Cultural Revolution

Image By:  Howard Thurman

Image By:  |  Quote by: Howard Thurman

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

We stand on the brink of a cultural revolution. Things are shifting, and now is the time to act.

Every 24 hours, we have a profound opportunity to move the positive truths about life into our culture. For those with talent–writers, musicians, artists of all kinds–NOW is the time to produce.

The positive truths about life are gaining traction.The younger generation is hungry. They look for something that makes sense, they want to understand. Now is NOT the time to back down or be passive.

And, those who have developed the greatest understanding have the greatest responsibility to act. Develop your artistic skills in order to capture the imagination of people today.

A battle rages for the minds of men. The systems of this world devour mankind mentally and spiritually.

Those who love God MUST come together to produce music, films, books and all forms of art. It’s that art which will inspire individuals to want to serve and love our Creator to a greater degree.

The bold, loving and accurate teaching of scripture is what inspires artists, writers and musicians to come alive and produce work, which can motivate and elevate any human being to their greatest potential. This is our calling. This is how we transform the culture in which we live.

The entertainment industry spends millions to promote just one movie, one song, or one book. Many times the only motive is just profit with no regard for how detrimental the material is to society.

 Until now.

We may not have access to millions right now but we CAN MOVE with great impact. Because God’s at work and STILL opens doors for those who believe.

Even if you’re not an artist or have millions to promote projects, you can still affect this revolution. When something profoundly impacts you … tell someone.

Get the word out!

For those who desire to see change, get rid of what’s holding you back and get busy. We’re willing to put in the work.

Vista Films is committed to this Cultural Revolution.

Get your copy of the Movie Refuge From the Storm today!  |   Watch the movie trailer   |   See what Vista Films is doing next!

“Refuge from the Storm” did this REALLY happen?

Behind the Scenes of the Movie "Refuge From the Storm" Actress Kristen Quintrall Preparing for the upcoming scene. Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

Behind the Scenes of the Movie “Refuge From the Storm” Actress Kristen Quintrall preparing for Marah’s deliverance scene. Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

The producers of Refuge From the Storm met for the first time in November of 2009, in a Vista sushi bar to discuss making films. They wanted to produce stories about God’s power working in the lives of ordinary people. It was possible to produce inspiring, faith-based movies that tell the real stories of people’s lives, not sterilized versions. They saw the need for movies that show how dark and broken a life can become, and how God can then restore that individual to complete wholeness.

It was also clear which story to tell first. So, right away they interviewed the woman, and began to write the script. They finished Refuge from the Storm in June of 2010.

And a new generation of faith-based films was born.

Almost everything in the movie is based on actual events. Marah received complete deliverance in the hospital that day. We don’t know if the real Steve ever wrote the book.

Sam did try to attack Linda that night in the parking lot behind Katrine’s bar. But we’re not clear exactly what he saw. Whatever it was, it scared him off. When Linda turned around to see, the place was deserted. We believe Sam saw angels. We portrayed them as gang members.

Behind the Scenes of the Movie "Refuge From the Storm" Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

Behind the Scenes of the Movie “Refuge From the Storm” Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

Stories of God’s deliverance happen in the lives of people all the time, everywhere.  Most go undocumented.

The real Linda never wanted the focus to be on her or any one person. Rather, she wanted to share the principles, which cause God’s power to kick in, so God would receive the glory. For this reason, we’ve never publicly released the identity of the characters portrayed in the film.

Why did the main character agree to have her story told?

She thought her story would benefit and inspire others. People looking for answers can know it’s available to see God’s power operate in their lives to a greater degree. The real Linda is quick to say she actually knew very little of the Word of God at this time in her life. But she’d been taught she had “Christ in her,” and that it was available to do the works that Jesus Christ did and greater.

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

She believed it and acted, and God moved with might.

Kristin Quintrall talks about playing Linda

Behind the Scenes of the Movie "Refuge From the Storm" Actresses Kristen Quintrall and Angie Jerez with Director Elias Acosta and Producer James Ellis. Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

Behind the Scenes of the Movie “Refuge From the Storm” Actresses Kristen Quintrall and Angie Jerez with Director Elias Acosta and Producer James Ellis. Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

“I’ve actually had the pleasure to meet the woman that this movie is about, and there’d be certain scenes where I’d think, how did you do this? I don’t mean in an acting way, but what really happened. Then, I’d find out the motivation for all of it.”

“It’s been really cool to pick her brain, but it also had its challenges, too. That’s because she was right behind the monitor. Sometimes I’d wonder, am I doing this right? Is this how I’m supposed to do this? But the fact that this IS a true story makes it that much more epic.”

Where’s the real Linda these days?

Since her dramatic deliverance in the 1970’s, she has enjoyed a life free from bondage.  She’s married and has raised three wonderful daughters. Two are married and having children of their own. She’s enjoyed seeing God work in her life for over 30 years, and continues to tell her story to those who desire to understand more about God’s Power and His goodness.

Get your copy of the Movie today!  |   Watch the movie trailer   |   See what Vista Films is doing next!


Make the Movie You Want To See: Jim Ellis’ Story

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. Toni Morrison.…im-ellis-story/

Jim Ellis in Escondido for inside shooting week one of Refuge from the Storm.

For Jim Ellis, executive producer of Refuge From the Storm and president of Vista Films International (VFI), the phrase reads, “If there’s a movie you want to see, you must make it.”

For a long time, Jim’s had a desire. He’s wanted to make a movie based upon the Book of Acts. “There are a lot of great movies out there, and a lot of great moviemakers, but I’ve only found a very few that I felt were spot on when it comes to what the Bible says.”

If you know Jim, you realize this statement isn’t haughty. It comes from a place of long years of careful study of the scriptures. The Bible and a desire to have others understand its simplicity, has been his passion since he was nineteen.…im-ellis-story/

Jim and his daughter, Lauren Fehlhaber, the Production Manager on location in Escondido.

Jim and his wife Kathy both attended a biblical leadership program back in the 1980s. The Ellis’ have lived what they preach.

They have three wonderful daughters to prove it. Ryan and Lauren, their son-in-law and eldest daughter work for VFI, too.

Jim and his business partner Elias Acosta, cinematographer, run the production company from scenic hills of Vista, California.

Here are a few things Jim, Elias, and the team at VFI assert:

The Bible is Real.

It’s full of true stories of real people who had to make tough decisions. They faced life-and-death-struggles such as starvation, war, and the loss of family members. It’s not sugar coated.

It’s confronting, but with that honesty also comes healing.

When you make a film about a record or a principle from the Bible, you’ve got to be gut honest. Fierce. If you want people to take its message seriously, you have to present it unvarnished.

The Bible is Accurate.

The Bible has integrity. It isn’t a nebulous soft lens, amalgam of nice stories. The devil and the deliverance are in the detail. To the degree you follow the accuracy of the scripture, is the proportion you’ll realize its benefits.

Nowhere in the pages of the Bible do you find rock monsters.

The Egyptians were visited with 10 plagues. Each time both Moses and Aaron appeared, front and center, before Pharaoh to deliver a specific warning. Each time Pharaoh refused to let God’s people go. This thing wasn’t done in a corner. It was out in the open for everyone to see.

Aaron did not stalk his brother. Moses did not hang around the fringes, a bystander, watching the plagues unfold with his hands in the air.

The filmmakers I’m talking about here are master storytellers. I love their work. They’re giants. What they tried to do was develop the story by injecting fiction in order to make a better story.

Here’s the thing: if you just take the time to develop the story from what’s written—who Moses and who Noah were—how they felt, and thought—and trust THAT, you’re going to have a much better story.

Please don’t get me wrong here, I’m thankful such talented filmakers are making movies about the Bible. I just think they need to follow the actual records more closely.…im-ellis-story/

Wrap. Michael Madsen flanked by Kathy Ellis and Jim.

What’s Next

Our company is working on some ideas. You can check our website for more details. When you’re a small company, things take a little bit longer.

We believe our next movie is going to be “Zuhrah” based on actual events in Iraq.

We’re excited about the movie veterans who we’ve had the pleasure to work with on our projects, but we’ve definitely got our eyes open for young talent.

We invite anyone interested in working on faith-based films to reach out. Written inquiries work the best.

Stay tuned.

Here’s the link for Refuge from the Storm the DVD.


A Behind the Scenes Look at One of Our Top Stars: Michael Madsen

We continue with week three of our DVD release milestone celebration.

When Elias Acosta, the director for Refuge from the Storm, was thinking about who to cast in the movie, his first and only thought for the role of Steve was film veteran and big screen, tough-guy Michael Madsen.

Mr. Madsen was in Europe on a shoot when things finally came together. The production team breathed a sigh relief, because they all knew he was perfect for the role.

And if that wasn’t already cause to celebrate Madsen’s son, Christian Madsen, also agreed to appear in the film.

Michael Madsen has a career that spans over 25 years and more than 170 films. You can watch some of his best work in movies like Kill Bill, Die Another Day, Donnie Brasco, Thelma & Louise, Free Willy and for some, his most memorable character—Mr. Blonde in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.

Mr. Madsen is also an accomplished poet. His first book Burning in Paradise won the Independent Firecracker Award.

Here are some behind the scenes moments with the great Michael Madsen:

You can purchase the DVD here to see him in Refuge from the Storm.

A Message From Jim Ellis


I’m happy to announce VFI has reached a milestone in our journey. February 10th we release the DVD of Refuge from the Storm.

I wanted to take this time to humbly thank you for all of your support for Refuge over the last five years.

You’ve had a powerful impact on the making and distribution of this movie!

In response to your kindness, my business partner Elias Acosta and I wanted to show you a little more about who we are.

So, over the next four weeks, we’re going to post some cool stuff on the blog—inspiration, insights, and behind-the-scenes looks. Pay special attention to Thursdays. That’s when we’ll discuss issues from the film, but from a biblical perspective.

You don’t need to do anything special. Just check back in on the blog.

We believe what we’ve got will inspire and encourage you in your journey. It’s an honor to stand together with men and women who love God and stand for His Word.


Jim Ellis

P.S. Here’s the first!