Chart-topping rapper Lecrae will make his film acting debut this fall as part of the cast of the comedy/satire/heist film, Believe Me.
In the movie's most recent teaser trailer--released earlier this month--Lecrae is shown briefly in costume as Dr. Darnell Malmquist.
Lecrae's appearance buffets the rising star power of Believe Me, which will release in theaters and on demand Sept. 26. Irreverent, funny and insightful, Believe Me poses a simple question: "Why believe someone just because he's speaking on a stage?"
"Four college friends see people believe any voice that shouts loud enough, and they use it for their own gain by starting a fake charity," said Director Will Bakke. "Believe Me looks at the power of platforms, particularly among today's young Christians."
In addition to Lecrae's supporting role, the film features rising stars Alex Russell--who shot to fame in CHRONICLE--and Zach Knighton (Happy Endings), Believe Me also features Johanna Braddy (EASY A), Miles Fisher (FINAL DESTINATION 5), Sinqua Walls (Teen Wolf) and Max Adler (Glee), with Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) as Sean and Christopher McDonald (Boardwalk Empire) as Ken.
In Believe Me, Sam Atwell (Russell) stands on stage as thousands of fans go wild. Smart, charismatic, handsome, he moves them with his message, and when he calls for donations to his charity, the money pours in.
Only thing is, Sam doesn't believe a word he's saying.
Just months earlier, Sam was a typical college senior focused on keg stands, hookups and graduation. But when a surprise tuition bill threatens his dream of law school and leaves him thousands of dollars in the hole, he's forced to think outside the box. He convinces his three roommates they can make a killing on the gullible church crowd and the guys start a sham charity, campaigning across the country, raising funds for a cause as fake as their message.
For Sam, embezzlement is easy compared to getting attention from the only person he cares about. When Callie, the tour manager and Sam's love interest, finally discovers the guys' ruse, it's Sam's moment of truth.
On the final night of the tour, before a packed auditorium and alone in the spotlight, Sam Atwell has to decide what he really believes.
"Believe Me is a parody on religious scandals," co-producer and co-writer Michael B. Allen said. "It holds up a mirror for viewers to see themselves and their assumptions from a new perspective."
Riot Studios made headlines in 2012 with the unique content and distribution model of its second documentary Beware of Christians. The film followed Riot's Bakke, Allen and Alex Carroll around Europe as they gathered man-on-the-street interviews about Christianity and Christians--part college road comedy, part thought-provoking dialogue on how following Jesus in the 21st century might look.
Believe Me is produced by Alex Carroll and co-produced by Sandhya Shardanand, Gary Cogill, Richard Touissant and Steve Markham. John Rutland is director of photography with casting by J.C. Cantu.
A Riot Studios Production in association with Lascaux Films, Believe Me is distributed by Headline Features and Gravitas Ventures. The film releases in theaters and and on demand Sept. 26, 2014.