passthelightVoice Of The People
Pass The Light
Stars: Cameron Palatas, Alexandria Deberry, Jon Gries, Charles DePew, Dalpre Grayer, Milena Govich, Colby French, Lawrence Saint-Victor and Rachel Kathryn Bell
Director: Malcolm J. Goodwin
Scriptwriter: Victor Hawks
Composers: Pancho Burgos-Goizueta and Vicki Palatas
Vision Vehicle Productions
Rating: not yet rated but could be PG or PG 13
Running Length: 112 Minutes
“Pass The Light” is a film about change and another way to achieve it. Believe it or not, but it involves teens and politics. An inspirational movie, it is set in a Protestant high school so talking about scripture or attending church are second nature here. The problem arises when what students hear and read about in school and church aren't being carried out in the community. What to do?  First a small group, then a larger one, then the community and before you know it, Face Book is involved. The electronic age strikes again.
The story begins in the home of Steve (Cameron Palatas) and his parents, laid-off police officer, Pete (Colby French) and Mom (Milena Govich.) There are arguments about Mom now working full-time and Dad not looking for a job. Between that setting, is Steve regularly getting tackled on the football team (hasn't played a game yet) and Steve helping to service breakfast at the Salvation House. Life coasts along. Then comes Congressional candidate Frank Baumann (Jon Gries), running for office on a platform of the devil being behind what is wrong here and people who won't work should be exiled, etc. This doesn't sound right to Steve, especially when he meets Jackie (Alexandra Deberry), and sees her being teased by a football player. Also, there are his friends at Salvation House, one of whom cares for a paralyzed child. What would Baumann do to help? As the story  progresses, Steve decides to run for the Congressional Seat and now Baumann won't debate him even though Steve had collected enough signatures, so the press and television stations become involved. You can see it coming….there is a debate.  Along the way are laughs with filming television spots, teen talk and serious moments about marriage.
Cameron Palatas (“Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous”) makes an energetic Steve, with body language and facial expressions to match the teen and the candidate. His sidekick, Willy (Dalpre Grayer from “HomeLost“) steals his scenes with humor. Dad (Colby French  from “True Blood”) is the emotionally-bound police officer and does marital scenes well with Mom (Milena Govich from “Law & Order”), who struggles with the marriage. Frank Baumann (Jon Gries from FOX’s “Napoleon Dynamite”) is the know-it-all candidate who can’t bend his rules no matter what. Trevor (Lawrence Saint-Victor from “The Bold and the Beautiful”) is a kindly man who makes his way through a world of prejudice. The best show of talent is when the teens are working together and it seems spontaneous and when the parents have a heart-to-heart about marriage.
“Pass The Light” is a novel way (running for a Congressional Seat) to bring together faith, church, friends, unfortunate happenings, prejudice, home problems and as one person put it, “…it’s life.” What may seem a broad idea can be broken down into segments and come together later as a whole. Reaching out to people on a  personal level (friendly notes at school) brings kindness to everyone’s day and families can take much from this film. The songs are especially insightful, including “Good To Be Alive” by Jason Gray, “We Are” by Kari Jobe and “Lost Get Found” by Britt Nicole.
Start with an idea and go with it. It takes faith…and you may speak it, but do you really pray it?  What you get from the movie is---don't pass by the light…Pass The Light.
Copyright 2015 Marie Asner
For more inspirational film reviews, see the following:
Michael Damien-directed family films
Flicka: Country Pride
Moondance Alexander