today, “Larry King Live” and “NBC Nightly News,” and has spoken at the National Prayer Breakfast before the President of the United States.

About Lionsgate:  Lionsgate is the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, winning the 2006 Best Picture Academy Award® for CRASH, generating two consecutive years of $300 million-plus domestic theatrical box office, operating a $500 million-plus home entertainment business and producing a broad slate of prime time television series for fiscal 2007.  It is a premier producer and distributor of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment, and video-on-demand content.  Its prestigious and prolific library of more than 10,000 titles is a valuable source of stable, recurring revenue and a foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses.  The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.