How God Used a Terminal Diagnosis to Turn a Family and a Football Team into Champions!
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, April 20, 2020 /Neptune100/ — Two-time Emmy nominated Producer Sam Sokolow, Executive Producer Steven Camp, and Producers Sheila Hawkins and Richard Cohen, announced today their partnership with Jeremy & Jennifer Williams to develop the faith-based feature film “The Jeremy Williams Story”, which will be based on the Williams’ gripping and emotional autobiography “Tenacious”.
“Our family feels extremely blessed to have this unique opportunity to partner with Sam, Steven, Sheila, and Rick to share the story God has given us to walk out for His Glory” says Jeremy & Jennifer Williams. “During this new season of our lives, what a perfect time to make a feature film highlighting God’s faithfulness and His ever present closeness to us.”
“The Jeremy Wiliams Story” will follow the love affair between childhood sweethearts Jeremy and Jennifer when, just as Jeremy’s high school football coaching career is taking off, their lives and faith are tested when Jeremy is diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and must lead his team and family while his physical condition deteriorates. The film will be produced in the great state of Georgia, and the Producers intend to start physical production in the 4th Quarter of 2020.
“This is a remarkable story of faith, love and perseverance,” said Sokolow, who is currently executive producer on Nat Geo’s anthonolgy series “Genius”. “Our passion for telling stories that celebrate faith and the love of family, and our commitment to bringing positivity to the screen is why we are making this feature film. Independent films like this have always been an opportunity for investors to support a story that needs to be told and to work with world class, proven talent that can guarantee that the story will be seen and heard.”
America first met Jeremy & Jennifer when “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” rebuilt their depression-era farmhouse into a beautiful handicap-accessible haven to better accommodate Jeremy’s battle with ALS. Friends, family and neighbors from their Central Georgia community – and all over the state – came together to support the ailing high school football coach who had won their hearts – and their respect. The episode made for compelling TV but only told a small slice of the story.
“The Jeremy Williams Story” is an unforgettable testimony to the power of faith and grit in the face of overwhelming adversity. It’s a tender love story mixed with the sport of football. It’s about a family’s ability to overcome one obstacle after another—the unexpected death of his Father; Jeremy and Jennifer learn their own son would be born with a debilitating condition, spina bifida. Jeremy’s own devastating terminal diagnosis of ALS. All of this results in a determined Coach, guided by his faith and love for his family, who leads his underdog team to an undefeated Cinderella season while struggling to walk, talk and even to breathe. Not only did Coach Williams inspire his team, but he brought together the diverse Greenville Community in ways unlike ever before.
“Through my documentary, “Season of a Lifetime,” I had the profound privilege of playing a part in crafting the Williams’ family legacy,” said producer Richard Cohen. “It is now time to move this legacy one giant step further and create an even deeper depiction of Jeremy and Jennifer’s spirit, love and perseverance.”
In 2009, Jeremy Williams was in the throes of ALS. Despite slurring his words and running practices from his golf cart, Coach Williams was able to lead his team, the Greenville Patriots (GA.), to a perfect 10-0 regular season and deep into the state playoffs. Most importantly, Coach Williams served as a father figure to his players, most coming from broken homes. Coach Williams success and his courageous story earned him the selection of The National High School Football Coach of The Year by the NHSCA. His story was also voted 2009 Sports Story of The Year in a series of articles by The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
“Jeremy and Jennifer Williams are the true meaning of love,” said producer Sheila Hawkins. “The adversities they have endured through the years have been more than anyone could imagine; yet, their love for each other and their faith in God have continued to grow stronger every day.”
Jeremy Williams provides Christian Faith Based testimony at churches and hosts Bible Study groups in their home. They support and attend FCA events on a regular basis. Coach Williams has now retired from coaching but is still able to communicate using a laser Tobi machine that follows the path of his eyes as he spells words. This allows fellow coaches to seek his expert advice. Jennifer Williams said it best, “Although we have adverse circumstances in our life, I think it’s important not to focus on the bad, because we truly do live victorious lives.”
The Jeremy Williams Story Feature Film LLC is now offering select investors the opportunity to take lead investment positions into a full-length feature film, based on the life of Jeremy Williams and his family. This project marries recognizable Hollywood talent and high quality production with our Christian mission. Our investors in “The Jeremy Williams Story” Feature Film LLC will receive the protections not always afforded to investors in traditional film finance: a ‘lock box’ approach to revenue to ensure the integrity of investor distributions, full ‘open-book’ accounting, clearly explained rights to revenue from the film, and the ability to have ‘first look’ at future faith-based productions with the producers.
“Our powerful approach to story-telling will leverage unique and direct access to A-List talent, writers and directors,” said Executive Producer Steven Camp. “We believe supporting this film presents a unique opportunity that has solid prospect of substantial financial returns, even as it enables our investors to join a broader social and evangelical mission.”
For More Information Visit – www.coachjeremywilliams.com
Or Contact Us:
The Jeremy Williams Story Feature Film LLC
2302 Parkdale Dr. Suite 513 #867
Atlanta, GA 31345
Phone – 312-858-9009
Email – [email protected]
ABOUT THE FILM’S PRODUCERS:
Sam Sokolow is a two time Emmy-nominated television Producer and currently the founder of Nice Media Studios, a Los Angeles and Toronto based independent television studio. Sam is currently Executive Producer of GENIUS, a scripted series for National Geographic Network. Sam developed GENIUS from book to series. The first season of GENIUS depicted the life of Albert Einstein with Geoffrey Rush starring as Einstein and Ron Howard directing the pilot. GENIUS: EINSTEIN garnered ten 2017 Emmy nominations including a Best Limited Series nomination for Sam. The second season of GENIUS – GENIUS: PICASSO – depicted the life of Pablo Picasso with Antonio Banderas starring as Picasso and garnered seven 2018 Emmy nominations including a Best Limited Series nomination for Sam. The third season of GENIUS – GENIUS: ARETHA – depicts the life of “The Queen Of Soul” Aretha Franklin, with Cynthia Erivo portraying Aretha and Suzan-Lori Parks showrunning, and will premiere in 2020. Previously, Sam served as the President of EUE/Sokolow, an independent television studio located in Los Angeles and New York and prior to that Sam was a founding partner of SokoLobl Entertainment, an independent television production company based in Los Angeles. While leading these companies, Sam oversaw development, sales and physical production, Executive Producing 13 original scripted and non-scripted television series and scores of pilots and presentations for networks across the dial. In 2000, Sam served as Co-President of Homemade Entertainment, a venture capital backed television content website. Previously, Sam co-wrote, produced and directed the award-winning independent feature film THE DEFINITE MAYBE, starring Josh Lucas, Roy Scheider and Bob Balaban. In 1999, Sam became the first filmmaker to self-distribute his own feature film via the Internet, a groundbreaking initiative that landed him on Good Morning America and in Time Magazine. Sam is represented by Grant Kessman & Brandon Lawrence at CAA, and by Joel VanderKloot at VanderKloot Law.
With 25+ years in executive-level positions in the field of finance in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and now back home in Chicago – Steven has earned the reputation of a high energy, hardworking Executive Producer – in the film and television industry. Steven currently serves as the President and is on the Board – of a company he helped establish – Nice Media Studios. Prior to becoming President of Nice Media Studios, Steven founded the financial entity TEN10 Portfolio Management, which has multiple alternative investment divisions, including: a precious metals division, and both a film division (TEN10 Entertainment) and a television division (TEN10 Television). His goal in creating TEN10 was to create an entity that will focus on premium television show properties – being developed for major networks – and to drive revenues from full-length feature films that are faith-based or family friendly entertainment. Since entering the entertainment industry in 2007, Steven has earned Executive Producer credits for multiple television show properties and documentaries including: the feature documentary “Sugar Wars”, the WWII 3-Part Documentary Series “Before I Forget”, as well as various TV pilots such as “S.L.A.M.” in partnership with Executive Producer Pitbull and Honey I’m Home Productions, “Co-Op” starring Zac Levi with Middleman Productions and show-runners John Lehr and Nancy Hower, “Faith Swap” with Executive Producer Lisa Ling, “Diplomatic Immunity” starring Australian Comedy Troupe The Peloton. Steven has also Executive Produced multiple feature films including: “Muse”, “Walk Ride Rodeo”, and faith-based “Brother’s Keeper” (starring Michael Rooker, Ray Wise, W. Earl Brown, Travis Tritt, Robyn Lively) – which had a strong message related to the true healing power of forgiveness. Steven serves as the company spokesman and is responsible for managing the strategic direction for and administration of investment funding. He will also be overseeing all budgeting and revenue flow for all film and television show properties on the Nice Media Studios slate and will carry the same responsibilities for The Jeremy Williams Feature Film LLC.
Sheila Hawkins, Producer, was born and raised in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. In 2004, Sheila moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue her passion: television and film production. Since 2004, Sheila has worked in television for companies that include: SokoLobl Entertainment, Madison Road Entertainment, EUE/Sokolow and Nice Media Studios. In 2010, Sheila became the Coordinating Producer for EUE/Sokolow, the west coast television content development and production arm of EUE Screen Gems. In 2011, Sheila was promoted to West Coast Director of Development. EUE/Sokolow produces National Geographic’s Emmy winning limited series GENIUS. Since 2012, Sheila has developed over 200 shows and produced dozens of scripted and unscripted sizzle reels. She has produced television specials for LMN, Travel Channel, HLN and pilots and pilot presentations for E!, OWN, HLN, HBO, FREEFORM, and NBC Universal. In 2012 Sheila also helped launch YouTube’s SOUTHERN WOMEN CHANNEL and is one of the cast members starring in the viral hit videos SH%T SOUTHERN WOMEN SAY and THE DIXIE DOWNLOAD, with over 22 million channel views, 133,000 YouTube subscribers and over 337,000 Facebook followers. On November 17, 2012 The Charlotte Observer declared SSWS a “YouTube sensation”. In January 2019 Sheila became Vice President of Nice Media Studios LLC. Sheila continues to create, develop and produce content for various entertainment platforms.
Richard “Rick” Cohen is an award-winning director, producer, writer and editor in the entertainment industry. After his tour of duty on the University of Pennsylvania’s Ivy League championship football teams circa ’83-’86, Rick graduated with a Bachelor’s in Communications from the Annenberg School. After a stint at New York University film school, Rick appeared in numerous SAG national TV commercials and films under the name Rick Clements and earned his Writer’s Guild card by selling screenplays in Hollywood to major studios. Living in Los Angeles from 1991-2000, he was also West Coast Director of Writer’s Boot Camp. In 2001, Rick moved to Atlanta and opened Endorphin Entertainment. EE first specialized in high school sports productions, but within 5 years expanded to feature documentaries within the sports genre. www.endorphinentertainment.com. Between 2008-2015, Rick produced, directed and wrote 7 feature documentaries. Every documentary received a distribution deal. FADED GLORY (2009) took home five audience awards on the film festival circuit and received both a domestic distribution and an international distribution. SEASON OF A LIFETIME (2012), the Jeremy Williams story, was distributed by Word Entertainment, a faith-based division of Warner Brothers and appeared on NETFLIX for three years as its #1 faith-based sports documentary. Both these docs can be found on AMAZON PRIME.
Rick’s GPB trilogy on Georgia HS football was the sole feature played in between the HS championships for three years. The Lord said…Smack ’em in the Mouth (2009) received high praise for its gutty portrayal of Christian football in the south, exposing the dichotomy of God vs. Violence. Dome to the Dome (2011) was in the lines the very successful MTV “Two-A-Days” format. Walk East (2012) was a coach’s redemption story during a time where “ageism” was a taboo subject matter. In 2015, Rick moved back to LA to pursue reality, doc and scripted materials. He contracted FOUR reality shows between 2015-2017. In 2017, Rick finished writing his historical sports mini-series on the 1906 Canton-Massillon professional football scandal titled MASSILLON as well as the TV pilots PEACHTREE BATTLE and CALIVADA. In 2019, wrote and will soon produce NASCAR ENTERTAINMENT’s next feature film, the so-called sequel to “Ford vs. Ferrari” in SUPERBIRD. It’s a story about ingenuity and science– the building of the 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner Superbird by NASA engineers. Production is hopeful to start in late 2020. Rick is managed by Jon Brown at Ensemble Entertainment. He is divorced and lives in Studio City, California. He has raised two spectacular kids into adulthood. His son Jacob, 24, works as an executive for the NHL’s Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Florida. His daughter Lexie, 22, lives in NYC, was a popular international runway model, actress and recently graduated from Pace University in NY.