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Movies that Teach
Volume 116, Program 42
7/23/2013

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Can movies really help kids become more excited about learning? Today on Home School Heartbeat, host Mike Farris talks with Micheal Flaherty, president of the company that produced movies such as Amazing Grace and the Chronicles of Narnia, about the literature, history, and people that inspired Walden Media’s most successful films.

Mike Farris: Micheal, the company you helped found nearly 14 years ago in your apartment has now produced over 30 feature films. How do you decide which stories are worthy of being told on the big screen?

Micheal Flaherty: Well, the teachers and librarians and pastors, they’ve been our perfect North Star, and so Holes, Charlotte’s Web, Bridge to Terabithia, a lot of these come from teachers, and a lot of them actually came from my wife’s fourth-grade reading list; she used to be a teacher in St. Peters, and so often, so many of those came from there. The films that we’ve had that haven’t done well—they’re usually the ones where we all sit down and get so seduced by our own counsel and really think we know what we’re doing. We’ve always, of course, corrected and realized we do our best when we’re talking to parents and teachers and librarians, pastors, people that know kids best.

Mike Farris: Micheal, it’s interesting. I started Patrick Henry College in essentially the same fashion: I was just listening to parents and students talk about their needs. And if you listen to people and really take in what they have to say, and then try to meet the needs that they express, really can have success in coming to meet people’s needs and I think God blesses that kind of an approach to business. So, I’m really glad that you’ve made these movies; I especially love Amazing Grace. Thanks so much. I’m Mike Farris.


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