BYUtv casts John Rhys-Davies in Holiday TV Movie WINTER THAW Based on Tolstoy's 'Martin the Cobbler'

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BYUtv, a groundbreaking High Definition cable television network, has teamed up with Kaleidoscope Pictures, an Emmy Award-winning, full-service production company, to produce WINTER THAW, a holiday television movie adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's short story,"Martin the Cobbler" (commonly known as"Where Love Is, God Is"). Winter Thaw isslated for release Thanksgiving night 2016 on BYUtv.Starring John Rhys-Davies (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lord of the Rings) and adapted for television by author Joseph Clay (Demons of the Jungle), the made-for-TV film will be produced by Russ Kendall and directed by Adam Thomas Anderegg from Kaleidoscope Pictures in partnership with Lithuanian-based Baltic Film Services (BFS). BFS recently line produced Tolstoy'sWar and Peacefor the BBC and the Weinstein Company.This is the first collaboration between Kaleidoscope Pictures and BFS. Travis Cline(Napoleon Dynamite, Penny Dreadful), will serve as the Director of Photography.

"Over the past five years, BYUtv has invested in creating enlightening films and docudramas that bring to life the most meaningful historical eras and figures, such as THE STORY BEHIND the creation of Handel's Messiah, the celebration of the 400 th anniversary of the first English translation of the King James Bible, and a depiction of Joan of Arc's experience through her own words," said Derek Marquis, managing director of BYUtv. "These seasonal specials embody our vision of 'seeing the good in world' through world class production, writers and actors and resonate with audiences of all ages around the world. We are very pleased to bring Leo Tolstoy's short story, 'Where Love Is, God Is', to life this fall through one of the great actors of our time, John Rhys-Davies."

Actor John Rhys-Davies is one of modern cinema's most recognizable character actors. While best known for his work as Indiana Jones' (Harrison Ford) comic sidekick, Sallah, in two of Paramount's INDIANA JONES adventure films (Raiders of the Lost Ark [1981] and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade [1989]), the actor has appeared in over 100 television shows and films since the early 1970s. Rhys-Davies was introduced to a new generation of fans playing the role of Gimli the dwarf in in the blockbuster trilogy, The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.) He has also had leading roles in Shogun (1980), Victor Victoria (1982), The Living Daylights (1987), King Solomon's Mines (1985) and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004). Recently, Rhys-Davies starred in the History Channel production of KILLING JESUS (2015) opposite Kelsey Grammer, Stephen Moyer and Rufus Sewell, which is based upon the Bill O'Reilly bestseller, as well as on the hit series Once Upon a Time (2015).

Producer Russ Kendall, a partner in Kaleidoscope Pictures, has traveled the world, capturing the human experience in both documentary and narrative work including the stories of Stone Kyambadde, Ugandan soccer hero turned humanitarian; Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammed Yunus; and three-time Olympic gold medalist, Kerri Walsh Jennings. He is currently producing films on the lives of Helmuth Hbener, a teenage Nazi resistance fighter; and the sports drama Skeleton, based on Sochi Winter Olympic Medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace. Kendall has produced music videos featuring The Killers, Brandi Carlile and BB King and co-developed the Emmy Award-winning television series The Song That Changed My Life, which he produces and directs for BYUtv.

Director Adam Thomas Anderegg is a founding partner of Kaleidoscope Pictures having started the company after several years in the television drama world. Inspired by his experience on CBS' Touched by an Angel, he co-founded Kaleidoscope to create entertainment that elevates the human experience.Anderegg's directing credits include Vision, Storms of Life, To Turn the Hearts, Battalion, The Food Nanny, and The Song that Changed My Life. Jack Weyland's Charly, his theatrical film debut, earned him substantial critical acclaim as a director and the award-winning short The Touch received generous airplay and garnered the Jimmy Stewart Crystal Heart Award at the Heartland Film Festival.

Kaleidoscope Pictures is a full-service production and creative entity, with its origins in specialized, high-impact entertainment & media.

Baltic Film Services delivers professional cost-efficient services to the film, television and commercial industries. Their team has managed productions for such clients as Warner Bros, Showtime, BBC, Working Title, Universal, Discovery, HBO, Paramount and many others.

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; and the latest addition to its roster, 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. BYUtvis available in every state of the country via cable, satellite and multiple digital media platforms includingbyutv.organd on all of BYUtv's digital platforms, including Roku, Xbox360, 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 55 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.

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