A talk with Gary Wheeler about The List

I first ran a across Gary Wheeler’s name when I was asked to review the film Final Solution for Hollywood Jesus in 2003. Wheeler produced that film for Messenger Films, but I did not speak with him then—instead interviewing Gerrit Wolfaardt (on whose life the film was based), South African actor Jan Ellis (who played Wolfaardt in the film), and Executive Producer A. C. Green. I later ran into Cris Krusen, the film’s director, at the 2004 CBA convention, and became part of the prayer circle for his teenaged son Daniel, who at the time was institutionalized for schizophrenia. Last fall, the record of that prayer circle was published in Krusen’s memoir Let Me Have My Son.

So I’d heard plenty about Wheeler for a good long time, and followed his work in my editorial capacity at Hollywood Jesus. I was intrigued when Wheeler’s first theatrical film, The List, went into limited release—but it did not screen in Seattle, so I didn’t get a chance to see it.

The film was recently released on DVD, however; and when a press release came out announcing that the film had won three Crown Awards—Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and Best Drama—at the International Christian Visual Media convention in Orlando last month, I jumped at the opportunity to speak with Wheeler about his experiences.

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