06 May 2020

SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME - A perfect fit for The Red Shield Appeal!


...And a Perfect Fit with The Red Shield Appeal

From the 29th to 31st May, the incredible true story of SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME, starring Renee Zellweger and Greg Kinnear, will have its ONLINE PREMIERE - three special screenings of the film with extra special events that will include a live Q&A with "the guy in the film," (who also wrote the New York Times bestselling book) Ron Hall, as well as members of the Salvation Army in Australia.

The film has, at its heart, the imperative to honour and bring change for the homeless. Not only was Ron Hall's own life richly transformed through his friendship with a homeless man, Denver Moore, and he has, through the book, raised over $100 million towards homelessness, but the making of the film itself brought transformation to a homeless community: part of the film's budget was devoted to the actual restoration and renovation of a real-life homeless shelter, which occurred during filming.

The film tells this transformation story — how Ron, a successful businessman, and his wife, Deborah, discover a renewed sense of purpose when they begin to volunteer at a local mission in Fort Worth, Texas, and how their unlikely friendship with Denver Moore inspires them to save their struggling marriage.

Now, Heritage Films is partnering with The Salvation Army to continue this legacy. Every pass sold for the online premiere of the film will contribute to this year's "digital door-knock" of The Red Shield Appeal.

Couch-side "movie-goers" will be able to purchase a "premiere pass" which gives them access to this "red carpet experience" - in individual, family, and bulk options. These different options allow for more people in a family or circle of friends (or church or community group) to access the film (at a discounted price). It also means that people who are separated in different houses or locations during quarantine can still plan a "movie night" - even though they are separated. For example, the purchase of a "family pass" provides four "access codes," meaning that four separate homes can watch the film... which is a great opportunity to plan something "together," perhaps staying in touch via social media while watching the film at the same time.

The "bulk pass" option also makes a great way for dedicated or fledgling fundraisers to raise larger amounts for the Red Shield Appeal, through their own personal networks.

The True Story Behind the Film - And how it changed the area of Homelessness forever

The film is based on a best-selling memoir of the same name, co-written by Moore, Hall and Lynn Vincent, that has sold over a million copies.

In brief: in 1998, millionaire art dealer Ron Hall, a Texan, father of two and an adulterer, promised he’d do anything to win back his wife Debbie. She gave him a challenge: help her feed the homeless at Fort Worth’s Union Gospel Mission and befriend the scariest man on the block, an ex-felon and murderer named Denver “Suicide” Moore.

What it’s not, Ron says, is a story about a wealthy “art dealer millionaire that saved this poor, African-American homeless man. Nothing could be further from the truth. This man saved me from myself.” Moore “became my mentor in life. He taught me the way to live, not the other way around. He saved me from being an arrogant, self-centred art dealer, to becoming someone who actually cares about the well-being of others.”

It started with the adultery that Debbie forgave. In return, her husband pledged to do anything she asked him to do. Debbie agreed to never again mention his infidelity, and, he says, “she was true to that promise.” For at least a decade, Debbie asked not a single thing of Hall — until she did. She awoke one night, telling him about a dream she had had, about “a poor man who’s wise, and through his wisdom, our lives and our city are changed forever.”

He and Debbie cruised the toughest streets of Cowtown, looking for the man in her dream. They ended up at Union Gospel Mission, where Hall and his wife offered to serve food to the homeless and hungry waiting in line. “The smell,” Hall says, “just took me down. It was so nasty.” It's where he met Moore. The story of their relationship forms the backbone of the book and the movie.

Moore moved in with Hall in 2000, the year Debbie died of cancer. Moore gave the eulogy at her funeral. Hall calls it "one of the most beautiful, heartfelt speeches I've ever heard," saying it drew a prolonged standing ovation from a crowd of nearly 1,000.

In 2012, Moore died. "By then, he and I had become closer than brothers," Hall says.  “When he moved in with me, he had nothing. But he gave me everything.” 

Together, he and Denver helped to raise a reported $100 million for homeless shelters across the country—a remarkable harvest reaped from the seeds planted by his wife's simple-but-profound love.

If you would like to support The Red Shield Appeal and support homelessness in Australia—head to the SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME website and check out how to get your premiere pass.