Eduardo Verástegui, left, and Jakob Salvati, right, of "Little Boy"

Eduardo Verástegui, left, and Jakob Salvati, right, of “Little Boy”

Eduardo Verástegui, son of a sugar cane farmer, left his tiny, Mexican village in 1992 at the age of 18 to chase a dream in the entertainment industry.

He soon became fantastically successful.

But after being caught up in a whirlwind career as an international singing sensation and soap opera star, working alongside Jennifer Lopez, playing Mr. Right on the TV show “Charmed” and being named among the world’s “most beautiful people,” Verástegui realized the allure of fame had compromised his values. He had betrayed a promise he made to his parents to portray Latino men of character, men of faith.

In 2004, Verástegui turned away from the fame to launch a production company he told WND in an exclusive interview had one goal: “To produce films that will have the potential to not only entertain, but also to make a difference in people’s lives.”

After years of turning down job offers and watching his career wither on the vine, Verástegui teamed up with director Alejandro Monteverde to produce what the former called “the first fruit of that dream,” the award-winning and profoundly pro-life masterpiece, “Bella.”

Now, Verástegui and Monteverde have teamed up again to make an inspiring film about the power of faith, both to move mountains and to transform lives.

150309littleboyposterOpening to wide release in theaters across the country April 24 is the film “Little Boy,” starring Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, Kevin James and the tenderhearted Jakob Salvati in the title role.

The movie tells an all-American story of a devoted 7-year-old son whose father goes missing in the battles of World War II. Motivated by Jesus’ words that faith can move mountains, the little boy asks a local priest how he can increase his faith to move a mountain and bring his missing daddy home.

The priest gives the little boy a list of actions – to feed the poor, visit the sick and even befriend a Japanese immigrant in the heated days of World War II – that inspires both the boy and audiences to expand the measure of their faith by putting their faith into action.

“We wanted to make a movie that captured the soul and heart of America, to show America to the whole world. And that’s ‘Little Boy,'” Verástegui told WND. “When I read the script written by Monteverde and Pepe Portillo, I was so moved and so touched, I cried. … I just hope people will be touched and moved the way I was.”

He continued: “Our hope as a filmmakers is to wake up the little boy or little girl that we all have in our hearts, that somehow when we grew up fall asleep. We want to inspire people to love big, to dream big, to forgive big, to serve big, to use your talents to make this world a better place in a big way and to do great things with your life.

“It was important to us to find the right vehicle to do that,” Verástegui said, “because faith can move mountains, but love can move hearts. So we wanted to find the right film that could touch hearts so when people leave the theater, they will leave not only entertained, but touched. They will leave wanting to become like that little boy in the movie. They will be inspired to love more and judge less, forgive more and complain less, they will leave with a candle in their heart.”

In “Little Boy,” Verástegui says, American audiences will once again be inspired by the power of a fairy tale to believe and do great things, “because that’s what ‘Little Boy’ is, a fairy tale for adults through the eyes of a child.”

WND Editor Joseph Farah had the opportunity to sit down with that child, “Little Boy” actor Jakob Salvati, to talk about the life-changing power and universal appeal of the film:

“Our films, ‘Bella’ and ‘Little Boy,’ are made for everyone,” Verástegui told WND. “Who is going to be against a little boy who is going to do whatever it takes to bring his dad back from World War II, because he loves him so much he wants to save his dad, and he’s going to do it through a list with actions that are universal – feed the poor, visit those who are sick and in prison? Hopefully at the end, it will bring people together and especially young people, who have a tendency to imitate what they see on movies and television. Hopefully they will imitate the little boy’s list. I guarantee that people who do the list, after seeing ‘Little Boy,’ will make this world a better place.

“That’s the goal,” Verástegui said. “To make a movie that can not only entertain whole families, but also inspire them to do great things with their life like ‘Little Boy’ did in his hometown.”

Watch the trailer for “Little Boy” below:

Visit the “Little Boy” website for more details about the film.

Check out the WND Superstore’s selection of inspiring films, including “Bella,” on DVD now!

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