PROVO, Utah, Nov. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- From the network that has brought to life some of the most meaningful historical eras and figures, BYUtv, a groundbreaking High Definition cable television network, will premiere Winter Thaw, a holiday television movie adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's short story, Martin the Cobbler (commonly known as "Where Love Is, God Is") starring John Rhys-Davies (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lord of the Rings). The 52-minute made-for-television film will premiere on Thanksgiving night, Thursday, November 24 at 6pm MT/8pm ET, immediately followed by a short film on Leo Tolstoy and a 30-minute "Making of Winter Thaw" special at 7pm MT.
"Playing a Tolstoy character in winter – what more could an actor want," said Mr. Rhys-Davies. "Winter Thaw puts life into perspective at a time of the year that matters the most. I immensely enjoyed bringing to life this wonderful short story in Eastern Europe, in concert with a terrific local cast and the entire BYUtv team."
In this film, Martin the Cobbler, disillusioned by life and questioning its purpose, has several poorly timed encounters and interactions with strangers on Christmas—the poor, the homeless and the hungry. Through these experiences, he is reminded about the joy we are all capable of finding by expressing love, having compassion for others, never giving up hope and refusing to turn one's back on humanity. The film transports viewers to another time and place, 19th Century Russia, and is brought to life with intensity and subtleness that only a great character actor like John Rhys-Davies and author like Leo Tolstoy can deliver.
"Working with one of the industry's most beloved actors, John Rhys-Davies, on an adaptation of the work of one of the world's greatest story tellers, Leo Tolstoy, has been an extraordinary experience," said Derek Marquis, managing director of BYUtv. "Winter Thaw is the perfect holiday movie, embodying a message of hope, love, redemption and forgiveness and reminds us that it is never too late to change."
BYUtv has teamed up with Kaleidoscope Pictures, an Emmy® Award-winning, full-service production company, to produce Winter Thaw, starring John Rhys-Davies, one of modern cinema's most recognizable character actors. Adapted for television by author Joseph Clay (Demons of the Jungle), this made-for-TV film is produced by Russ Kendall (Skeleton, The Song that Changed my Life) and directed by Adam Thomas Anderegg (Touched by an Angel, Charly) from Kaleidoscope Pictures in partnership with Lithuanian-based Baltic Film Services (BFS). BFS recently line produced Tolstoy's War and Peace for the BBC and the Weinstein Company. This is the first collaboration between Kaleidoscope Pictures and BFS. Travis Cline (Napoleon Dynamite, Penny Dreadful), served as the Director of Photography.
BYUtv's original programming slate includes the critically-acclaimed drama series Granite Flats, which featured Christopher Lloyd, Parker Posey, Cary Elwes and George Newbern; the long-running sketch comedy series Studio C, which has an extraordinary following on YouTube; the recently renewed series, Relative Race, the first family-history based competitive reality show that follows four couples as they meet relatives linked by DNA for the first time in a race across the States; and Random Acts, an unscripted hidden-camera reality show that highlights the altruistic nature of human beings by featuring real people who are the recipients of random acts of kindness. BYUtv is available in every state of the country via cable, satellite and multiple digital media platforms including byutv.org, AppleTV, Xbox ONE, Xbox360, Roku, Amazon FireTV, iOS and Android.
About BYUtv Owned by Brigham Young University and based in Provo, Utah, BYUtv is a groundbreaking High Definition cable television network that has created a breadth of original "see the good in the world" programming that fills a void in entertainment the entire family can enjoy together, including sketch comedy, history, music and documentary offerings. The cable television network continues to build steady momentum, drawing new viewers to its shows from every state of the country. The non-commercial station is available in more than 60 million households in every state of the country on Dish Network, DirecTV and over 800 cable systems, and offers approximately 1,000 hours of original programming annually, including 500 hours of live HD collegiate sports.