"The Ultimate Gift" movie

“This movie is the "Ultimate Gift” ” – The Dove Foundation
“Truly Inspiring” – Buddyhollywood.com 


RELEASE DATE: March 9th, 2007
RUN TIME: 117:05

(photo left) Gus, played by actor Brian Dennehy, teaches Jason Stevens the value of hard work.

SYNOPSIS: When his wealthy grandfather dies, trust fund baby Jason Stevens anticipates a big inheritance.

Instead, his grandfather has devised a crash course on life: twelve gifts designed to challenge Jason in improbable ways, sending him on a journey of self-discovery and forcing him to determine what is most important in life: money or happiness.


Movie Production Notes

Producer Rick Eldridge

Jim Stovall, author

More Heartland: Gifts of Life

(photo left) Jason shows Alexia life as he's always known it.
(photo left) Emily, played by Abigail Breslin, fights a life threatening illness.
2006 TCFHE. All Rights Reserved.

Exclusive Interview:
The Ultimate Gift from Producer Rick Eldridge

By Madelyn Ritrosky
Entertainment Magazine

The Ultimate Gift.  What comes to mind?  Unconditional love?  A child?  Self-sacrifice?  A huge inheritance?  Life itself?  

If you ask Rick Eldridge, president and CEO of The Film Foundry, the ultimate gift would actually be many things.  And they are wrapped up in an interesting package, the film version of the book of the same title, The Ultimate Gift.  Eldridge served as producer and executive producer on the film.

The Ultimate Gift premiered at the Heartland Film Festival near the end of 2006, and will be released on 500 screens in March by 20th Century-Fox.  Eldridge’s Film Foundry Releasing is co-managing the March 9, 2007, release. 

It stars Drew Fuller (best known from the television series Charmed) in the lead role of spoiled-rich-kid Jason Stevens who has a lot to learn. James Garner is his wise, just-deceased grandfather, Red Stevens, whom we see in his videotaped, living will.

Co-stars include Bill Cobbs (Night at the Museum), Ali Hillis, Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), Lee Meriwether, and Brian Dennehy.  Michael Sajbel (One Night with the King) directs.  (See “More Heartland: Gifts of Life” for more about the film’s story.) 

I had the opportunity to meet Eldridge at the Heartland Film Festival, and we talked about the film. 

He was originally given Jim Stovall’s self-published book by a financial planner who was mentoring Eldridge’s two teenage sons.  He carried it around for a while, finally reading it on a cross-country plane trip from Charlotte, North Carolina, Eldridge’s home base, to Los Angeles.

Eldridge describes the book as principle-centered rather than deeply philosophical:  it’s about “the principles around life, core values, and legacies.”  His timing turned out to be “one of those incredible opportunities.”  Universal had optioned Stovall’s book, but the author “had maintained the right to approve the final script,” and three scripts were already in the dustbin.  When Eldridge came calling, Stovall had just gotten back the rights. Continued...

Heartland Film Festival | Film Home Page
Entertainment Magazine

2007 Film Entertainment Magazine / EMOL.org. All rights reserved.

Film Entertainment Magazine

The Ultimate Gift
Author: Jim Stovall

Hardcover: 156 pages. Publisher: RiverOak Publishing (September 2001). Language: English

The Ultimate Gifts Outlined

He who loves his work never labors.

Money is nothing more than a tool. It can be a force of good, a force of evil, or simply be idle.

It is a wealthy person, indeed, who calculates riches not in gold but in friends.

Education is a lifelong journey whose destination expands as you travel.

Problems can only be avoided by exercising good judgment. Good judgment can only be gained by experiencing life’s problems

Some people are born into wonderful families. Others have to find or create them. Being a member of a family is a priceless privilege which costs nothing but love.

Laugher is good medicine for the soul. Our world is desperately in need of more such medicine.

Faith is all that dreamers need to see the future.

The only way you can truly get more out of life for yourself is to give part of yourself away.

In those times when we yearn to have more in our lives we should dwell on the things we already have. In doing so, we will often find that our lives are already full to overflowing.

A Day
Life at its essence boils down to one day at a time. Today is the day!

Love is a treasure for which we can never pay. The only way to keep it is to give it away.

Click here