As the new CEO of EchoLight Studios, former U.S. senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, hopes to start a new holiday tradition with this week’s theatrical release of The Christmas Candle. Based on the book by one of America’s most inspiring authors, Max Lucado, the film is billed as a ‘timeless holiday movie for the entire family.’ It also represents the acting debut of British singing sensation Susan Boyle, alongside an ensemble cast of beloved Hollywood talent.
Boyle also contributes an original single, Miracle Hymn, as the anthem for the movie and a track on her new album, Home for Christmas. She said the story inspires her because, “You never give up on your dreams and you never stop believing in miracles.”
“Surprisingly, a Christmas movie releasing for the holidays is a unique event, as there have been very few in recent years,” said Santorum. “This film hearkens back to the heartwarming and uplifting movies of yesteryear. The story inspires renewed hope in the miracle of Christmas and illustrates that this holiday is not just about reindeer and receiving gifts. The Christmas Candle will remind audiences of the spirit and sense of wonder of the season – something that is often lost in our modern era.
The Christmas Candle is set in the heart of the English countryside in the enchanting village of Gladbury. Legend has it that every 25 years an angel visits the village candle maker and touches a single candle. Whoever lights the Christmas Candle receives a miracle on Christmas Eve. But in 1890, at the dawn of the electric age, this centuries-old legend may come to an end.
“This tale about a 19th century village of simple people in the English Cotswolds in need of a miracle has lifted spirits for seven Christmases, and now thanks to producer Tom Newman and EchoLight Studios, the Candle story will touch a whole new generation,” Lucado said. “I couldn’t be more pleased. What an honor to be a part of capturing a slice of this golden era of British history…the light of the candle still flickers.”
To capture the same authenticity and essential Englishness of productions like Downton Abbey, producers decided to film The Christmas Candle on location in the Cotswolds.
“We placed great emphasis on the quality of the production, filming at a village in the Cotswolds for authenticity and emphasizing period costumes and props for realism,” Newman said. “Many of the cast, while seasoned veterans of the stage and film, found themselves touched by this lovely story and beautiful script full of hope and the spirit of Christmas. They also appreciated the wonderful nostalgia factor of The Christmas Candle, commenting it had the flavor of It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street.”
Directed by John Stephenson, The Christmas Candle stars Hans Matheson (Clash of the Titans, Sherlock Holmes), Samantha Barks (Les Miserables), Lesley Manville (Disney’s A Christmas Carol), Sylvester McCoy (The Hobbit Trilogy, Doctor Who), John Hannah (The Mummy, Four Weddings and a Funeral), Barbara Flynn (Miss Potter) and James Cosmo (Game of Thrones, Braveheart).
Santorum hopes that EchoLight Studios will represent a new breed of high quality, inspirational programing for television, film, and DVD.
“Our goal is to release quality entertainment with positive, uplifting messages of hope,” Santorum continued. “That’s what people across America and the world are looking for, including my own family. We’re always searching for movies we can take the whole family to, and we think there are millions of others who share that desire.”
About Echolight Studios: EchoLight Studios finances, produces, markets and distributes inspirational, high-quality movies across all traditional and new media platforms.