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Inspirational college football film opens today


College football fans itching for the start of the new season,will get some early gridiron action and excitement at their local theaters, courtesy of the new film “Greater”, opening today.

The movie, premiering just days before the start of the NCAA football season, tells the true story and unlikely career of Brandon Burlsworth, widely regarded as the greatest walk-on in the history of college football. Known for his distinctive black horn-rimmed glasses and genuine humility, the small-town Burlsworth wasn’t considered good enough to play Division I football.

But with the support of his older brother, Marty (Neal McDonough), and their struggling single mom, Barbara (Leslie Easterbrook), Brandon walks on to the Arkansas Razorback team in 1994. He succeeds in the face of staggering odds. By the end of his college career, he was not only a star in the SEC, but a 1st Team All-American, and an early pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL Draft.

“Brandon’s dedication and work ethic are the stuff of legend,” writer/producer Brian Reindl said. “Doing things ‘the Burls Way’ is still considered the gold standard of character and determination in Arkansas.”

Eleven days after being drafted and before he was able to sign the contract that would have changed the financial status of his family forever, Brandon died in a car accident on his way home. His death stunned the state: The young man of unquestioned character did everything right, and yet he was snatched away before he and his family could enjoy the fruits of his labor.

His loss was particularly hard on Marty, who struggles in the film to hang on to his own faith in the aftermath of Brandon’s death – confronted at his brother’s funeral by a mysterious Farmer (Nick Searcy) who tries to convince him that a loving God would never let such a bad thing happen to someone so good.

“This film is as much about Marty’s journey as it is about Brandon’s,” Reindl explained. “He goes through something we all face when we experience tragedy and trials: Which voices do we listen to? The voices of faith, hope, and trust, or the voices of doubt, disbelief, and despair?”

Use this link to find where "Greater" is playing in Central Florida.


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