Meet 25-year-old Award Winning Actress, Writer, and Director Castille Landon

“Diversify your interests, study anything and everything, and most importantly, never compare yourself to anyone else. There will always be someone more intelligent, more talented, more beautiful, more connected, etc., but that doesn’t mean there’s not a place for you at the table. You are enough; it’s a matter of working hard for yourself, striving to become the best version of yourself, and believing that you have something that is worthy of contributing.”

25-year-old actress, screenwriter, and film director Castille Landon is making history and paving the way for young women who are pursuing their dreams and careers. Born in Florida, she moved to Los Angeles when she was fifteen to pursue a career in acting. She graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in English, and is currently a student at Oxford, working on her creative writing major as the only screenwriter accepted into the class. “I think it helps as a filmmaker to be exposed to as many subjects as possible so as to create work that more broadly reflects humanity. I’d rather tell the stories of humans (especially women) throughout time, or be inspired by big ideas in science and medicine or great minds than become insular and just tell stories I relate to personally, or make films about filmmakers or writers,” said Landon, when asked why she decided to pursue a college education instead of only going straight to a career in the film industry.

She has appeared in numerous television shows and films such as Criminal Minds, Wind Walkers, Land of Leopold, and Among Ravens, and played a major supporting role in the comedy Sex Ed opposite Haley Joel Osment and Glen Powell. Now she writes, produces, and directs films such as Apple of My Eye, starring Burt Reynolds and Amy Smart, and I Believe in Unicorns, which premiered at SXSW and was screened in more than 40 film festivals worldwide. Her latest film, Albion: The Enchanted Stallion, was just released on Pay Per View on April 2, and will be available on DVD at Walmart on May 2.

The story follows a thirteen-year-old girl, tasked with the responsibility of caring for her disabled father, who is transported by a magical black stallion to the mystical world of Albion, where she discovers that she is the key to saving an entire race of people. It stars Oscar-nominee John Cleese (Monty Python), Jennifer Morrison (Once Upon A Time), and Debra Messing (Will and Grace). “The film was a blast to direct,” said Landon. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of actors. Everyone really nailed their characters, and [the cast] and I became very close during the whole shooting process.” The film earned a 93% audience approval rating when it was previewed at the Bentonville Film Festival, and received both the IFP Director’s Lab Selection award and Grand Jury Award for Best Feature Film at the Equus Film Festival in New York.

In her free time, Castille enjoys hot power yoga, horseback riding, and reading. She is also a very strong supporter of women in film, gender equality, inclusion of girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields, and de-stigmatizing mental illness. This is what she had to say on the subject:

“Gender equality is something that needs to happen, and that I’m constantly shocked to see is not even close to our present conditions. As far as STEM fields, I think it’s important to empower girls through school and teach them that their contributions in those fields can be great. I personally really struggle with understanding detailed science and math, but I’m obsessed with learning about them in the general sense. I love learning about neurology, epigenetics, and cognitive and behavioral psychology— how the brain works, why we do what we do, etc. Perhaps my brain really doesn’t grasp on to the intricacies of it, but it could also be that if I had been encouraged to study those subjects as a younger person, I might have been able to train my brain to function in those fields. Too often, young girls are told that they are meant to be studying subjects in the humanities, that we’re the ‘emotional’ gender, and so we turn the logical, mathematical sides of our brains off. Do we really lack those talents, or are they muscles that we weren’t encouraged to strengthen and have atrophied without use? Geena Davis’s Institute is doing great work and putting forth the idea that young people need to see themselves reflected on screen, so we, as creatives, need to show women doing these things to inspire the younger generation to pursue them.

“All of that being said, de-stigmatizing mental illness and promoting mental wellness is one of my greatest passions in life. There’s a long history of mental illness in my family, particularly in the women, up the maternal line for several generations. I was raised to understand that and so it didn’t even occur to me that discussing one’s struggles in that area was taboo until fairly recently. It dawned on me that many people turned to suicide not only because they were struggling with mental illness, but because they felt too ashamed of their condition to speak up and get help. That’s unacceptable. No one would be ashamed to say they had asthma so they needed to take a break from exercise. Society doesn’t judge those who get cancer. Why do we not regard mental illness in the same manner? It’s really nonsensical to me. And furthermore, positive psychology should be taught alongside any other subject. We should promote positive thinking instead of perpetuating the culture of fear and anger that the media seems intent on spreading.”

You can learn more about Geena Davis’s Institute here: https://seejane.org/
Also, check out the trailer for Albion: The Enchanted Stallion, like the Facebook page, and go follow Castille on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date on her upcoming projects!
By Anna Tallarico

Chit Chatting with David A. R. White

Written by:  Jill Sheets

 

david 1Recently, I had an amazing time talking to Actor, producer writer and director David A. R. White.  A lot of you may know him form the movie’s “God’s Not Dead,” “Revelation Road,” “Marriage Retreat” or “Me Again.”  Continue to read on and learn more about David, Pureflix and about his new movie “Do You Believe.”

 

R:  Your new movie “Do You Believe” will be came out in theaters on March 20th.  Would you mind telling us a little bit about it?

D:  Sure.  We are excited about this film.  After “God’s Not Dead.” It was something to figure out, how do you follow that up?  For us, with “God’s Not Dead” we feel that we established the existence of God, of who he was and we wanted to take it to the next step which in the Christian faith is the cross.  The meaning of the cross, the power of the cross and what it means in today’s society and is it relevant in our lives? So that is kind of where “Do You Believe” can out.  We really hope that it has an impact.

 

R:  You have an amazing cast in this movie.  Would you mind tell us a few of the names?

D:  Sure.  Cybill Shepherd, Lee Majors, Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino, Sean Astin, Brian Bosworth, Disney star Madison Pettis, one of my favorites, Andrea Logan White, my wife (laughs) and Delroy Lindo.  There are a lot of them (laughs).  Basically there are seven roles that kind of intertwine into each other’s lives.  But there are a lot of stars in this movie that is for sure.

 

david 2R:  What is it like working with your wife?

D:  It’s great!  It is an interesting thing working with your spouse because you know each other so well.  I think it is like an extension of marriage.  You try to serve that person in the work field. Obviously there can be some difficulties in that, but I really enjoy it.  Most importantly I know that she enjoys it, so you are happy if your spouse is doing what they love.

 

R:  This film features a diverse cast.  How is this relevant to the storyline and the same faith message of people with different walks of live?

D:  We wanted to get different types of individuals and also storylines.  So there are all of these storylines.  They all are broken people and in need of salvation and life, basically.  And so it is interesting how they all intertwine and they all come together at the end, but ultimately it is for that realization of the power of the cross in each and every one of their lives.

 

Do you BelieveR:  Why do you think faith films are popular at the moment?

D:  Well, everyone is asking me that question.  I don’t know that they are so popular.  I think that there is an audience for these types of films that has finally risen to the top sort of speak.  Last year was called the year of the Bible and a lot of Christian movies came out.  However, a lot of people did not go to them.  There were like 10 or 15 movies that came out last year, but only 3 or 4 of them that really garner the audience, so I think that the country is hungry for this type of content when they know it exists, but it also is serving the audience and serving the Church in what it needs and wants.  It is a very fine balance of trying to find that.  We’ve done a lot of movies over the year.  Some have done business and some haven’t done business.  For us it is about the message not necessarily the money that you make on it.  It is not about the income, but the impact that these films make.  That is the most important and ultimately the Lord said “you put my Word out there and my Word will not come back void.”  We are thankful that we get to use the power of film to impact people’s lives.

 

R: Tell us about Pure Flix.

D: Pure Flix was established by four of partners, Elizabeth Travis, Russell Wolfe, Michael Scott and myself at the end 2005.  There really hadn’t been a Christian film studio run by believers that was around very long.  There have been several that had popped up and gone away.  Our mission was really to uplift and inspire the human spirit.  To make films that bring people to a higher levels of insight to who God is and the purpose He has for their lives and do it on a consistent basis. Over the 9 years that we have been in business I think we have released somewhere around 100 films.  It was important for us to do this genre.  People wanted this content and we wanted to serve them by giving it to them on a consistent basis.

 

R:  Do you have an approximate time “Revelation Road 4” will be out?

D: (laughs) I don’t know that yet.  We have not shot it yet.  It is in development and I certainly love that series.  The “Black Rider” just came out recently and it was a lot of fun.  I hope I get to make another one and we have some really cool ideas for it if it comes to fruition.

 

God's Not DeadR:  What made you start to want to concentrate on writing, acting, directing, producing Christian base movies?

D:  I was acting and I had been on a television show and I had done different guest spots and TV shows. Quite frankly, my career started to slow.  At that time I had been doing Christian films for different ministries. They did kind-of the short ones that are like 30 minutes or 50 minutes films at that time and I felt like the Lord said “Do what you know,” and I had know the Christian market.  I grew up in it.  My father was a pastor.  I always had a passion for it and I was acting in them, so that kind of lead me to producing.  The Lord had blesses me with time and so I used that time.  Instead of just hanging out or setting around being frustrated about the fact that I was not getting auditions or doing enough movies to actually take the reigns in my hand.  I got together with a couple of actor buddies of mine, four of us and we made our first movie for $87,000.  We used a lot of our own funds, then we got some friends and family to help invest in the movie.  It was a movie called “The Moment After” and that movie went on to do (number wise) very well.  Sony just actually just picked it up a couple of years ago to repurpose it and to put it out again.  It has been interesting to see that little movie that on paper should have done very well especially at that price because we were new film makers and everything else.  We just started honing our skills on story and telling a better story, then also we love the fact that you could put the Word of God in there and have it transform people’s lives and be part of that.  That is why we never stopped doing it.

 

R:  It is not easy teenager, especially when you are Christian.  What advice would you give them in general?

D:  The advice that I would give them is that they already have everything they need.  They have it.  So often the world, when you are a teenager, you always question if you look right or you dressing right or you doing this right or are you speaking right or you are trying to be cool or you are trying to fit in.  The world will always tell you to go to something else or you a missing out because you are not drinking or you are not partying with your friends or everything else that the world will tell you. I know that I struggled with this a little bit later on is that sometimes when we are Christians we fill like misfits, when we are younger because the rest of the world.  We are different.  God has called us to be different because we have the knowledge of the truth, so that automatically alienates some people and then you start questioning and a lot of time when you have grown up in the church you question ‘do I believe what I believe” because of my parents or do I really believe what I believe.  I would encourage the kids just to know that you have it already.  You do not have to go outside into the world and look for this thing because automatically we have everything that we need through Jesus Christ.  We have purpose.  We have life.  We have meaning.  We have fulfillment.  If you just go into his Word and spend time in prayer that you will more and more will push in to that.  You will realize that the world is hungry for that.  They are searching and seeking that thing that you already have and you do not have to go and search for it and don’t believe lies that the world is coincidently saying ‘you are not enough’ and ‘you only believe that because of your family.’ That is what I try to put out there.  I went through that and I know a lot of people do.

 

R:  Where can people keep up to date on your work?

D: https://www.facebook.com/DavidARWhite

http://www.DavidARWhite.com/

https://twitter.com/davidarwhite

https://www.youtube.com/user/davidarwhite

http://pureflix.com/

https://www.facebook.com/PureFlix

https://twitter.com/Pure_Flix

http://www.pureflix.com/youtubechannel

 

R:  Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

D:  We appreciate so many people that came out when “God’s Not Dead.”  We are looking forward to rolling out that new film “Do You Believe.”  We believe that it will be just as much of a blessing as “God’s Not Dead” was for them.

 

R:  Thank you so much for the interview.  It was an honor.  Have a great day.

D:  You too.  Thank you.