The Awakening is a thought-provoking, fact-based drama and thriller that accurately portrays the challenges and obstacles young people face every day. In the fall of 1991, an inner city minister Clifford E. Turner, Ph.D., was inspired to use the media in reaching inner city youth in order to positively influence their lives. Dr. Turner was not new to media and filmmaking, in 1985 he founded HolyWood Studios, which produced Gospel Theatre inspirational drama presentations that aired every Saturday night. He wanted to produce a reality drama that addressed issues of inner city youth. Thus, The Awakening was born. It centers around Marquita Perry, an immature, smart-mouth teenager, growing up in the rough housing projects on the crime-ridden south side of Chicago. She and her friends find themselves encountering the hard and painful price of peer pressure, gang violence, drugs, sex, and homelessness.
The Awakening started as a mere two-part skit for television. The realness of the character portrayals led to an overwhelming response from the viewing audience. Calls and letters poured in by viewers asking for more. Dr. Turner obliged and the show ran seven seasons with over 150 episodes! The Awakening became the longest running Christian mini-series ever produced. During the height of The Awakening, it drew more viewers than the Arsenio Hall Show which aired in the same prime time slot in Chicago on Saturday nights. Not only was the show a ratings sweeper, The Awakening also won the 1991 Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement for Entertainment Programs for a Series by the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Dr. Turner and The Awakening also received three Angel Awards for Best Religious Series and Best Producer. An estimated 100 million people have seen and experienced The Awakening in the US and abroad. Viewing audiences spanned from New York to Los Angles and even Japan, and Israel.
Even though The Awakening left the airwaves, its message and purpose still rings in the ears of young people and adults all over the world. Dr. Turner continues to receive countless requests to bring this powerful series back. Plans are underway to launch The Rude Awakening, which confront controversial subject matters and relevant solutions in an entertaining and thought provoking manner. Look for this powerful movie coming to movie theaters soon!
The Awakening’s first season is now digitally re-mastered and available on HolyWood Studios DVD. The first season is comprised of five high-quality DVDs with special features, full screen presentation, director’s commentaries, cast interviews and much more! For information or to purchase your very own DVD collection of The Awakening, go to the HolyWood Studio’s online store.