The latest in the series of UP TV movies, Love Finds You In Charm premieres Sunday, June 7th, at 7 p.m. ET. Executive Producer Chevonne O’Shaughnessy and writer Annalisa Daughety spoke to ChristianCinema.com about the power of the story and the impact they hoped to have on today’s audience.
O’Shaughnessy called in from the Ohio set of Love Finds You In Valentine to share her thoughts on the series, which has over fifty novels in the series and millions sold worldwide. “I was rejected by Hallmark and Lifetime, and I thought, ‘Wow, this is really hard,” she said. “I’m trying to take projects that are inspirational, that avoid bad language, sex, and nudity. I want films that the whole family can watch together.”
“There’s a lot of darkness in the entertainment industry,” Daughety agreed. “I think anyone could read or watch Love Finds You In Charm and identify with it. That’s what we were aiming for.”
Love Finds You In Charm tells the story of a young Amish woman who wants to see and explore the world, so her father sends her to the big(ger) town of Charm, OH. She meets an Amish man there who she is quick to dismiss and an Englishman who she assumes can show her the world. “All of us come to a fork in the road,” O’Shaughnessy said. Charm just happens to be where this film’s fork occurs.
Daughety found that being on set to see her book adapted into film was more emotional than she expected. “These characters, who had been in my imagination and just in my head, are walking around talking, with these amazing actors playing the parts perfectly,” she said. “It’s crazy to watch them come to life!”
Recently, an industry survey studied how people responded to different types of films, O’Shaughnessy said. Watching CSI could make you calm and intuitive; watching horror made you angry or scared. But she said that watching something inspirational “left the audience with happy thoughts for two weeks. That’s why we want to give them something to believe in.”
O’Shaughnessy knows that her faith influences her desire to find inspirational stories, that allow her to stay true to her own expectations and morals. Daughety said that the Love Finds You series does that by showing Christians who make mistakes, allowing people to connect with them where they are.
“I’ve done three of the Love Finds You books,” Daughety said. “I was hesitant to write one of the books because I didn’t know anything about being Amish. I heard a podcast by a twenty-year-old Amish girl from Indiana who wanted the newest shoes, to shop at Target, and to sleep in. She was really funny, too! I thought, ‘She and I could be friends; I can write this Amish story.’”
As the premiere of Love Finds You In Charm grows closer, both women are hard at work on what their next faith-based project will be. Both women are intent on entertaining you, but if they can lift your spirits up in the process, they’re going to do that, too.