MICHIGAN CITY – "Pardoned By Grace" – a feature film based on the true story of prisoner-turned-preacher Scott Highberger – will begin production in late July in Northwest Indiana, where the story actually took place.

Graham Family Films is currently in pre-production on the film, which it bills as "the true story of a former prisoner who turned himself in and received an unlikely pardon.

"Scott Highberger’s story is raw and real and includes decades trapped in the system as a prisoner to drugs, alcohol, violence and incarceration," a statement from the Christian film company said. "His story takes you on a journey through how a man can go from 30 arrests, eight felony convictions, and five prison terms, to becoming a pastor..."

Highberger is understandably excited.

"It's amazing," he said. "We will have actors – actors that people will know – and a full cast and crew," he said. "It will be in theaters next spring and I will have a cameo as an inmate."

The executive producer will be Pastor Ben Graham, grandson of the late evangelist Billy Graham; and Joey Lawrence – "Hawaii Five-O," "Melissa & Joey," "Blossom" – will star in the lead role.

Kevan Otto, writer and director of numerous faith-based films, including "Question of Faith," will direct the film; and Brian Shanley – cinematographer for several major films, including "God's Not Dead," "The Case for Christ," and "Do You Believe?" – will be director of photography.

Michigan City residents will also have a chance to be part of the movie.

"For a movie like this to happen, we are relying on the support of the community, hundreds of volunteers and strategic partnerships to make it work," the producers say.

Opportunities to financially support production, or be part of the film crew are now open, as well as the chance to be in the movie as an extra or even an actor/actress.

Open auditions will be conducted Monday, July 8, from 1-9 p.m. at Road To Life Church on CR-450N, just west of Johnson Road in Michigan City.

Filming is scheduled for July 21-Aug. 5 around Michigan City, as well as Chesterton, Valparaiso and Portage.

• To be a volunteer extra, visit docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe1AhvGDBMx0DF02UM3FOrjFMFmnk57tj-lImkeiF7-llRjew/viewform

• To work on the crew, send resumes to pardonedbygracemovie@gmail.com

• For acting work, apply via actorsaccess.com

• To become a supporter, go to gofundme.com/pardonedbygrace

• For more info on the film, visit pardonedbygracemovie.com or facebook.com/pardonedbygracemovie/

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