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Minneapolis Star Tribune

This article appeared in The Minneapolis Star Tribune - Variety

Movie about effects of divorce on kids was made to communicate the Gospel

By Neal Gendler, Staff Writer


A Twin Cities filmmaker says that the same religion that saved him from suicide a dozen years ago also may help youngsters cope with the pain of parents' divorce.

John Prin of Edina has put $70,000 of his own money behind that belief to produce a 35-minute movie called "Between Planes and Parents." The film, shot at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, has young actors portraying youths traveling between parents on both coasts.

The movie is being distributed through three dozen U.S. and foreign outlets handling religious materials, and Prin said the content is religious in purpose.

"That's the only reason it was made: to convey a contemporary issue, like the effects divorce has on kids, and bring a spiritual path out of it," he said. In the film, a teenage girl tending two younger siblings has run into complications between flights; a teenage boy notices her unhappiness and strikes up a conversation. They discover they share the pain of split families. The boy eventually tells how he's been helped by his relationship with Jesus. The girl rebels at evangelism, then makes friends.

Prin said he made the film to "use video as a means to communicate the Gospel in a relevant, contemporary way." A second reason was to move beyond corporate videos and into dramatic film work. Prin worked in Hollywood movies in the 1970s, writing four feature-length scripts and designing sets for television producers. He also has worked in public relations.

"The third reason I made it was to expand my business and to prove that doing things in a Christian manner would be successful financially," he said. When the drama runs its course in rental, he plans to sell copies. He said it should appeal to churches that can use it for youth groups, parent support groups and counseling.

The Twin Cities distributor says the film found a good reception during showings at a convention. "There really isn't another film out there that fills the niche this one does," said Mike Lundeen of Gospel Thru Films in Golden Valley. "It's well above average for technical quality and story line."

"The key to the whole process was distribution and a market need," Prin said, "and having a desire in my own heart to spread the Gospel because coming to Jesus changed my whole life 12 years ago." He said the move is "the result of my having been reborn in Christ at the point of suicide 12 years ago."

Prin said he'd grown up with no church, no connection with God.

"I had tried everything else: astrology, scientology, philosophy, hard work — the American dream — chasing women ... every avenue that man can try for happiness and not found it," he said. "I had a drug addiction, was arrested for petty theft, was on the brink of divorce, a totally unhappy person. I was in a suicidal state."

Then, "Somebody told me about Jesus, and I scoffed completely," he said. "Three weeks later I realized that was my only alternative. When I asked Jesus to save me, he did. He completely reoriented my life so I'm a completely happy and satisfied person today. There have been plenty of struggles, but I'm drug-free, adultery-free, theft-free. I've been made to see that the center of the universe is not me."


 

This article appeared in
The Minneapolis Star Tribune
on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27/1990.