About Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot

Synopsis:

The fight for kids begins July 4. Inspired by the powerful true story, Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot, follows Donna and Reverend Martin as they ignite a fire in the hearts of their rural church to embrace kids in the foster system that nobody else would take. By doing the impossible–adopting 77 children–this East Texas community proved that, with real, determined love, the battle for America’s most vulnerable can be won.

Rating:

PG-13 for thematic material involving child abuse, some violence, language and brief suggestive material

Run Time:

2 hours and 18 minutes

Social Media Accounts:

About the Cast

Nika King

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Nika King

Donna Martin

King’s talents as a comedian and actor are versatile and dynamic. She is best known for her comedic abilities, but in her breakout role playing Leslie on the Emmy winning HBO series Euphoria opposite Zendaya and Storm Reid, King showcases a much more dramatic side of herself. Nika also had her directorial debut in the short film, For Sale [gofundme.com] [gofundme.com], which addresses grief and mental health in the life of a Black married couple.

King’s comedy has landed her roles on Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black, the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, Canada, the Netflix Is A Joke festival, and hosting Nika King & Friends, a monthly show at the Improv Lab in Hollywood CA. She has also act, wrote and produced on award winning webseries Funny Married Stuff, which is currently streaming on KweliTV.

Beyond acting, directing, and stand up, King co owns Blue Tree Cafe, a vegan soul food restaurant with her mother in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. King was also compelled to establish Rose of Sharon, [roseofsharonla.com] [roseofsharonla.com] a non profit that helps to improve the quality of life for individuals and families from underserved communities by compassionately serving their mental health and wellness through healthy eating.

Demetrius Grosse

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Demetrius Grosse

Reverend Martin

Demetrius Grosse is a highly acclaimed, award-winning American actor and producer. He is best known for his roles as Rock in Universal's Straight Outta Compton, Emmett Yawners in the HBO/Max television series Banshee, Errol in the FX television series Justified, Baron Samedi in NBC's Heroes, And Ezekiel "Preach" Carter in NBC's The Brave. He is currently set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Eric Williams / Grim Reaper in the Disney+series Wonder Man. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Grosse began honing his performance skills at the age of ten. Spending time at the Summer Musical Theater Workshop, Grosse was able to develop musical theater skills in singing, acting, and dancing. As a theater actor, he honed his craft on the stage, starring in more than five plays with SMTW.

Grosse was not always considering acting, though. For a time, he was interested in veterinary medicine, coding, and even cut hair as a barber at Legends, a well-known LA barber shop. Grosse attended and graduated from Gonzaga College High School. Grosse then went on to achieve an award for the Andrew Carnegie Undergraduate Grant for artistic merit and later graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree from its School of Drama. In 2002, Grosse completed a visiting student program in which he completed two semesters of intensive study at the Howard University College of Fine Arts in his home city of Washington DC. During July, Grosse took his craft to the international arena, studying and performing both classical and contemporary drama with the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England. In the summer of 2007, Grosse joined Shakespeare Santa Monica.

He has performed on the stages of Oxford, England with the BADA group, in Washington DC with The Shakespeare Theatre, and in Cape Town, South Africa with UCT. At Portland Center Stage in Oregon, Demetrtius starred as Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee William's American classic, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Off-Broadway, in 2010 performing Black Angels Over Tuskegee. Grosse has appeared in the HBO series Westworld based on the 1973 film of the same name. He also appeared in Michael Bay's feature film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016). Grosse is known for taking on many complex characters from various backgrounds and from all different genres. His range is unparalleled. He made his TV acting debut in The Wire (2001), Numbers (2005), and is well known for his film roles in, Saving Mr. Banks (2013), This Is Martin Bonner (2013). His other television credits include AMC's Fear The Walking Dead, Criminal Minds, ER, NCIS, Bones, Dexter, CSI: Miami, Frontier (Netflix), and Swagger for Apple+. Grosse also made appearances in The Inheritance (2011), and Hollywoo (2011).

Grosse has credits for producing Last Cry for Katrina (2013), Moonshiners, and A Quiet Fire (2009), and most recently, Survival. Demetrius stars as Clark Randall in the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries romantic comedy Spring Breakthrough. The film was produced under Hallmark's Mahogany banner and had its on-air debut in 2023. Releasing in theaters this spring (2024), Demetrius stars in Possum Trot, a faith-based feature film based on the true story of a minister and his wife who lead a movement to reverse the foster care crisis in their East Texas community. Grosse resides in the US with his wife, their children, and a bearded dragon named 'Shang-Chi.'

Elizabeth Mitchell

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Elizabeth Mitchell

Susan Ramsay

Elizabeth Mitchell can currently be seen on Netflix’s smash-hit series OUTER BANKS and the second season of the THE SANTA CLAUSES for Disney+ (reprising her role from the film trilogy). She recently wrapped Possum Trot which was Produced by Peacetree Productions in association with Letitia Wright and her company 3.16 Productions. She also starred in the Netflix series FIRST KILL and had a season-long arc on THE EXPANSE. Elizabeth is known for portraying the iconic role of “Dr. Juliet Burke” on ABC’s LOST for J.J. Abrams. She followed that up with series leads on V for ABC and REVOLUTION for NBC.

On the feature side, Elizabeth starred in THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR for Blumhouse/Universal and recently wrapped the independent features QUEEN BEES opposite Ellyn Burstyn and WITCH HUNT. Other notable credits include the NBC series CROSSING LINES, ABC’s ONCE UPON A TIME, FBI: INTERNATIONAL for CBS and the features NURSE BETTY with Renée Zellweger, FREQUENCY opposite Dennis Quaid, RUNNING SCARED for New Line Cinema and HBO’s GIA alongside Angelina Jolie.

Diaana Babnicova

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Diaana Babnicova

Terri

Diaana has been acting professionally since the age of 8. At age 10 she won a full scholarship to the world-renowned Sylvia Young Theatre School in London. Diaana has had many roles in Film, TV and West End Theatre. She is currently playing George Barnard in Nicholas Winding Refn's adaptation of Enid Blyton's The Famous Five and the lead role Terri in The Sound of Hope:The Story of Possum Trot movie inspired by an incredible true story. You will also see Diaana in the upcoming Marvel feature, Kraven the Hunter. Diaana's other Film and TV credits include Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (Netflix), Don't Breathe 2 and Jaqueline Wilson's Little Darlings (Sky TV). She also starred in Andrew Lloyd Webbers School of Rock in London's West End. Diaana has also featured in many TV commercials.

Joshua Weigel

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Joshua Weigel

Director/ Writer/Producer/Pastor Mark

Joshua Weigel is an award-winning filmmaker with a unique ability to create deeply moving stories that transform and inspire action. Gaining a strong vision for filmmaking at a young age, Joshua got his start 25 years ago at the WBTV Network, and was soon working alongside some of the industry’s top creatives as a Production Designer and Art Director on network promos and national commercials, including work for ABC Family, Disney, McDonalds, Bud Light, and award-winning Super Bowl spots. Joshua began working closely with his wife, Rebekah, writing and producing award winning short films which he directed, culminating with what has become one of the most beloved short films of all-time, The Butterfly Circus, a viral phenomenon receiving over 100 million views, and garnering over 35 film festival awards, including the Clint Eastwood Filmmaker Award presented to Joshua by Clint Eastwood at the Carmel Film Festival.

Together they founded PEACETREE PRODUCTIONS, a company devoted to creating life-changing, spiritually significant entertainment, highlighting critical social issues and powerful narratives aimed at capturing the most compelling stories of our time. As an adoptive parent, Joshua was powerfully impacted by the Possum Trot story, and began producing and developing the script with Rebekah on spec over an eight year period. Joshua directed the film and the Weigel’s produced through Peacetree Productions in association with Letitia Wright’s Threesixteen Entertainment. Next up on the slate for Peacetree Productions is the highly anticipated feature length adaptation of THE BUTTERFLY CIRCUS.

Rebekah Weigel

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Rebekah Weigel

Producer/Writer

Rebekah is a dedicated foster/adoptive parent and a staunch advocate for the faith community to care for vulnerable children and families. In addition to her role as a child advocate, Rebekah is a celebrated filmmaker, writer, and producer in the entertainment industry. Alongside her husband Josh, Rebekah co-wrote and produced the critically acclaimed short film, "The Butterfly Circus," which achieved viral success and garnered over 35 awards from prestigious film festivals. Notably, the film received the esteemed Clint Eastwood Filmmaker Award, personally presented by Clint Eastwood at the Carmel Film Festival. Rebekah and her husband Joshua are currently at the helm of "Possum Trot,” as the writers, lead producers and director. Josh and Rebekah were powerfully impacted by the Possum Trot story, and began developing the script eight years ago, moving their family from Los Angeles to Deep East Texas to tell the incredible true story of Bishop and First Lady Donna Martin and their tiny Bennett Chapel church in the rural community of Possum Trot, where 22 families linked arms and courageously adopted 77 of the most difficult-to-place children in the local foster care system. The Possum Trot story has become one of the most well known adoption stories in America and began a national movement to care for vulnerable children that continues today.

Together Josh and Rebekah founded PEACETREE PRODUCTIONS, a company devoted to creating life-changing, spiritually significant entertainment, highlighting critical social issues and powerful narratives aimed at capturing the most compelling stories of our time. The Weigels produced through Peacetree Productions in association with Letitia Wright’s Threesixteen Productions with Angel Studios distributing the film as a follow up to Sound of Freedom. The production budget for “Possum Trot” was raised entirely through donations with a majority of profits being donated to programs and services for vulnerable children and families. Next up on the slate for Peacetree Productions is the highly anticipated feature length adaptation of THE BUTTERFLY CIRCUS.

Letitia Wright

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Letitia Wright

Executive Producer

With a career spanning over a decade, Emmy-nominated Letitia Wright has cemented her position as one of the industry’s most captivating young actresses. From her breakout role as ambitious Summerhouse resident Chantelle in TOP BOY, to her critically acclaimed performance as Nish in BLACK MIRROR, not forgetting her scene-stealing turn as Shuri - lead scientist and Princess of Wakanda in the BLACK PANTHER franchise, Wright has played an integral role in some of the most culture-defining projects of the last decade and whose impact is still felt to this day.

In 2019, Wright won the BAFTA Rising Star Award and a SAG Award as part of Black Panther’s ‘Best Ensemble’. The film grossed over $1.3B at the global box office and was nominated for a 2019 Academy Award for ‘Best Picture’ - a first for a superhero film. In 2020, Wright had repeated success with a starring role in Steve McQueen’s anthology series, SMALL AXE, where she played British Black Panther Party leader, Altheia Jones-LeCointe. Wright’s episode, “Mangrove”, was included in the Cannes 2020 Official Selection and the series was nominated for 2 Golden Globes, including Best Television Motion Picture.

Led by a passion to create meaningful content within the industry, Wright’s creative endeavours extended behind the scenes with the launch of her independent production company 3.16 Productions. The company joined forces with Bron Studios in 2023 for their first feature, SURROUNDED, a gritty, action-packed western starring Wright, Jamie Bell and the late Michael K. Williams. Wright also flexed her production muscles in the BAFTA-nominated, female-led anthology series I AM for Channel 4, developing the powerful storyline for her episode “I Am Danielle” in creative partnership with director Dominic Savage.

2022 proved to be The Year of Letitia Wright, with back-to-back roles in: THE SILENT TWINS, which premiered in Un Certain Regard at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and saw Wright win a British Independent Film Award (BIFA) for Best Joint Lead Performance; Ireland-set immigration drama, AISHA, with Wright’s performance hailed by Screen Daily as “phenomenal in a career best turn”; as well as the long-awaited sequel to the Marvel Studios’ blockbuster - BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER. Wright’s deeply moving portrayal of Shuri’s transformation into the titular superhero received critical acclaim and the film quickly became the highest grossing female-led superhero movie in US box office history.

Coming soon, Wright will once again take on the roles of both lead actress and producer as she steps into the ring for IN THE SHADOWS - a gripping drama based on the true story of the world’s first Somali-British professional boxing champion, Ramla Ali, who fled her war-torn country as a child to seek asylum in London, England. Also on the slate, Wright serves as Executive Producer in upcoming feature POSSUM TROT, a powerful drama inspired by the true story of 22 families from a rural black church in a small East Texas town who adopt 77 of the most difficult to place kids in the foster system. Wright continues to select projects and roles that subvert expectations and leave an indelible mark on all those who engage with her art, finding the perfect balance between blockbuster and arthouse cinema.

Past credits include AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, AVENGERS: ENDGAME, URBAN HYMN, DEATH ON THE NILE, SING 2, GUAVA ISLAND, READY PLAYER ONE, HUMANS, MY BROTHER THE DEVIL, DOCTOR WHO, TOP BOY and the popular science fiction anthology series BLACK MIRROR, for which her performance earned her an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.

Joe Knittig

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Joe Knittig

Executive Producer

A trial lawyer by background, Joe co-founded a national litigation firm. In January of 2007, Joe became the CEO of C3 Missions serving as a volunteer, eventually exiting his business to lead the ministry’s expansion into The Global Orphan Project. Joe is a leading expert in child welfare in the United States and an advocate for vulnerable children across the globe. He serves as the CEO of GO Project and its international and domestic platforms in ministry and marketplace, including CarePortal and GOEX, with CarePortal as the flagship Care-Sharing platform to reverse the foster crisis in the United States. Joe is an Executive Producer of Possum Trot.

Bishop W. C. Martin

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Bishop W. C. Martin

Bishop Martin

Bishop W. C. Martin earned a Bachelor of Theology and a Masters of Religious Education degree in 1986 and 1988 respectively from Union Baptist Bible College & Seminary. He has served as the Pastor of Bennett Chapel Missionary Baptist Church since 1985 while simultaneously pastoring Open Door Baptist Church from 1999 to 2001. He has served as a volunteer on the advisory committee on promoting adoption of minority children for Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Service since 2001. Bishop Martin has been promoting adoption as a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator at churches, conferences and special events around the nation. A few examples are: Georgia Association of Homes & Services (Savannah), One Church One Child (Richmond, VA, Cleveland, OH, Dallas, TX) Travis County Bar Association (Austin, TX) University of Texas United Methodist Church (Austin), Lutheran Family Services (Colorado Springs and Denver, CO), Human Services Child Welfare Division (Milwaukee, WI), and Texas State Foster Parents, Inc. (San Antonio).

Bishop Martin has been well-recognized for his outstanding contribution to the filed of adoption. Some of his accomplishments are the following: The National Fatherhood Initiative Award and the National Caring Award (Washington, DC), the Dave Thomas Award (Columbus, OH), National Black Family of the Year (USC – Myrtle Beach, SC), Most Inspiring people of 200 (Beliefnet.com), the Thomas F. Freeman Humanitarian Award (TSU – Houston, TX), the First Humanitarian Award (Shelby County Chamber of Commerce – Center, TX), the Essence Award (Fox Television Network – NYC, NY), and the One Church One Child – Trudy Lawton Recruitment Award (Black Adoption Council of South East Texas, Inc., Beaumount, TX).

Bishop Martin has been featured on a wide variety of radio and television broadcasts to include: 48 Hours with Dan Rather, Channel 12 Nightly News (Shreveport, LA), NBC – The Spirit of Jim Cummins, Trinity Broadcast Network, Fox Television Network with Oprah Winfrey and Bill Cosby, Essence Awards, WFAA TV with Alan Berg (Dallas, TX), NBC – Extra with Gina Silver, National Public Radio, Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC - Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer.

He has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers including: Readers Digest, San Antonio Express Express News, Fort Worth Star – Telegram, Dallas Child, Texas Monthly, Woman’s World, Update, World, Dallas Morning News, Essence, People, and the Houston Chronicle.

Pastor Martin has been married to First Lady Donna Martin for over 30 years. Together they have six children (four adopted) and five grandchildren