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Mully Director Scott Haze on Filming Miracles in Kenya’s Slums

Hannah Goodwyn - Senior Producer

Handpicked as one of Variety's 10 Actors to Watch in 2013, Scott Haze is on Hollywood's radar. The L.A. theater owner and film & stage actor was singled out for Variety's top list, alongside Brie Larson (The Room), David Oyelowo (The Captive, Queen of Katwe), Jack Huston (Ben-Hur), Oscar Isaac (The Nativity Story, Star Wars), and more up and comers.

These days, Haze is calling all the shots from the director's chair and loving it. His new project is one very dear to his heart. It's a documentary about the extraordinary life and faith of Charles Mully.

Simply called Mully, the FOR GOOD film recounts how an orphaned boy who struggled in the slums of Kenya became a millionaire businessman, and how one day he gave it all up. He sold all of his companies and began bringing children from the slums home to live with him, his wife Esther, and seven biological kids. That's how the ministry of Mully Children's Family began. More than two decades later, Mully and his team have now rescued 10,000 vulnerable children off the streets – giving them a hope and a future.

Haze's compelling documentary shares the heart of Charles Mully, the faith and hard work that made helping so many desperate and disenfranchised children a reality.

"They're living miracles. They were souls that were left for dead," Haze says. "One of my favorite aspects of the movie is that at the end there's a song where the MCF choir singing – and those are voices that would probably be never heard in the world if it wasn't for Charles, because these are orphans. These are children who were left for dead who now have hope. You're actually seeing lives transform in front of your eyes and it's miraculous."

Even the natural world has transformed because of the God-inspired work of Mully, his family, and the MCF.

"He's planted a billion trees," Haze says. "I think it's like, 1.2 billion trees over the past 28 years. The most interesting thing you see is how he's actually changing the landscape. He's changing the climate. If you're in Nairobi it may not be raining. But if you get to where MCF is and all the water conservation and the dams he set up to preserve water, and the 1.2 billion trees, you actually see a change in the environment. It feels different. There's a different moisture in the air because of what he's doing…"

In Africa for the first time, Haze began digging into Mully's story – gathering old photos, footage, and filming interviews and video of the places Mully touched. He ended up with 400 hours of footage to go through. The final cut: 81 minutes that tell an inspiring, Spirit-led true story.
 
"I started in on our source material, Father to the Fatherless," Haze recalls. "There were miracles in that book that I read and I said there's no way that could be true. I'm a man of faith. And then you go there and he's like, 'Yeah, this is where God told me there would be water.' And you feel like there's so much truth and sincerity in Charles and Esther when they talk. So, where you do start? You start with everything."

Scott Haze in Kenya filming Mully, credit: For GoodScott Haze in Kenya, during the filming of Mully (cr: FOR GOOD).

Filming Mully's story has been a life-altering experience for Haze. Thinking back on his time in Africa and what audiences could take away from watching his documentary, he's convinced moviegoers will not only be challenged, but forever changed.

"It alters your DNA as a human being, the DNA of your spirit," Haze says. "You're transformed. You're transcended into a new vision of, like, 'Wow! There's infinite possibilities of what we can do to make the world a better place. How do we do that? How do we bring hope to the hopeless?' And that can actually spread. It's a living model on a spiritual, physical, emotional level. Every layer of the human condition can be altered through this movie. Then, it's taking those things and putting them into practice in your own homes."
 
So, how was Charles Mully able to accomplish so much and help so many? Haze has an idea and it's not just because the devout Christian had faith he could make a difference in Kenya.

"It's not just faith. It's discipline. It's being convicted. It's being committed. It is being faithful, but it's being responsible with that faith. It's never looking back. It's trust. It's all of those," Haze says. "It's everything that faith means on every level is what he did and what they do. It's compassion. It's perseverance. It's blind faith."

"It's like it says in James 1 when it talks about the ship being lost at sea. That's a great verse. It's about being in the midst of the storm where you know that the only way you'll reach the shore is through faith, even in the hardest times, to remain faithful." 

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