Nominations for the 86th Annual Academy Awards brought forth a lot of snubs and surprises, but one film in particular got the biggest surprise of them all. The Evangelical Christian film, "Alone, Not Yet Alone" was amongst the films earning a nomination for the golden Oscar statue for Best Original Song.
Prior to its nomination, there was not a lot of information or knowledge surrounding the film to mainstream audiences. The film was intended for a Christian demographic and had a limited release date on September 27, 2013, with minimum box office information or reviews from any critics.
The song, titled after its film, "Alone, Yet Not Alone," was among the five songs nominated and was written and composed by Dennis Speigel and Bruce Broughton. Broughton who was previously nominated for his original score for the 1986 film "Silverado" and received the good news in the early morning of the announcements.
"You couldn't ever call it a dark horse. It was an invisible horse," said Broughton of the film. "My songwriting partner Dennis Spiegel [who wrote the song's lyrics] called and he was so excited he could hardly speak."
The film, directed by Ray Bengston, is based on the book by Tracy Leininger Craven and was released by the Christian distribution studio Enthuse Entertainment. The plot surrounds a family settling in Pennsylvania from Germany in 1755 for a chance at a new life. Tragedy strikes when the two young girls are kidnapped by Native Americans who have raided the family's home. The family relies on their faith to keep them strong and to survive the most impossible of situations.
Though the film was originally released in only nine cities at the time of its release, the film opened up number-one at the box office for those cities grossing $13,396 per theater. Christian Conservative and politician Rick Santorum proudly endorsed the film upon its release.
"Overall, it's just a bit of a surprise to see names like Rick Santorum....popping up in an Oscar race," said film writer Daniel Weber. "It's definitely an evangelical film, which you can tell from the music video for the nominated song, but that alone is hardly a reason to condemn it."
Enthuse Entertainment, helming from Hollywood Park, Texas, describes their mission "as [being] a producer of God-honoring, faith-based, family-friendly films that inspire the human spirit to seek and know God." With only two films in their development, a nomination from the Academy Awards may garner them more attention.
Author of the book, Tracy Leininger Craven, began writing the story at age nine which has since been acclaimed by Christian and Evangelical readers. "It is my prayer that those reading this [story] will be encouraged to run the race of life with undaunted faith and endurance, drawing strength from the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ."
Other films nominated in the Best Original Song category include "Despicable Me 2," "Frozen," "Her," and "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." The 86th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, March 2 on ABC.