Meet: Judd Brannon

How did you come to create the film Champion?
For the past 13 years I have been serving at First Baptist Woodstock in Atlanta, GA as a video editor. This gave me an opportunity to produce videos on a weekly basis that would teach church members or reinforce a sermon illustration. I began to see the positive impact videos had have on our members and how they had longevity.  The Lord was calling us to use those gifts and our resources in a greater capacity to reach people for him. Then we began to pray about what was the topic the Lord had for us to share. We kept coming back to forgiveness. We have all experienced unforgiveness in some way, and we wanted people to understand how they could be free from the burden of unforgiveness. We wanted people to understand all that Christ had done for them! And that’s how the journey began.

Can you briefly tell us about the story of the film?
Champion is a story about Sean Weathers a hotshot race car driver and Jack Reed a businessman, and how their lives intersect. They both must learn to forgive each other, and learn to forgive themselves for the mistakes they made in the past. It’s a beautiful story of forgiveness, fatherhood, in the power of second chances.

As a director, were you involved in the writing or concept of the script?
Absolutely, I was involved from very beginning because the story was so important to me. I was important to me that we tell a powerful story of forgiveness and shown an example of how people can begin to move forward in their relationships with each other.

Are you a big fan of dirt-track racing?
I am now! When I first started going out to the track I didn’t know that much about it. But I immediately began to see the energy and excitement that was at the track; it’s loud, dusty, and a lot of fun!  We shot the film at our local track the Dixie Speedway during live races on Saturday nights. The stands were filled with a couple thousand people as the car scream around the track at hundred miles an hour. It was very exciting, and I think you’ll feel this when you watch the film.

The story of forgiveness is so powerful in this film, and such a central theme. What drew you to this storyline?
I think we can all relate the story of forgiveness in some way. For me, I have seen so much unforgiveness in every area of our lives. Our country is so divided politically and culturally, and we can even see unforgiveness in our own families. I felt God was calling me to share a film that would help people understand how to forgive. When people begin to forgive they can move forward in their relationships with other people.

The foster care system plays a very interesting role in the film. Do you have a personal experience with foster care?
When we began writing the film, my wife and I were going through foster care training. We live in Cherokee county Georgia where there are 300 kids in foster care in our county. At the same time I’m a member of a 5000 member church. So the question to myself was, why is there a foster care issue in our county. Every kid should be in a Christ centered home.

What do you hope people take away from the film?
I really want people to know that they don’t have to be kept in prison by unforgiveness, that they can move forward in their relationships if they will just begin to realize that they have been set free by everything that Christ has done for them. I hope that people realize that their is always a way to start over and let go of the bitterness that weighs them down.

How can we find out more?
You can go to Championthemovie.com to find out more about the film, download a 40 days forgiveness devotional and watch the trailer. You can also follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/championthemovie.

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