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Psych's Corbin Bernsen on Faith and 'Beyond the Heavens'

Beyond the Heavens is a family film which tells the story of a 12-year-old boy named Oliver who struggles to find answers to life’s biggest questions – Is God real? What happens after death? Can you believe in things unseen?  He looks to science for answers even though his grandfather pastors the town church.  He scientifically investigates the existence of God after his brother disappears.  This disappearance causes strains in the family as his parents, especially his mother, struggle to find understanding.   Through a series of events, Oliver eventually comes to the conclusion that brings him peace.  Just as Oliver turns to science for answers, a mysterious and quirky drifter miraculously appears.  Their interaction leads Oliver to the ultimate truth: answers can only be found through faith – not by sight alone.  The film shows that God’s love transcends what we see, showing that faith has answers that science does not.  The movie was filmed in Provost, Alberta, Canada, and stars Corbin Bernsen, Bruce Davison (X-Men), Nathan Gamble (Dolphin Tale, Dark Knight), Lawrence Pressman (Mad Men, Criminal Minds) etc. 

Corbin dedicated this movie to honor his mother, legendary soap star Jeanne Cooper who passed away on May 8, 2013.  Beyond the Heavens has a special meaning for him because it tells the story of a mother and son. It some ways it depicts how Corbin’s mother encouraged him to seek the truth.  “My hope is that Beyond the Heavens will encourage people to explore faith, open their mind and go beyond what they think they know,” he says.  “That is what my mother encouraged me to do.  I hope to encourage others to do the same through this story.”  The movie will be released on her birthday, Oct 25. 

Corbin burst into national prominence on the show, LA Law in the late 1980s-90s.  His actress mother Jeanne Cooper was a popular legend on The Young & the Restless.   The death of his father five years ago set Corbin on a faith journey which made him ask serious life questions.  He says many of the themes in his films are a direct reflection of the environment he was raised in, “specifically by my mother.”   She taught him to always explore, be open to that which seems impossible because all is possible!  The confidence to live one’s life that way, she said, was based on the idea that we layer it all on a bedrock of absolute faith in God, a recognition of His grace, and a thankfulness for His gift – the gift of life itself.  This became very real to him over the years as he watched his Mom struggle with personal demons, questioning God, challenging him.  These lessons were for the real world where there was human suffering.  “To the end, through it all, she never gave up on God or her faith.  She overcame every wave that threatened to sink her by making her way into God’s lifeboat of love,” he says.  He didn’t know when he began writing and shooting Beyond the Heavens, that just two years later, his mother would be gone.  When she died this year he was flooded with all the obvious emotions.  But among them he was reminded of her love and life lessons that he has employed along the way.  He wanted to share something special about this bond and did it the only way he knew how to, and that was to tell a story through film.  His filmmaking journey is to bring up these issues of life questions, so people will be willing to bring Christ into their situation.

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