DailyBread

By George Escobar, vice president, WND Films & TV

There are many things to like about the brand new series “Daily Bread” by creator, writer and director Nina May, who produced the series through Renaissance Women Productions. It’s an ambitious production about a world turned upside down when a catastrophic EMP event (electromagnetic pulse) renders all electronic devices useless.

The scenario is not far-fetched. Just this week, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and as reported by CBN News, the sun “unleashed its strongest solar flare in more than a decade early Wednesday, creating a shortwave radio blackout that lasted up to an hour over parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe on the sunlit side of the Earth.”

Think about it. Your car, which depends on sophisticated electronics, won’t work. The common communication tools you depend on – cell phones, radio and television – are shut down. Computers with their delicate circuitries are fried. There is no electricity in your home, work, school, hospital, church or shelters. Basically, anything depending on electricity no longer functions.

The world is literally thrown back into the “Dark Ages,” populated by an increasingly desperate people.

Nonetheless, out of this large-scale story of impending chaos, director May and her cast and crew have crafted a well-told, intimate story beyond survival. It’s a story powered by hope and faith, which differentiates it from other similar post-apocalyptic tales.

The cast and crew are to be commended for this undertaking. And the leadership shown by director May is impressive. While there are undoubtedly some production weaknesses, especially when compared to Hollywood productions whose budgets are 10 to 20 times larger, they don’t detract from the story. In fact, compared to other similarly budgeted “indie-film” efforts, Nina’s production excels at all fronts: a compelling story, an engaging cast, and a production value with sufficient scope and scale to be believable.

Additionally, “Daily Bread” was produced as a community effort and an educational training ground for many first-time young filmmakers and actors.

The “Daily Bread” series launches its first season on Friday.

“If you like God, guns and girls, this show is for you,” says May. “There’s plenty of entertainment and excitement here, but also many thought provoking ‘What if?’ moments. We want viewers to discover how fragile their realities are, and that such a thing really could happen. We invite them on this journey and to put themselves in the place of the characters.”

The show is populated with characters just about everyone can identify with. At the center of the action are the cast and crew of a popular cooking show hosted by Tiffany McMillan (Francesca Finnerty), author of the best-seller “Shop Poor, Eat Rich.” Her two sisters, Sophie (Sheila Avelino) and Nora (Gabriella Kostadinova), work with her, along with a talented and tenacious group of other millennial women. Also taken by surprise by the solar flare are guests at a hotel led by Skylar (Katherine Caruso). She is a quirky young woman, challenged by OCD, who must rise to the occasion to help rebuild a city from the shelter she and her “Posse” thought was temporary.

“Daily Bread” also traces the journey of Holly (Sandra Belforte), an uptight real estate agent who has to turn to her estranged sister, who lives at a camp of rural “preppers.” They are the only group of characters who anticipated such a catastrophic event and are in a better position than the others to weather it. Still, they have their own unique trials to overcome as their abstract ideas about post-apocalyptic existence conflict with the reality they are forced to face.

Also featured are middle-school students and rural homeschool families whose efforts to accept the new normal are evocatively depicted. Briana (Brianna Tyson), a 13-year-old prepper girl, survives two weeks alone in the woods before she is found. As the realities of days and weeks of their new lives unfurl, all these characters will intersect in ways tied to Tiffany’s cookbook. They also learn to draw greater strength from another book, the Bible, and the truths of a God whose love and promises don’t change when the lights go out.

“Happiness, joy and hope aren’t circumstantial when God is your focus,” May says. “We can walk through the valley of the shadow of death – or a solar flare that knocks us back to Revolutionary times – and still emerge with our humanity intact. In fact, the nine-foot statue of the Pioneer Woman holding a gun and the Bible serves to remind us of that truth.”

“Daily Bread” is being released “binge style” – all episodes available at once – as of Friday. Information on how and where to view it can be found at RWPvideo.org.

Renaissance Women Productions is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and a project of the Renaissance Foundation. The company has produced award-winning films, documentaries, TV shows and shorts for the past 10 years. Its mission is working with new and undiscovered talent, to give them the opportunity to break into the film industry. The students, interns and enthusiasts that have come through the foundation have produced everything from TV shows, to commercials, documentaries, educational and even feature films.

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