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Filmmaker to be second speaker in R-TV Professional-in-Residence series

October 11, 2010 -- Rich Christiano, one-half of the Christiano Film Group, is the second speaker in the Arkansas State University Radio-Television Professional-in-Residence series, Wednesday and Thursday, October 13-14.  Rich, who with his twin brother Dave launched a successful theatrical Christian film career in the 1980’s, will be on campus to speak with students and faculty in the Radio-Television Department.

Their movie production career began in 1977, when the brothers left their hometown of Waterloo, N.Y., and drove to Hollywood, Calif., with hopes of seeing Rich’s high school script, “The Valedictorian” produced into a film. After negotiations with a few producers and one contract offer, Rich never signed and the movie was never produced.

Dave and Rich then moved to Jonesboro in the fall of 1981 and enrolled in the Mass Communications Masters program at Arkansas State University. Their plan was to study for a teaching job and pursue filmmaking on the side.

In the fall of 1983, Dave got a job at San Antonio Junior College teaching entry level classes in broadcasting. While there, he began to study filmmaking. In the summer of 1985, Dave wrote, produced and directed his first film called “The Daylight Zone,” a Christian version of the old television series, “The Twilight Zone.”  Rich co-financed the project.  Filmed in south Texas, the movie was shot on 16mm film and released by Christiano Brothers Films in the spring of 1986.

Prior to the release of “The Daylight Zone,” Dave moved back to Arkansas and rejoined his brother Rich.  They set up an office in Jonesboro and began to distribute their new movie. The Christiano Brothers shot and released their third film, “Crime of the Age.” Dave wrote the original story and the screenplay was co-written with Rich. They both produced and Dave directed the 32-minute comedy-mystery. After the release of “Crime of the Age,” the brothers decided to set up two separate production companies for their future projects. The first three films were released under the name of Christiano Brothers Films.

In 1990, Rich started shooting “The Appointment,” a film he wrote, produced and directed.  The film, a 39-minute suspenseful evangelistic drama, was released in the summer of 1991 and distributed under Rich Christiano Films, but later changed to Christiano Film Group.

Rich took a story written by Danny Carrales and co-wrote the screenplay for “Second Glance” in 1992. Rich also produced and directed the movie, which features the first major role for actor David White. The 50-minute drama was released on New Year's Eve night as it premiered in numerous churches across the country.

In 1998, Rich again teamed with David White for a 54-minute end-times drama called “End of the Harvest.” He wrote, produced and directed the film which premiered in early December in Jonesboro. In October 2001, Rich wrote and directed “Time Changer,” his first feature length movie. Rich teamed with Kevin Downes who co-produced the project, and Dave served as his story consultant/script editor. The film featured actors D. David Morin and Gavin MacLeod in the lead roles. A novel version was released in January 2002. The movie came in October 2002 and the Christiano Brothers formed a new distribution company, Five & Two Pictures, which released the movie.

In May of 2005, Rich wrote, co-produced, and directed “Unidentified,” his second feature length movie. The subject of the film dealt with UFO's and how they could play into the end times. Dave served as his story consultant. It was released in theaters in April 2006 under Five & Two Pictures and played on 85 screens.

Rich's latest film, “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry,” with Gavin MacLeod in the lead role, was released in theaters on September 18, 2009. It has played in over 250 theaters nationwide and is currently still in release. Set in the summer of 1970, it's the story of a 75-year-old man and how he influences three 12-year-old boys for the Lord. Dave co-wrote the screenplay with Rich on this project. 

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