8 Reasons Viewers Should Watch TV One Original Movie Sinners Wanted
Brothers, Joshua & Jimmy Jenkins give thoughtful value to their newest movie Sinners Wanted. Joshua and Jimmy Jenkins wrote and directed the film. They used church hurt and love as the basis for the TV One inspirational by wedging old testament with modernized warfare of spirit, deception, forgiveness and relevance.
"TV One spreads a message of grace this Easter season with the cable-television premiere SINNERSWANTED on PalmSunday, April 5 at4 P.M. ET/3C, with encore airings on Saturday, April 11 at 12 P.M. EST/11C andEaster Sunday, April 12 at 4 P.M. EST/3C. The star-studded cast ensemble includesLamman Rucker, Traci Braxton, Clifton Powell, Kenneth Wayne, Ashley Rios,Roland Martin, Tasha Cobbs-Leonard, Joseph Curtis Calendar, Hope Blackstock, Tiana Melvina Woods and Nasir Rhamim.
SINNERS WANTED follows the journey of Leo Shepherd (Wayne), a young vibrant minister from Macon, Georgia, who relocates to Washington, D.C., for an opportunity to pastor Grace Community Church. On his first day, Leo meets a prostitute named Ginger “Gigi” Clementine (Rios). Ironically, Leo is immediately drawn to her as she reminds him of his mother. They begin to grow closer and their feelings become stronger. The church finds out about the budding relationship and immediately voice concerns about the impact of the woman’s past on the church’s image. Despite the congregation’s outcry, Leo continues to pursue Gigi and falls deeply in love, eventually asking for her hand in marriage. Their holy union, however, turns out to be catastrophic and reveals both Leo and Gigi’s past.”
Tell me about the film, “Sinners Wanted…” very stirring title. What was the inspiration behind this film?
Joshua: What inspired us to create the film was that we are church babies. We are PK’s [preachers’ kids]. Our father is a pastor of a large church, here, in Maryland. We’ve been PK’s all our lives. We have seen both the positive and the negative of church, church hurt, what people think about church, and the inspiration was for us to not just show the good and the bad of the church, but to show what God’s love actually really looks like and what God really thinks about us as his children. Our inspiration was to really show the world the true unconditional love of God through this movie.
Jimmy: It’s a biblically unique story that’s straight out of the bible. A lot of people think we came up with it, but we didn’t. We did modernize it. Although it seems like a harsh topic, it’s a story in the bible of a man named Hosea, and the harlot by the name of Gomer. That was our true inspiration to create the film.
In What ways did you modernize this story so it’s in the now phase?
Jimmy: It just came from us sitting there and being in church our whole lives, and seeing how people were treated, certain experiences that happened. All we did was understand that people of our generation, they don’t really understand the bible. When we looked at the story, we needed to take this message and make it relatable, plain, and clear. The big thing now, is that there is so much content and so many stories that people are creating. What can you have in your tagline that automatically sticks quickly and garnishes attention? With that [question] evolves is controversy and that’s with the contrary. We like the contrary of the pastor and a prostitute and that was the basis of our story, because you normally don’t see a pastor and you normally don’t see a prostitute. When you see those two words together, it can strike interest. That’s how it all formed about. We told it from a pastor and prostitutes’ perspective.
Aside from what you saw in the bible and church hurt, has anybody experienced that, that you know of?
Joshua: Nah, we did a lot of research. In the film, there are so many elements of truth and true testimony, we didn’t just credit these scenarios only solely from our heads. We talked to a lot of people and we know a lot of people. Like I said, we grew up in a church, and we know a lot of people who won’t step into a church during these times. We wanted to really try and appeal to people who may not be going to church, and don’t like going to church. We did a lot of talking and a lot of reenacting regarding how we even got characters in developed situations of Christ.
As directors, and as we think about what’s going on now, especially with this coronavirus, and actually having to extend that different love to people, do you think the movie is more relevant and important now, although Sinners Wanted is a love story, we’re talking about the different transponders of love.
Joshua: I think it’ relevant now more than ever because I think the church has been under attack with the media. There are stories every year about what’s going on in the church. People have these misconceptions about churches and that’s the reason we really want to give word to the church and we want to give word to those people that are necessarily hurt by church or afraid to walk back into the church.
One of the major themes featured in the film center around second chances and redemption. Tell us your thoughts and philosophies on that theme.
Jimmy: In the process of us doing the story; like we said, we had to do a lot of research. There’s an amazing reference in this book called redeeming love by Francine Rivers. It was just the Hozea Gomer story in the content of the eighteen-hundreds. It really inspired us to help us write this story and tell it correctly, but it’s so many people that feel like, they aren’t good enough for the church, that they don’t fit the mold. I try to remind people that when Jesus came here, he wasn’t with the pharoses, he was with the hood people. He was in the dump. He was in the slums, and that’s where his disciples came from. When he came to earth and he wasn’t hanging around the holy folk—why would God choose these people who have been hurt, who have come from troubled past. We just want people to know that’s why Jesus came here, for people like you, me, and us.
Without giving too much away about the scenes, what was one of your most impactful scene in the movie?
Josh: Clifton Powell comes in, and you have these church elders. The elders are the most judgmental people in the film, but Clifton Powell comes in, but he knows all their dirt. He’s been working as a church deacon. They’re sitting in front of the church, and he’s been telling all these judgmental elders that’s going to church, that’s been judging everybody the whole film, you find out that their sins are greater than anybody else in the movie, but they just been quiet about it. That’s one of the most powerful scenes because sometimes you go into these churches and they try to act like they are holier than thou, but if you go into their book and see what they done, you see some nasty and dirty things.
I know the main message is for the people that’s afraid of church, to get back into church. Do you think this film will bring people closer to God?
Josh: No question. That’s our whole purpose. That’s our whole mandate and the reason it was made, it was to bring people closer to God. If we aren’t bringing nobody closer to God, then it’s no point in us telling the story.
Jimmy: That’s what we are here for. We want to create television. We want to make television in the pulpit, and that’s our focus. When we had our premiere, we had over nine-thousand people come to our church to see the premier when it came out. At the end of the movie, the alter was filled with people trying to rededicate, get saved and get closer to God. The only reason that we are here on this earth is to tell stories to get people closer to God. That’s our purpose and that’s the reason we do what we do.
How was it working with TV One on this project?
Jimmy: TV has been amazing. I’m thankful for platforms like this that are open and willing to show Christian content, because they see the need. TV One is the pillar. With me growing up, TV One, BET, that’s what we watch every day. It’s crazy to grow up on a channel and have your first film be on that same channel, and working with the people, everybody from top to bottom has been a class act. It’s just been a great team partnership to make this film as impactful as it can be.