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Duggar family participates in Sherwood film

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- For those that regularly watch TLC, there will be some familiar faces in Sherwood Pictures' current project.

The Duggar family from "19 Kids and Counting" was in Albany Tuesday participating in the filming of "Courageous," a movie meant to portray the importance of fatherhood.

While in the Albany area, the Duggars were hosted by the church congregation within their own homes and taken to places in town such as Riverfront Bar-B-Q.

"We've gotten to meet a lot of the cast and crew," said Joshua Duggar, the oldest son in the family. "We are real excited about the film.

"We can already see the impact it will have. It encompasses a large spectrum."

The Duggars got involved with the Sherwood project after coming in contact with Alex and Stephen Kendrick, namely through a film festival that took place in Texas two years ago. They have also since met Kirk Cameron, the star of "Fireproof."

"What they do with their movies is what we do with our show," the eldest son said. "We have the same goal and serve the same God. He enables us to do things. Wherever we are placed, we fulfill the gospel.

All but a few of the Duggars were in town for filming. The family was scheduled to leave Albany Tuesday night for another engagement in Atlanta.

The project is Sherwood's fourth film venture, most recently preceded by "Fireproof" in 2008. It began filming earlier this year, and officials are anticipating a release date of 2011.

On Tuesday, a funeral scene was shot at Sherwood Baptist Church. Later in the day, a father-son 5K race was staged on Third Avenue. The film crew has also recently been seen at the Dougherty County Jail.

"We're very thrilled with the footage, our locations have been excellent and our acting has gone to another level," said Stephen Kendrick, the movie's producer. "Even with the rough edits of footage, people have been laughing and crying."

"Fireproof" has a DVD presence in 75 countries. A group of 10 churches as well as various community leaders, including county commissioners and law enforcement agencies, have also been supportive, the producer said.

"We already have a fan base in place," Kendrick said.

Also in town Tuesday was Meyer Gottlieb, president of Samuel Goldwyn Films, to get a feel for how the film is progressing.

"It's very inspirational and heartening to see this kind of production," he said from the set. "Here they are focusing on family, friends and fixing the world."

Having prayer sessions conducted throughout the production phases and the idea of taking a higher being into the process reflects on the overall end product, Gottlieb said.

"It reflects on performances; it's heartwarming and fulfilling," he said. "This picture is going to be marvelous."

Gottlieb's prediction of the film's overall success indicates that "Courageous" may be bigger than the first three films.

"It takes everyday issues and wraps them in a package that is entertaining," he said. "That is difficult to accomplish."

What is unique about this film, other than its focus on the faith industry, is the heart of the volunteers involved.

"They know that they are doing work that is important," Gottlieb said.