MC Hosts "Braveheart" Screenwriter, Partners with the Institute of Southern Storytelling
Randall Wallace spoke on his faith, his career, and the importance of creativity.
The Institute for Southern Storytelling presented “Creativity and a Braveheart: An Evening with Randall Wallace” on Tuesday, November 14, at the Gore Arts Complex’s Entergy Theater. Wallace, writer of “Braveheart” and other notable movies and novels, shared about his faith, the highlights of his career, and the importance of creativity. The event was filmed in front of a live audience and will be featured in a television special on Wallace. The special will be produced by the Institute as part of their partnership with Mississippi College.
The event was in accordance with the Institute of Southern Storytelling’s mission to bring positive southern stories to light.
“The Institute was born out of a dream to mentor students,” Amy Thaxton, Executive Director for the Institute of Southern Storytelling, said. “My husband Anthony and I have done documentary films and television shows for years. Part of our vision is producing positive southern stories. The South has a bad reputation sometimes, mostly due to our past, but we want to highlight how far we have come.”
Wallace, a Tennessee native, earned himself an Oscar nomination for his first screenplay, “Braveheart,” which won Best Picture in 1995. He also wrote “Pearl Harbor” in 2001 and directed films such as “The Man with the Iron Mask” in 1998, “We Were Soldiers” in 2002, “Secretariat” in 2010, and “Heaven is for Real” in 2014. He is currently writing the screenplay for the upcoming film “The Resurrection of the Christ.”
Wallace was introduced to the Institute through a mutual friend of the Thaxtons, Jill Conner Browne. He was impressed by the couple’s work and was interested in working with them on a live show. He expressed hopes that, one day, the show could go on tour across the country.
“I want to bring people together in a physical way,” Wallace said. “COVID has separated us, and the world preaches fear at every turn. I wanted to do a live event where we confront fear with faith.”
During “Creativity and a Braveheart,” Wallace shared his story with audiences. His speech was interspersed with clips from his films and live music, performed by Wallace himself. Wallace sang and played the guitar and keyboard alongside the Anderson United Methodist choir.
“I wanted to talk about creativity and keeping that light burning inside themselves,” Wallace said. “As the Bible says, you can gain the whole world, but lose your own soul. It also says wide is the road that leads to destruction and narrow is the path that leads to life. I want to talk about that narrow path and how it leads to life.”
Many in the audience did not know what to expect, and they were pleasantly surprised by the different elements of the show. One of the attendees, JT McNamee, is a fan of Wallace’s filmography and walked out with his expectations exceeded.
“The show was very entertaining,” McNamee said. “I learned a lot and loved to hear about his life and testimony. It was really thought provoking and emotional.”
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