Filmmaker with pro-life message to speak at Toledo fundraiserWritten by David Yonke Editor, ToledoFAVS.com | | David.Yonke@ReligionNews.com
Jason Jones makes movies for one purpose: to promote his efforts to end legal abortion.
The decision to take his message to Hollywood has proved fruitful.
“I’m in New York right now getting ready to show my film ‘Crescendo,’ which has a very pro-life message, at the United Nations and I don’t think they would have invited me to come and give a pro-life speech. That’s the power of film,” Jones said in an interview.
His first Hollywood movie to promote a pro-life agenda was the 2006 theatrical release “Bella,” on which Jones served as co-executive producer. A love story revolving around a woman’s decision not to have an abortion, it was filmed on a budget of $3.3 million and grossed $8.1 million at U.S. box offices, according to the movie industry website imdb.com. The film won a number of awards including the People’s Choice Award at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival.
“We’ve had hundreds and hundreds of women, many of whom I’m still in communication with, who said they were scheduled to have an abortion, saw ‘Bella,’ and decided not to go through with it,” Jones said.
He has gone on to produce “The Stoning of Soraya M.” (2008), the short films “Eyes to See” (2010) and “Cresendo I” (2011), and the recent documentary “40” (2013), which looks at the pro-life movement 40 years after the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.
Jones acknowledges that seeking an end to abortions “is the driving force in all my activities.”
It’s been his mission in life since he was a teenager in his hometown of Chicago, the 42-year-old filmmaker said.
“Two days before my 17th birthday, my high school girlfriend told me she was pregnant,” he said.
He wanted to support her and the baby, so he dropped out of school and joined the Army. His girlfriend wore baggy clothes to hide her pregnancy from her parents while Jones went to boot camp.
“When I was at basic training she called, crying, and said her father forced her to have an abortion. And I was just kind of numb,” Jones said. “I didn’t know that killing a child in the womb was legal. The whole thing struck me as bizarre. That’s when I committed my life to ending abortion.”
Religion was not a factor because he had been raised an atheist. It was only after enrolling at the University of Hawaii and studying philosophy that he began to ponder the existence of God.
“I was really trying to understand the metaphysical foundation of life,” Jones said. “Secular philosophers like Nietzsche and Sartre obliterated any hope for human dignity without God, which opened me up to deism.”
He became a Christian at age 32, he said, and is now a Catholic. He and his wife live in Los Angeles and have six children.
Jones expanded his movie outreach by founding Movie to Movement, a nonprofit organization whose stated mission is “to produce and promote films that make a difference – films which promote a culture of life, love and beauty.”
He sees more opportunities today than ever to achieve those goals.
“There are so many alternatives to distribution and production now that when you talk about a film like ‘Son of God’ or ‘Noah,’ it probably wouldn’t have been possible 20 years ago to see something like that produced.”
But the changes go beyond faith-based film, he added. A number of mainstream movies in recent years, including “Juno,” “Knocked Up,” and “August Rush,” promote a pro-life message, he said,
Jones believes its part of an overall shift in the American public’s views toward abortion.
“So many people have had abortions and they know what abortion is,” he said, “I think that in the end, the abortion industry will bring about the end of abortion because they’ve wounded so many people.”
Jason Jones will speak at Heartbeat of Toledo’s Annual Fundraising Banquet at 6 p.m. March 26 at Premier Banquet Hall, 4480 Heatherdowns Blvd. Dinner is complimentary and a free-will offering will be taken. Reservations are required by March 19 by calling (419) 241-9131 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Yonke is the editor and community manager of Toledo Faith & Values (ToledoFAVS.com), a website that provides in-depth, nonsectarian news coverage of religion, faith and spirituality in the Toledo area.
Tags: "Crescendo", a nonprofit organization, abortion, Catholic, Chicago, Christian, end abortion, Hollywood, los Angeles, Movie to Movement, People’s Choice Award at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival, pro-life, Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, the short films “Eyes to See” (2010) and “Cresendo I” (2011), University of Hawaii, “The Stoning of Soraya M.” (2008)