‘Find out what your chocolate is’
Local Asbury teacher directs film about finding purpose in life
In his upcoming film, “Faith, Love and Chocolate,” local writer, director and producer Jeff Day explores a story similar to his own past.
Day, who is the director of theater and cinema performance at Asbury University, co-wrote the film with Tom Lockridge, his business partner at Lucky Day Studios. The film is being distributed by American Cinema International and will premiere in Lexington sometime in March. It will also be featured on Amazon.com.
Recently sold in Italy and Spain, Day said the film will likely be seen on TV there as well and is scheduled to be presented at the Berlin Film Market sometime in the near future.
“Faith, Love and Chocolate,” filmed in the summer of 2016, follows the lives of three best friends graduating from college and experiencing change.
“It started from a couple of students I had that were graduating,” Day said. “The film revolves around finding purpose in life.”
Day said the film focuses on one of the friends who loses her mother when she is very young. Upon graduating from college, her father gives her journals and a DVD which includes a message from her mother telling her daughter what is important in life. That message is to have faith in yourself and faith in God.
Day said he approached the film from the perspective of a parent. Born in Covington, Day moved to Tampa after his father passed away when he, too, was very young.
“I lost my father when I was 7, so that was an element I wanted to explore,” Day said. “It’s the idea of having that missing piece.”
Growing up, Day said he would watch other fathers play with their kids, and that was something he longed for and was his missing piece in life.
Day’s road to becoming a filmmaker started many years ago. After his father passed away, Day said he became an introvert, and besides playing baseball, he spent a lot of time by himself. That all changed when he was 15 and a friend of his mother’s took him to watch a theater production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
“I was mesmerized by it,” he said.
“I auditioned for the next play and it (acting) completely changed my life. God used it to open me up.”
Day returned home to attend Northern Kentucky University and later moved to California to act after he graduated. However, Day had a difficult time in California and stayed there for six years, mostly spending his time studying and taking classes. He said he learned a lot, but he desired to go back to school.
“I got tired of waiting to be called,” he said. “That ignited a passion to start writing my own stories. You can’t be afraid of trying things and you have to find that passion in life.”
This time, attending the University of Utah, Day earned a master’s degree in directing and returned home once again when he accepted a position at Asbury in the theater department.
Although “Faith, Love and Chocolate” is his latest film, Day has worked on several other projects. One is “Stolen Moments,” from 2005, which shows a kid who grew up without a father, much like Day himself. He said the film revolves around the character being stuck trying to figure out who he is in life.
“The film chronicles a college student and his friends as they help an Alzheimer’s patient cling to his fading memory by recreating the 1914 World Series,” Day said. “Through that experience, the patient was able to relive the event he participated in when he was younger.”
Another of Day’s films is “Blue Skies,” from 2014. This film centers around a man who is slowly going deaf. His wife has passed away and all she left for her husband was a recording of the song “Blue Skies.” Day said the man is stubborn and broken that he won’t be able to hear the music again with his poor hearing.
Currently, Day is working on a project titled “Joy Cart,” a film based on a true story of a child from Nicholasville who had six types of cancer, which eventually results in him losing a leg. The boy notices the children in the hospital where he stays are sad and he wants them to have hope. Day said, to help the children, he starts a toy drive for them.
“It was a blessing from God that he had the disease,” Day said. “Because he could give other people hope.”
And that’s exactly the theme Day likes to include in all his films, including “Faith, Love and Chocolate.” He said his films are always about finding hope.
“If you follow your passion. It’ll lead you to the life you should have. You have to have faith in yourself and faith in God. Find out what your chocolate is.”