Film about evangelist Luis Palau to hit theaters in April
A full-length movie featuring the life and work of Beaverton-area evangelist Luis Palau is set for the big screen in April.
"Palau: The Movie" will be shown for two days only, April 4 and 6, in selected theaters throughout the nation and the Portland area (including Beaverton and Tigard).
The movie focuses on Palau, an internationally known Christian evangelist, his childhood in Argentina, his entrance into his ministry and eventual move to America to become a missionary.
Palau is currently battling Stage IV lung cancer
According to IMDb, the online database of film-related information, the movie is the true story of Palau, "one of the greatest evangelists in history."
"After his father passes away at age 10, the lives of Luis Palau and his family are changed forever," according to the IMDb synopsis. "Luis is forced to discontinue his education at an elite boarding school in Argentina and provide for his family as they slip into poverty."
It then follows his life as a preacher and his eventual journey to the United States where he meets Billy Graham, who "would bring about the launch of Luis Palau's global ministry at a level only God could ordain."
"Palau: The Movie" features Gastón Pauls, an Argentine actor who plays the title role. It also stars Scott Reeves of "Nashville" fame who plays Ray Stedman, Palau's mentor; and Daniel Roebuck, who was in "Lost," "The Fugitive" (and the once locally filmed series "Grimm"), who portrays Fred Renich, an influential figure in the life of the evangelist, according to Christian News Northwest.
Darren Dowler, lead vocalist for 1960s rock band Paul Revere and the Raiders, plays Billy Graham.
Jay Fordice, director of communications for the Luis Palau Association, said the movie will be released in 500 theaters worldwide including 14 Spanish-speaking nations in Central and South America.
"We're especially excited about the release in Latin America," Fordice said. "Luis has been on the radio there for more than 40 years and is a very well-known and loved individual. His festivals throughout the region have also gathered some of the largest crowds ever recorded in those nations."
He said the movie idea came about several years ago when the Palau organization was contacted by an individual interested in making a movie.
Although hesitant at first, Fordice said Palau agreed to the making of the movie after the Palau organization talked with the production team and determined the movie-makers "would handle the project in a God-honoring way."
Halfway through the production, Palau discovered he had Stage IV lung cancer.
"This reality has definitely made the project more poignant and timely," said Fordice, adding that the movie-making process has seemed odd to Palau and his wife Pat who at heart are missionaries and have "very little concern or interest in promoting their own story."
"And as is the case with most anyone, it's hard to watch your own story unfold on the big screen. But they are very pleased with the results and we're excited to see how God will use the movie to share a powerful message of hope."
In November, Palau, a longtime Cedar Mill resident who now lives in the Bethany area, announced his cancer had stabilized during a men's night service at Beaverton's Southwest Bible Church.
However a Jan. 11 posting from his son, Kevin Palau, said new scans and blood work were "not what we had hoped."
"Although his blood work continues to look great, the doctors confirmed the tumor has begun to grow once again," Kevin Palau, president and chief executive officer of the Luis Palau Association, wrote on the palau.org website. "This comes after several months of very positive response to the immunotherapy treatments."
Still, Kevin Palau said his father was staying active and was in great spirits, looking forward to attending upcoming evangelical festivals.