On May 12, ‘“Where Hope Grows,” producers share with the movie’s supporters a special video for the movie, an interview with co-stars, a theater locator and more. They also share how this first feature film to star an actor with Down syndrome in a leading role is “the fruition of a long but rewarding experience.”
This one of a kind movie, “Where Hope Grows,” is due for release in theaters May 15. This engaging movie features David DeSanctis, who has Down Syndrome, as the delightful, pivotal character Produce, and Kristoffer Polaha as Calvin Campbell, who is a self-destructive former pro ball player whose life is changed by Produce. Campbell’s endearing encounters with Produce get this pro ball player’s life and his family’s on track.
Having privately and exclusively screened this movie, this writer can attest that David DeSanctis lights up the screen. In an exclusive telephone interview with this writer, leading actor Kristoffer Polaha, has shared how another special screening of this movie to an audience for which 70% have Down’s Syndrome and another screening at the Phoenix Film Festival with a general audience, some who had self-destructive addictions, both had enthusiastic positive responses and feedback indicating that the movie has universal, inspirational appeal for general and disabled audiences.
In the exclusive interview with this writer, Kris Polaha has shared his experience working on set with Down syndrome co-star David DeSanctis as a rich experience on and off camera. He has described De Sanctis as remarkably intelligent, pleasant, and hard-working. He has said that he has liked that viewers could walk away uplifted through DeSanctis’ upbeat humor and performance. Polaha has been seen in AMC’s “Mad Men,” MTV’s series “Awkward,” the CW’s “Ringer” and FOX’s “Backstorm.”
As a PG-13 movie due to thematic issues involving drinking and teen sexuality, as well as for brief language and an accident scene, “Where Hope Grows,” is a believable engaging story of adversity and triumph that follows professional baseball player Calvin Campbell (played by Polaha), who was sent to an early retirement due to panic attacks at the plate. As his life starts to head in a downward spiral, it is suddenly awakened by the most unlikely person – Produce (played by DeSanctis), a young man with Down syndrome who works at the local grocery store. The film explores the unlikely pair’s bond and friendship while tackling universal themes of hope, love and willingness to accept changes in the midst of adversity.
This new film from Roadside Attractions studio has won last year’s Heartland Film Festival Audience Choice Award. The inspiring story features a unique hero – a young man with Down Syndrome named Produce who enables positive changes in the life of Calvin Campbell, the struggling professional baseball player. In online trailers for “Where Hope Grows” viewers see DeSanctis shine as Produce, who cheerfully introduces himself to Campbell, portrayed by Kristoffer Polaha.”I’m doing good, even when I’m doing bad I’m doing good,” Produce tells Calvin in the first look at the film.
Befriending Produce teaches Campbell the ultimate lesson in courage as he is able to see life through Produce’s eyes. While Produce is able to reinvigorate new life in Calvin, the hardened baseball player must find redemption through faith, hope and love even in the midst of trials and tragedies in this powerful film.
Calvin Campbell has had talent for the big leagues, but he has struggled with the curveballs life has thrown him. As the movie begins, Campbell mindlessly sleepwalks through his days and the challenges of raising his teenager daughter. His life is in a slow downward spiral when it is suddenly awakened and invigorated by the most unlikely person – Produce, a young-man with Down syndrome named who works at the local grocery store.
Calvin slowly loses the chip on his shoulder as he begins to experience the world through Produce’s eyes. Faith, work, purpose and most importantly family, blossom into Calvin’s life as their friendship develops. The unlikely pair becomes intertwined giving Calvin’s life new meaning and purpose. Audiences are sure to be amazed and inspired by the story and performances in this movie about finding redemption through faith, hope and love.