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'A Mother's Prayer' featuring big-name stars films at Odell Williamson Auditorium

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

SUPPLY—Robin Givens, Johnny Gill and Shirley Murdock took time to visit Brunswick County recently to film the play “A Mother’s Prayer” at Odell Williamson Auditorium.

Swirl Films, a Wilmington-based production company, plans to release the film on DVD, as it did last year with “Man of Her Dreams,” which was also filmed at the auditorium.

“I enjoyed working here,” Swirl Films producer Eric Tomosunas said Friday before the dress rehearsal.

Twenty-three-year-old writer/actor/director Alvin Moore wrote “A Mother’s Prayer” four years ago based on his own life experiences. It tells the story of a family struggling with difficult times as their mother faces a deadly disease.

Givens was cast in the main role of “Brenda” alongside gospel singer/actress Murdock and singer/actor Gill, formerly of the singing group New Edition.

Moore said he was awestruck when he learned who would be performing his play.

“I was saying, ‘Is it me with these people?’”

Givens and Murdock said they enjoyed working on the play and were awed by Moore’s talent.

“I wrote it to inspire people,” Moore said. “I’m only 23 now, but I figured why should I wait for someone to give me a chance? I should make my own.”

Moore met Tomosunas at the International Black Film Festival in Nashville, Tenn., where the play was screened.

Tomosunas said the story was so interesting and positive he believed it would make a great movie.

“There are several positive messages to take away,” he said. “Make the most of your moments with your family and friends. You’re not promised tomorrow.”

The play toured through Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., Biloxi, Miss., and Baton Rouge, La., before landing at the film festival and catching the eye of Swirl Films.

As producer, Tomosunas finds stage plays he believes would make good films, identifies available talent to perform and records them for DVD release. The Wilmington native has been producing for the past 10 years.

On Saturday, more than 1,000 people attended the Swirl Films taping of “A Mother’s Prayer,” Odell Williamson Auditorium manager Mike Sapp said.