Projecting Hope to host free film festival at Pittsburgh Mills Cinemas

The Projecting Hope Film Festival, a showcase of faith-focused movies with uplifting themes, will be held at the GQT Pittsburgh Mills Cinema from Jan. 21 to 23.

Admission to all seven of the films is free — with free popcorn, too.

It will be the 18th Projecting Hope festival, which was on hold for the past two years because of the pandemic.

“When we were able to announce we were returning, people were excited,” said Scott Anderson, the festival’s founder and director.

In previous years, the movies were screened at several venues in the region. This year, the GQT Pittsburgh Mills Cinema is the exclusive location.

Anderson said the Pittsburgh Mills location was chosen because of its geographically central location and the amount of space its auditoriums offer.

The shows normally reach capacity, he said, but he predicts that this year there will be more seat availability because the pandemic is keeping more people at home.

Tickets can be reserved online in advance, with a requested donation of at least $1, or obtained in-person at the box office. A variety of sponsors underwrite the festival.

The featured film is “American Underdog,” based on the life of football star Kurt Warner, an evangelical Christian. It will be screened on each of the festival’s three days.

Others include “Redeeming Love,” “The Girl Who Believes in Miracles” and “The Jesus Music,” a documentary about contemporary Christian music.

Anderson encourages everyone, regardless of their religious background, to attend. He said the movies — “life-affirming and God-honoring films,” as described on the website — have a universal message anyone can relate to.

“This is an event that brings people together, and these stories are stories that bring people together,” he said.

Started in 2000, Projecting Hope uses movies to spread goodwill and hope. The first festival was held in Pittsburgh in 2001. Since then, the festival has grown to be played in cities including Charlotte, N.C. The festival has grown a loyal following of returnees while attracting newcomers.

“We have been able to see parents who brought their kids to the movies. We have developed a relationship with our patrons,” Anderson said.

The festival will follow the theater’s covid protocols. It will be up to individuals whether they wear a mask, Anderson said.

For more information, visit

Tanisha Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tanisha at 412-480-7306, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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