With experience on over sixty projects on film and in television, Chuck Williams has acted alongside big stars like Johnny Depp, David Duchovny, Bruce Campbell, and Paul Giamatti, and directed with notable filmmakers like James Cameron, Kathryn Bigelow, and David Fincher. But since his days in Tuscon, AZ, at Rincon High School, Williams has been moving closer to the vision that God placed on his life early: to tell stories through film that will share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Born in Arkansas into an Air Force family, Williams’ story involved receiving visions from God in his teens, developing New Life Ministries (now Cornerstone Ministries), leaving for Hollywood with $168 in his wallet, and managing music icon Janet Jackson, before settling into the film scene. After tackling projects with big-name stars for years, Williams recognized that it was time to fulfill a promise made to his mother: to start a film company making Christian films.
Now, as CEO of Avondale Pictures, the filmmaking arm of Avondale Entertainment (with future arms in television, print, and music in the works,) Williams knows that “starting a corporation is different than just making a movie because it’s building a vision from God.” Williams’ high energy approach is apparent, and so is his desire to fulfill the process in a thorough way.
Williams wrote, directed, and produced Shake Off the World in 2016 and followed this autobiographical story about high school and bullying with a film about cowboy church called Amazed By You. Both films starred war hero Jessica Lynch, while the second also featured Richard Pryor Jr. and Reese Cameron Ridenour. These are just the first two films in a company plan Williams sees existing well into the future after his death -he wants to build a family vision for what filmmaking could look like.
While both Shake Off the World and Amazed By You are available now digitally, Williams is currently working on The Righteous Twelve, a Magnificent Seven-like Christian western. It stars Daniel Roebuck (Let There Be Light) and Lynch, and solidifies the vision that the producer/director is casting.
“You have to know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it,” he shared. “Our first criteria is that the film has to be able to play in church. We’re not adding any nudity or swear words to change the distribution. I will not kowtow to the requests.”
Williams makes no bones about the fact that he’s a “born-again believer, a Jesus freak,” and his conviction finds him following in the footsteps of his mentor, Billy Graham. He’s focused on putting the gospel out there, on being direct and Christ-centric, and using whatever medium possible to tell stories that speak to the masses.
“You’ve got to be careful not to try and please everyone. We won’t compromise. Bob Dylan said, ‘you’ve gotta serve somebody; might be the devil or might be the Lord.’ We’re not printing the Bible and taking passages out.”