The Least Among You is a story of finding faith. For Mark Young, the making of the film provided his own faith journey. Based on the true story of Dr. Charles Marks, Cedric Sanders (American Gangster) plays the lead as a man wrongly arrested in the famous Watts race riots of 1965. Forced to serve his probation at an all-white seminary, Marks finds himself confronted on campus by issues of race, courage and perseverance. It’s a compelling story that Young was determined to tell regardless of the obstacles. Armed with a limited timeline and even smaller budget, Young says they didn’t have the full amount of resources in hand to finish when they began filming. “When we started, we didn’t have enough but we started anyway,” he says. “The turning point was that we had raised half of the money and then there was this stagnation. Suddenly I met this London investor who I told I’d be glad to fly to meet and tell him the story. He said, ‘I don’t have time. Just tell me now.’ We had this 45-minute conversation and he put in a substantial chunk of money. That’s when we turned the corner and knew we could make the movie.” But the angel investor was just one small part of a greater story. It’s really the story of a stellar ensemble cast coming together unexpectedly that gives The Least Among You its power. “It was a big shock to tell you the truth,” says Young with a laugh. “I told the investors, ‘On our budget, we’re not going to be able to get any actors you’ve ever heard of, so get used to that end.’ That being said, I pursued Lou Gossett (An Officer and a Gentleman) very hard for about nine months. We finally caught up and he finally read the script and he really liked it. Once he read the script, he was in. When Lou said yes, it opened the door for Lauren Holly to come in. That was another big shock. These really terrific and seasoned actors are coming on board, and in the back of my mind, I’m wondering, ‘Do they know what they’re doing?’” Now that the final product is complete, Young hopes that viewers give it a chance. With that in mind, he says he’s finding any possible way to get the word out about the film. “I just want the audience out there to give it a shot,” says Young. “We took this to 13 or 14 film festivals—all of your basic festivals. I wanted to prove that it was a film that shouldn’t be placed inside of a box. Audiences are more accepting than people think of faith-based films. We’re talking about showing it on television and making it into a cable movie for next year. We’re doing what we can just to throw out as many sparks as possible and see if they can somehow catch fire.” — Matt Conner For more information on The Least Among You, check out www.theleastamongyou.com. Matt Conner is a music writer for the Indianapolis Star, HM, Relevant and Metromix and the founding editor of StereoSubversion.com. 56 CCM