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The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

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A grouchy, hermit-like woodcarver struggles to make a replacement wooden nativity set for a very demanding seven-year-old boy who lost the one his late father gave him.

Genre - Family

Director(s) - Bill Clark

Writer(s) - Bill Clark

Cast - Tom Berenger, Joely Richardson and Luke Ward-Wilkinson

Blue Rider's Role - US Theatrical Distribution

Distributor(s) - Bauer Martinez Studios and Indies Home Entertainment (Dutch DVD)

Release Date - 2007

Synopsis - When a boy loses the treasured wooden nativity set that links him to his dead father, his mother persuades an ill-tempered, reclusive woodcarver to create a replacement--and to allow her son to watch him work on it. The young client makes greater and more difficult demands on the woodcarver's ability, and as Christmas approaches, they three struggle to come to terms with each other, their painful memories and the process of putting their unhappiness behind them. Based on the award-winning children's book by Susan Wojciechowski, this heartwarming Christmas film deals with the healing power of friendship.

Awards and Festival Screenings
It won best picture at the 2007 Gloria International Film Festival (in West Valley City, Utah). Also in 2007, it was chosen to screen at the Boston, Ibiza, Heart of Gold, Edmonton and Dingle international film festivals. It was released on DVD in the Netherlands in 2008, made its Italian TV debut on Dec. 8, 2008 and appeared on Hungarian TV on Dec. 24.

Viewer Ratings:
As of Feb. 26, 2009, more than 73.2% of the 127 people who rated it at The Internet Movie Database gave it thumbs-up, with 25.2% considering it a perfect 10. The average rating was 6.9 out of 10. All demographic groups gave it positive ratings, with the most enthusiastic being people 17 and younger (7.1 out of 10), women 30-44 (6.9) and people 45 and older (6.7).

Major Cast and Crew Awards and Credits:
Written and Directed by Bill Clark (debut).

Stars: Tom Berenger (won Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Platoon; won four other awards and one more nomination for Rough Riders, Cheers and Peacemakers; starred in Training Day, Born on the Fourth of July, Major League, The Big Chill, Sliver, Sniper, Someone to Watch Over Me, Into the West, The Field, Shattered and 58 other films and TV projects); Joely Richardson (won two major awards and six other nominations for works including Nip/Tuck, Under Heaven, Sister My Sister and Fallen Angel; starred in The Patriot, Event Horizon, 101 Dalmatians, Return to Me, King Ralph, The Last Mimzy, Hotel New Hampshire, Shining Through, Drowning By Numbers, Hollow Reed, Wetherby and 25 other films and TV projects) and Luke Ward-Wilkinson (Wild at Heart, The Secret of Eel Island).

Cast also includes: Ronald Pickup (won 1984 BAFTA Best Actor award for Waters of the Moon; appeared in Never Say Never Again, The Mission, Lolita, The Day of the Jackal, The Fourth Protocol, Zulu Dawn, A Dry White Season, Fortunes of War, Cambridge Spies, Mahler and 96 other films and TV projects); Saoirse Ronan (nominated for 13 awards for Atonement [including Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA]--winning three; also appeared in I Could Never Be Your Woman, Death Defying Acts, and the Irish TV series Proof and The Clinic); Sam Douglas (Snatch, Batman, The Fifth Element, Eyes Wide Shut, Mission: Impossible, Derailed, Beyond the Sea, Death Wish 3, The Razor's Edge and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer); Jenny O'Hara (Mystic River, Matchstick Men, The King of Queens, Wishmaster, Blind Ambition and 100 other movies and TV projects) and Lia Williams (won a major Spanish award for The Russian Bride and was nominated for two major British awards for May 33rd; also appeared in Different for Girls, Firelight, Dirty Weekend, Sparkling Cyanide, Shot Through the Heart and Imogen's Face).

Executive Producer: Jonathan Weisgal (Ghost World, For Roseanna, Pecker, Drowning Mona, How High, The Caveman's Valentine, Camp and Love! Valour! Compassion!).

Producers: Philippe Martinez (Harsh Times, The Flock, I Could Never Be Your Woman, The Groomsmen, Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj, Modigliani, Wake of Death, Dot.Kill and 18 other movies and TV projects); Alan Latham (Wake of Death, House of 9, Ring of the Nibelungs, I Could Never Be Your Woman, Land of the Blind, The Brylcreem Boys, The Defender) and Thomas Mattinson (Irish Jam, Love and Virtue).

Original Music by Guy Farley (Cashback, Knife Edge, Wake of Death, Submerged, The Flock, White Bits, Out of Season).

Cinematography by Emmanuel Kadosh (won Israeli Film Academy's 1997 Best Cinematography Award for Ha Dybbuk B'sde Hatapuchim Hakdoshim) and a 2003 nomination for that award for Tza'ad Katan; also shot The Lost City, Wake of Death, Modigliani, Land of the Blind and Back to the Promised Land).

Film Editing by David Freeman (won 1989 BAFTA Best Short Film Award for The Candy Show and a 1998 Best Editing BAFTA nom for The Full Monty; also cut Mickey Blue Eyes, The Borrowers, War of the Buttons, Wondrous Oblivion, Mutters Courage, A Man of No Importance and Picadilly Jim).

Production Design by Simon Waters (The Truth About Love, Irish Jam, The Squeeze, Back in Business and Chaos and Cadavers).

Art Direction by Stuart Kearns (art directed 1408 and Eragon; worked on Hellboy, Gladiator, Sleepy Hollow, Die Another Day and Band of Brothers; nominated for a 2006 Art Directors Guild award for Batman Begins); Alexandra Merchant (art directed Irish Jam, Back in Business and episodes of the British TV series The Office; worked on The Art of Love and Servants) and Tom Whitehead (art directed Scooter Mum; worked on Love in the Time of Cholera, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Hellboy, Johnny English, Beyond the Sea and Eragon).

Costume Design by Maria Price (won 2002 Outstanding Costume Design Emmy for Victoria & Albert; also costumed Secrets and Lies, Foyle's War, Coming Home, Just Ask for Diamond, Nancherrow and The Alchemists).

Visual Effects Supervisor: Kit Monkman (debut).

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