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KING'S FAITH

Major studios aren't releasing new movies this weekend to compete with Iron Man 3, figuring they wouldn't have a prayer.

One new, independent studio is bucking that idea, because prayer is the best thing Faith Street Film Partners has going for it.

The Christian-themed studio's first project is King's Faith (PG-13), the story of a teenager trying to break away from a gang lifestyle that won't let go. Crawford Wilson (TV's Judging Amy and Zoey 101) plays Brendan King, whose rap sheet includes nine arrests raging from shoplifting to drug dealing. Now Brendan has found religion and his 18th set of foster parents (Lynn Whitfield, James McDaniel).

Brendan enrolls in high school, joins a faith-based teen club called the Seekers and spreads the word to a classmate (Kayla Compton) with her own shady past. His former gang comes looking for a hidden cache of drugs they're certain Brendan can locate. With his new family and girlfriend in danger, Brendan looks for help from a higher authority than the school resource officer.

King's Faith is directed and co-written by Nicolas DiBella, apparently a convert after helming 2007's sexy, R-rated Cherry Crush. Nobody expects this David of a movie to topple the Goliath that is Iron Man 3, but it's nice having alternatives at theaters. King's Faith opens Friday at Starlite 20 in Tampa and Park Place Stadium 16 in Pinellas Park.

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