As It Is in Heaven

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After the death of the Prophet, a man is called to lead his small religious sect as they anxiously await the end of the world they were promised. Director Joshua Overbay deftly leads audiences down a twisting path of passion and devotion, envy and manipulation in this sympathetic portrayal of a modern-day cult leader and his spiritual convictions. Devoted to a simple life of faith in unforgiving Kentucky backcountry, a small religious sect seeks spiritual awakening as their Prophet (John Lina) nears death and his son, Eamon (Luke Beavers), prepares to step forward as their new leader. But, in his last moments, the Prophet instead names newcomer David (Chris Nelson) as his spiritual successor.

    a cult approaches
    the end of the world

    Released February 3, 2015
    Join our Facebook release event

    high-res images

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    critic's pick!
    "cooks a surprising amount of tension from the barest minimum of ingredients."
    — new york times

    "a tantalizing experience . . . potent"

    "a disquieting film about testing faith"
    — chicago sun-times

    "the stakes are nothing less than the end of days. . . quietly compelling . . . ominous"
    — hollywood reporter

    "coolly mesmerizing . . . devastating . . . a tale of desperate waiting and longing"
    — seattle times

    "gracefully shot . . . suspenseful and engaging."
    — christianity today

    “absorbing . . . a very interesting and absorbing little movie, and I look forward to bigger things from Joshua Overbay.”
    — david sterritt, chair of the national society of film critics

    ". . . finds its creepy heart in the performance of Chris Nelson, who imbues his fledgling cult leader with deep spiritual feeling and a welcoming humility . . ."
    — the stranger (seattle)

    ". . . joins other recent cult studies in identifying the apocalyptic simmer that runs beneath current American culture. . ."
    — seattle weekly

    "has an Opie-gone-Jonestown look that gets freakier as the movie progresses . . .
    a quietly compelling study of the last days of a religious cult veering toward madness and murder"
    — nashville scene

    "takes [the] main character from the brilliance of enlightenment to the dark places where so many cult leaders end up"
    — the state (south carolina)

    "packs a surprising emotional wallop"
    — sunbreak (seattle)

    "captures a piece of the South without being disrespectful, inauthentic or dependent on cliches"
    — murfreesboro (tennessee) pulse

    "an eerie, quiet dread . . . hangs over the film [and] stays with the viewer"
    — the daily gamecock (south carolina)
  • We are live!

    Feb 04, 2015 / the team

    Hello everybody!

    We are live on digital networks across the U.S. and Canada. Joshua snapped the picture above from AT&T Uverse, and other friends have purchased from iTunesGoogle PlayVUDU, and other spots!  We're still rolling out onto Amazon and Sony Playstation, and some other networks, but we will be there soon.  Look here for all the places we are or will be.

    Whatever way you see, or saw, the film -- would you write a review for it at imdb and / or on itunes?  The more reviews from fans we have, the better ongoing placement we are likely to get.  We hope you will also post such a review to any of your own social media, and perhaps email an endorsement to your friends.

    Thanks again so much for your support!

    - team As It Is in Heaven

    p.s. Christianity Today re-posted their great coverage, which also could work as something to share to your social media if you're up for it.

    February 3 - watch AS IT IS IN HEAVEN anywhere in the U.S. and Canada

    Jan 20, 2015 / the team

    Dear Everybody - 

    We have amazing news.  Thanks to your help, on February 3, As It Is in Heaven can be seen in homes across the U.S. and Canada.

    From February 3, 2015, on dozens of cable and digital platforms across the United States and Canada, you can watch our movie. Watch through a direct download and stream at, on Apple TV and iTunes (pre-order now!), on Sony Playstation and Microsoft Xbox, and on cable suppliers including Dish Network, Cox, Charter, and many more (though unfortunately not Comcast or Time Warner).  DVDs also sell right now through the website of someone who has been helping us out; they should arrive in time for February 3.  

    On February 3, will you join us and watch the film, and then on February 4, post reviews on your own social media, on imdb, and in emails to some friends?  

    If so, please RSVP to our Facebook event, and invite more people to join us.

    • critic's pick! "cooks a surprising amount of tension from the barest minimum of ingredients." — new york times

    Those of you who requested DVDs as Kickstarter backers should receive before the street date.  Everyone else, look at our website right now to pick your outlet of choice, including if you want by pre-ordering on iTunes, a stream and download from our website, or a DVD (which if you order now should arrive in time).  If you are a subscriber to one of the cable networks listed, on the release date, you will look in the menus for new movies.  

    • "captures a piece of the South without being disrespectful, inauthentic or dependent on cliches"murfreesboro (tennessee) pulse

    Thank you so much for all your help this far.

    Join us for this last step.

    - Joshua, Isaac, Nathaniel, and the whole As It Is in Heaven team

    Home to Kentucky!

    Jul 26, 2014 / As It Is in Heaven

    As It Is in Heaven finally comes home to Kentucky this week and next!

    Catch us RIGHT NOW in Lexington at the Kentucky Theatre, and next week in Louisville at the Village 8.

    We're a New York Times Critic's Pick!

    Jul 11, 2014 / As It Is in Heaven

    Today As It Is in Heaven opens Chicago and New York City.

    We have some great reviews, but we need your help.  While the reviews will help, no review guarantees anyone will actually show up. 

    If you know people in Chicago and New York City, please--- and seriously, send them a message.  Make it a personal message about your relationship with the film, your interest in the film, and the link

    Now, some of the reviews:

    We're a critic's pick in the New York Times.

    The Chicago Sun-Times called us "a disquieting film about testing faith." gave us three stars and a very insightful review.

    Thank you for all the support along the way.  Next week we'll be in Seattle, and the week after that in both Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky.  More to come.

    Production Notes

    Jun 18, 2014 / As It Is in Heaven

    As we approach our release - starting in just a few weeks in New York City, Chicago, Seattle, and Lexington - we'll be sharing some tidbits about the film.  Here are some reflections from the filmmakers.

    Joshua Overbay
    Director's Statement 

    My feature film, As It Is in Heaven, takes a deeper look at the rise of a “cult” leader. While it’s easy to vilify these leaders, filtering him or her through the lens of such past events like Waco and Jonestown, I sought to create a sympathetic portrayal of this leader. Each of these leaders began somewhere—totally human and flawed like all of us. My hope is that by showing the protagonist’s humanity, viewers will recognize themselves in his journey. If my project, in even in the smallest way, enables understanding and empathy it will be a success.

    Ginny Lee Overbay
    Writer’s Statement 

    In writing As It Is in Heaven, I had two main goals: show the descent of a regular man into a cult leader, and let these people seem real to the audience. Religious fervor isn’t necessarily an easy thing to capture without going over the top, and it was vital to have this cult be as realistic as possible. If they were too “weird” the audience wouldn’t be able to connect, instead writing them off and not sympathizing. The same goes with the protagonist, David, who slowly comes into this madness of leading his cult until the day of the Lord’s return. If he’s too forceful at the beginning, if he’s too intense, it would be hard for the audience to understand how he could go so far. Examining the experiences I had had within a charismatic community, I was able to channel some of that intensity without pushing the audience away.

    Isaac Pletcher
    Director of Photography

    While shooting this movie, it was important that we combine the beauty and serenity of the natural surroundings with the dark, unknowable potential that simmers below the surface of the characters. Every visual choice is made to reflect this tension. We chose to shoot in Scope in order to isolate these moments of dark wonder and provide the viewer with a means to access them. In particular, we wanted to retain a timeless aesthetic and use lots of natural light and shadow - moving into a more sculpted and eerie look - that serves to bring peace and discomfort in turn. I’m very pleased with the result and hope that as you watch As It Is In Heaven, you will feel those touches and walk away with a true sense of having been in that world.

    Nathaniel Glass
    Producer's Statement 

    As It Is in Heaven was truly a project of passion. It began as a simple enough idea to make a feature with the resources we had at hand. At the time that was a school full of passionate film students and the school’s film equipment. We knew it was going to be tight all the way through. The students really stepped up and volunteered their time to make the movie, along with a group of local talented and passionate actors who brought the story to life. We filmed at breakneck speed, shooting the entire film in 17 days. The cast and crew basically lived in the house the film takes place in. With so much devotion and passion, we had a film in the can by the end of June 2012.

    The next couple years have been spent editing and traveling with the film through festivals. We are so excited to bring the finished product of so many creatives' diligent passion to you now.