Girls cross country, life lessons featured in movie

11917481_873265272709121_7767409651529690665_nBy JASON REYNOLDS

Tennessee Christian News

Coming next summer to a theater near you: “Remember the Goal,” a film about a Christian girls high school cross country team, the fictional Orange Hills Academy.

“Remember the Goal” was filmed in Nashville mostly over this past Labor Day holiday. The race scenes for a state meet were shot at the Steeplechase course at Percy Warner Park on Sept. 5.

Dave Christiano directed the movie, which is from The Christiano Brothers. They were the creative team that released “A Matter of Faith” earlier this year in select theaters.

Dave Christiano said he plans to release “Remember the Goal” in about 350 theaters in 11 Southern states on Aug. 26, 2016, a much wider rollout than the previous movie but focused on much of the Bible belt. If the film does well on opening weekend, there’s a good chance it could hit theaters around the country. The opening weekend is crucial for the film to stay — and even expand — its presence in theaters.

“The plan is to play this film heavily in the Southeast and perhaps a few scattered locations outside the area,” he said of the initial release.

That initial release will focus heavily on Middle Tennessee as that’s where the film was shot and many of the extras were recruited from. Christiano said he has looked at more than 30 theaters in Tennessee alone.

“This is the very first feature length movie based on a girls cross country team that I think has ever been made,” he said, “and to me that’s pretty significant for these runners,” Christiano said. A former cross country runner on a high school championship team as well as a coach of two teams, he went to great lengths to make sure the race scenes were technically accurate.

In the movie, a new female coach, fresh out of college, takes over the cross country program at an all girls private Christian school and tries to lead them to their first state title, according to IMDb.com. Christiano said he has a number of subplots within the movie to make sure it is entertaining. There are four life lessons for teens and two for parents, as well as a principle that coaches could use.

(Photo)
Dave Christiano (left) reviews camera angles in between shots during filming at the Steeplechase in Nashville.

The cast and crew came entirely from the Nashville area. The leading girl runners are: Quinn Alexis, Jayla Palmer, Sydney Marks and McKensie Miller. Margaret Tant, the other actress on the “Orange Hills team,” is an active member on Sovereign Grace’s cross country team.

Quinn, who plays a major role in one of the subplots, said, “Without giving too much away, my character, Anna Glass, becomes involved in a complicated situation at school and is guided by the coach on how to handle it in a brave, godly manner, leaving the results up to God. I love that I got to portray this character and I hope that I will learn from her courageous faith, and maybe others will, too.”

High school runners from throughout Middle Tennessee and even North Georgia showed up to be extras in the film.

“I can’t thank these runners and coaches and athletic directors enough,” Christiano said.

Some of the top teams and individual runners in the state make an appearance in this film, namely the Ravenwood girls team and individual runner Claire Cheeseman from Brentwood Academy, he said. Also, the Brentwood High boys appear in a scene.

“I have nationally ranked caliber runners making an appearance in my film,” Christiano said.

Remember the Goal has its own Facebook movie page and the movie’s website is FiveAndTwoPictures.com. The Christiano Brothers’ previous films include “Time Changer” and “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry.

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