It's a Christian movie bonanza

Folks occasionally ask why films with overtly Christian themes don't get wider distribution. The answer would require more space than I have in this little column, but I bring good news: Viewers who want to immerse themselves in films made for Christians will get chances today through Sunday at the Ayrsley Grand Cinemas, located off South Tryon Street near the Interstate 485 interchange.

The Bojangles' chain will sponsor the inaugural Project Hope Film Festival – and, in the spirit of folks who want to circulate good news, are holding more than 30 free showings.

Selections include “The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A Veggie Tales Movie,” “3-2-1 Penguins,” “Saving God,” “Amazing Grace,” “The Ultimate Gift,” “Expelled,” “The List” and more current releases, such as “Fireproof.” The big catch is “Billy: The Early Years,” a biopic about the Rev. Billy Graham that won't get into wide release until next Friday.

There will also be a “Friday Late Night” event at 9:30 p.m. tonight, a youth event kicked off with a live concert by the Element Worship Band. It will be followed by a short-film competition to be judged by the youth in attendance.

Free tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the shows, though advance tickets are available online. (A surcharge applies to those). For details, go to www.Projecting Hope.com.