2008 Angel Film Awards Monaco International Film Festival angel awards



T. N. Mohan

When Love Steps In is a dramatic coming-of-age story with a “prodigal daughter” feel. There is also an element of romance.

Rachel Lutzer is a young rock singer on the downside of a successful, yet brief, career in the music industry. She has a faithful band, a fatherly road manager and a manager/boyfriend who finds out she is pregnant and promptly tells her she is on her own. Blossoming alcoholic, Rachel is faced with the end of her career, and a decision over a child. We see her rage build and see that there is much more behind it than the current situation.

Rachel leaves for a concert in her hometown. There, she will face her sister, Tammy Freeman, for the first time since Rachel stole from the family and ran away to pursue her career. Along the way home, she has flashbacks to a better, simpler time with her sister. She also carries the burden of losing her father while away, not daring to show her face at his funeral. The odds are stacked against a happy reunion.

Tammy Freeman is the responsible older sister. Married with a daughter who adores her famous Aunt, she is torn between an explosive confrontation and the chance at forgiveness her husband is pushing her toward. She bore the brunt of Rachel’s disappearance, taking care of their dying father, a well-known composer and college music instructor. Her bitterness made larger by the fact that he was so forgiving of his youngest.

Jason Lassitar is an old high-school acquaintance of Rachel’s who took lessons from her father, taking Irwin Lutzer’s teaching position after his battle with cancer. He eagerly awaits Rachel’s return. We see him waiting on her tour bus to pull in. Theirs is a light-hearted reunion, Jason providing comic relief in contrast to the tension.

Rachel’s close relationship with Billy, her road manager, gives us insight into her struggle in coming home. She is urged to meet with her sister. Meanwhile, Tammy’s husband Anthony, is leaning on her to visit Rachel.

A near disastrous meeting at Rachel’s hotel almost sends the singer running again. It does, however, lead to dreams of her childhood and a yearning she cannot understand. She accepts an invitation to visit Tammy in their father’s home. Memories flood as she sees items she pawned to get out of the small town. Her Aunt Mimi is a striking force for reconciliation between the sisters.

Rachel tries in her way to glaze over the years. Tammy is unyielding. Theirs is an uncomfortable situation. Rachel escapes to play her concert, confusion making all of her decisions harder. Jason is there, again, providing support, an opening for love and trust.

Next evening, Rachel and Jason have dinner with Tammy and family. Rachel finds herself invited to spend the night. The ensuing hours are hard on both sisters. Tammy flashes back to her father speaking of his love for Rachel, despite everything she has done. Rachel’s façade is cracking. The inevitable fight is an emotional glimpse into forgiveness, love, envy and loss.

Aunt Mimi and Rachel speak of things past, things to come. Rachel is encouraged to stay and have her child at “home.”

Jason and Rachel visit her father’s grave. Sees herself as she finds out about his death from the newspaper. Decides to stay, but needs to be up front with Jason. Tells Jason of her condition. He is accepting and the romance deepens.

Later, Tammy and Rachel reconcile. The young woman sees pieces of her life at home that she missed since she ran away. Shame is washed away by forgiveness and the promise of a renewed life. She decides to stay and open a new chapter with her family and Jason.

Angela E. Burchett has been a screenwriter for over ten years, writing both fiction and documentary films. In early 2001, after writing four features in different genres for the cable/DVD market, she partnered with filmmaker T.N. Mohan and began her foray into the fascinating world of documentaries. Awarded Telly and Omni awards for the stirring P.O.W. release documentary, �For One English Officer,� in 2003, she was recently honored with another Telly award for writing, �A Heart Set Free,� a biographical documentary of the poet, preacher, and hymnwriter Charles Wesley.

�When Love Steps In,� was written for L.I.F.E., Inc., and is slated for production in 2009.

Angela is also a playwright and librettist for the children�s musical, �Just So Stories.� She is completing a novel, �St. Charles and the Lake People,� and has begun a five book Christian fiction series, all of which will be adapted for the screen. She is a producer, writer, and president of Messenger Media, and will soon be directing. Messenger Media is co-producing with L.I.F.E., Inc. several projects, including a series on the Apostles� Creed, a series on Hymnody, and a film on the environment.

She lives on a mountain in north Alabama with her husband, two horses, two dogs, three cats, and her Harley Davidson motorcycle. In her spare time she does voice over talent, and has been known to act on screen and stage. She also teaches screenwriting classes at colleges and conferences throughout the Southeast. Angela is fully convinced that we can all write, produce, and give of ourselves for the message of non-violence, peace and the clear existence of hope.