The Runner from Ravenshead


“After a daring escape from Ravenshead Prison, Sam finds herself in worse trouble trying to outrun the relentless wardens. But help is on the way – kind of. Henry, janitor for the City of Refuge Guide Service, is unexpectedly thrust into the line of duty when all the trained guides are called out on other missions. As he sets out on his long- awaited first assignment, he gets more adventure than he bargained for. Will the enthusiastic but awkward amateur guide persuade Sam to trust him before it’s too late?”

The Runner from Ravenshead is a delightful film that won the Audience Choice award hands-down and was the runner-up for Best of Festival at the 2010 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.  Produced by husband-wife team Joel and Lisa Steege and starring five of their children, this film will take you on a fantastic adventure that you won’t soon forget!

The films follows the stories of Sam, and escaped prisoner, and Henry, a daydreaming janitor.  As Sam makes her escape from Ravenshead prison, she’s doggedly pursued by a deadpan warden who always seems to be right behind her, no matter how fast she runs.  Meanwhile, at the headquarters of the City of Refuge Guide Service, Henry’s clumsiness causes one mishap after another, usually to the pain of the Boss.  But when Henry’s the only available person to help Sam reach the City of Refuge, the Boss has no choice but to send Henry off on his own.  Sam must decide whether to follow Henry’s urgings, or the conflicting advice of a fellow prisoner, Clyde.

This movie is filled with great laughs, amazing stunts, incredible music by the Filmharmonic Orchestra of Prague, and the cutest bunch of kids you’ll probably ever see in a movie (especially Ike, played by 2-year old Tate)!  When I saw this film at the SAICFF, I was astonished to hear that this was the first film by the Steeges.  The quality of the film is higher than most Christian films I’ve seen, especially with the split-screen effects that multiplied the five children into everything from a fully-populated prison to a village of savage “Won-tons.”  The most impressive scene to me was the interaction between two characters played by the same kid that turned into a fight scene!

For a movie acted by five kids under the age of 10, the performances were incredible!  Some of the younger ones’ dialog was hard to understand at times, but on the whole, the entire cast offered a stellar performance.

This film is an allegory of finding rest and refuge from the metaphorical wardens and prisons we face in life,” says the official website.  But if that line causes you to be worried that this is an in-your-face preachy movie, your fears are misplaced.  A message is present, but is by no means the central focus of the film.  It’s all about the story of Sam and Henry, and the deeper meaning is subtly woven into the fabric of the story, with a nice pay-off at the end.  This is the perfect movie for family viewing, a church movie night, or whenever the movie-watching mood strikes you!


The Runner from Ravenshead

Release: 2010

Genre: Action/Adventure/Kids/Family

Run Time: 81 min.


Production Company: Little Crew Studios

Director: Joel Steege

Producers/Screenplay: Joel & Lisa Steege

Starring: Amelia Joy, Harrison Joel, Addison Charles, Brendon Lee, Tate Ivan

Available on DVD.