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Santorum to head studio aimed at brining faith-based filmmaking to Hollywood

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The former US presidential hopeful will be CEO of a faith-based movie company that plans to recruit talent from Hollywood

Rick Santorum, the evangelical former US presidential hopeful who lost out to Mitt Romney in last year’s Republican primaries, is to head a new studio which aims to bring faith-based film-making to Hollywood.

Texas-based EchoLight studios hopes to have a $20m fund in place within weeks to make Christian-oriented “family-friendly” movies. Its first film will be a western titled The Redemption of Henry Myers. The story will focus on a bank robber who is left for dead by his accomplices and nursed back to health by a widow and her young children. EchoLight is also planning a modern-day, non-musical retelling of the biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colours.

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Santorum, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination on a conservative platform opposing gay marriage and legal abortions, said he hoped attract Hollywood film-makers to the new studio. The ex-US senator, who will be CEO of EchoLight, hinted that current faith-based films were not nearly religious enough in content.

“Here’s what I think of Hollywood,” Santorum told the Hollywood Reporter. “We’re looking for talented people who want to make quality films, even though we won’t be spending tens of millions of dollars on each of them. We want good writers, actors, and producers who want to make honest, uplifting content.”

He added: “There’s a lot of good family movies produced in Hollywood, but in almost every one of them there’s a scene where, as a dad with younger kids, I say: ‘Why did they put that gratuitous sex, or language, or violence in there?’ To me, it diminishes the film, so we won’t be doing that.

“Even in faith-based films, Hollywood tends to water down the truth,” added Santorum, reflecting on 2011 drama Soul Surfer, which told the true-life story of a young girl who continued her dream of becoming a professional surfer despite losing her left arm in a shark attack.

“[That] was a good film, but it didn’t accurately portray faith in that young lady’s life and how she overcame what she had to overcome,” Santorum said. “I don’t want to preach to anybody, I just want to portray faith as it really is, and we’re going to be telling a lot of true-life stories, and we’re going to make them comfortable even for people who are not of faith, because they are honest. That’s the challenge for us, and it’s what Hollywood tends to shy away from.”

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EchoLight is also planning a film based on the true story of Eric “Hoovey” Elliott, a high-school basketball player whose brain tumour forced him to learn afresh how to walk, talk and perform other basic functions. It will be directed by Soul Surfer’s Sean McNamara.

© Guardian News and Media 2013

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In a Sunday panel discussion, two top legal minds, NYU Professor Melissa Murray and notorious trial lawyer Steve Sussman discussed the strange pivot made by the mayor.

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First, impeachment would only remove President Donald Trump is the Republican Senate voted to do so. If the president were removed, the new president wouldn't be Hillary Clinton; it would be Mike Pence, getting Democrats no victories other than upholding the rule of law.

"As these proceedings go away, there is building support for impeachment; it will require a supermajority of the Senate in order to convict and remove the president, which will require some Republican Senators to peel off and depart from the path," Murray said. "But I think the really important thing that Bob has mentioned here is this idea ta the Republicans are taunting that impeachment is a backend effort to basically subvert the will of the people. I think the testimony that was presented yesterday makes clear that that claim is specious."

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Rudy Giuliani’s devotion has escorted Trump straight to impeachment

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"Step by step, [Rudy Giuliani] has escorted President Trump to the brink of impeachment," The New York Times said in a piece following the president's top lawyer and his impact on the scandals facing the 45th president.

Two associates of Giuliani's have already been indicted, Giuliani is under criminal investigation from federal prosecutors, and he was never graced with a top position in the Trump government.

"The separate troubles he has gotten his client and himself into are products of the uniquely powerful position he has fashioned, a hybrid of unpaid personal counsel to the president and for-profit peddler of access and advice," The Times said Sunday.

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