Wartburg gets a taste of the movie life

Mike Jensen with his wife, Jennifer, and daughter, Mimi.

‘When Faith and Fear Collide’ commenced filming at Wartburg campus and around the Waverly community on April 29, and shooting ends on Monday, bringing Wartburg’s involvement in the project to an end.

Spero Stamboulis, the producer of the film, said the movie provided a unique opportunity for the story of Mike Jensen, an ex Wartburg professor who was diagnosed with brain cancer four years ago, to be told.

“Mike was a spiritual leader and a professor, and four years ago was diagnosed with cancer,” Stamboulis said. “They performed surgery and said he was going to be okay, but within a year the cancer came back with a vengeance. As time has continued, the difficulty of him maintaining a job at the college or continuing to be a spiritual leader became very difficult.”

The challenges that the Jensen family have overcome is what inspired director Brian Ide to pursue the movie. Ide, a Wartburg alum, had personal attachment to the Jensen family as well.

Stamboulis said that all the proceeds from the film are going to be split between local homeless and needy people and the Jensen family to aid them in paying medical expenses and putting their three daughters through college.

Stamboulis said that the crew have been receiving support from many people and organizations in the community, including the mayor, the police department and many more.

 “The community has gotten behind us, and we have gotten so many local supporters as far as restaurants that have donated meals, the hospital which has donated locations, the college which has donated so many locations and housing and food,” said Stamboulis.

Stamboulis said part of the reason the community has been so helpful is because of the impact that Jennifer and Mike Jensen had, as Mike was a worship leader at the Nazareth church in Waverly.

Some students from the Department of Journalism and Communications assisted in many different areas of the production, and other students volunteered as extras in the film.

“We have an amazing group, I believe it’s 16 students in total that are studying the May term here in the communications department,” said Stamboulis. “Unless they have some prior commitment, they have dedicated all their time to the production of the movie. They are our foundation and backbone.”

Stamboulis said that they hope to premier the film on campus in October, following which they will take it to Los Angeles and New York.

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