'A Long Way Off,' a Christian movie filmed in Raleigh, hits theaters Friday

sgilman@newsobserver.comJune 4, 2014 

— A modern retelling of the biblical parable of the prodigal son that was filmed mostly in Raleigh will debut in theaters across the country on Friday.

“A Long Way Off” stars Jason Burkey as Jake, who complains that the life on his family’s North Carolina farm is “not mine.” He tells his father, Abraham, that he quits and needs some money to get started on a new life.

“A Long Way Off” was co-produced by the husband-and-wife team of Christy and Gerald McGlothlin, who run a media company based in Wendell. The film, which is rated PG, won Best Picture at this year’s International Christian Film Festival, Best of Show at the 2013 Sodona Faith and Family Film Festival, a Davey Award and is an official selection for the 2014 Life Fest Film Festival.

Like his unnamed counterpart in the Gospel of Luke, Jake receives his inheritance from his father. After moving to a nameless city, Jake fritters his money away on a condominium, an Italian sports car and buying drinks for women in bars and nightclubs.

When he loses his wealth in a bad investment, he ends up on the street, eating out of a trash bin. A homeless man, Al, befriends him and helps him get a job working at a pig farm.

Eventually, Jake hitchhikes home to his father, who spots him from afar, runs to greet him and welcomes him back to his house. As in the biblical parable, Jake’s older brother, Seth, is jealous of the attention shown to Jake and not immediately pleased to see him back.

But after a talk with his father, Seth cools his anger and celebrates with the other members of the family.

Some of the film was shot in Cary, but most of the scenes take place in Raleigh. Viewers here might recognize scenes of Quail Ridge Books and Music on Wade Avenue, Sosta Café on East Davie Street and the food court at Triangle Town Center, among other places.

The film opens Friday at Crossroads 20 theater in Cary and June 13 at Carmike theaters in Raleigh, Wilson, Greensboro and Hickory.

Gilman: 919-829-8955

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