The harrowing tale of four recovering addicts seeking redemption for their crimes in the unforgiving heart of addiction country.


WATCH THE TRAILER

A CAPTIVATING TRUE STORY OF ADDICTION, LOSS, AND REDEMPTION

Wisconsin is the most addicted state in America. There’s no minimum drinking age. DUI offenders get a slap on the wrist – until tragedy strikes. Those who survive are branded as felons for the rest of their lives.

Church of Felons follows four recovering addicts in a rural Wisconsin church who agree to reveal hidden truths about their criminal pasts. When they speak the unspeakable, the shockwaves reverberate from their own families through the entire Polk County judicial system.

“…the path to hope is clearly lit by the makers of Church of Felons, who beg you to hear that ‘all is not lost.’” 

– The Amery Free Press

MEET THE FELONS

CHRIS LYMAN - Intoxicated & Blindsided

In 2009, Chris was drinking before his routine drive home, when a motorcyclist struck his car, then was hit head-on by an oncoming car, killing the motorcyclist instantly. Now Chris is coping with what happened, and would do anything to erase that day from history... and ensure it doesn't happen to anyone else.

"There's hope for me, and everyone else... in every situation."

DUSTIN WHEELER - On Fire

Dustin was a typical "bored Wisconsin teenager", who turned to alcohol-fueled violence for entertainment. He eventually went on a shooting spree and used a Bible as kindling to burn down a church. Can he find forgiveness after his life of crime?

"He told me, 'no matter what you do in this life, you can be redeemed.'"

BILL CHANTELOIS - Need For Speed

Though not convicted of a felony charge, Bill has physically lost more than perhaps anyone should. Snowmobiling on Wisconsin’s “Bar-Hop” Snowmobile trails at over 105 MPH led to a crash that took both of his legs, an eye, internal damage, and 45 days in a coma.

Now living with a daily reminder of what his addiction cost him, his goal in life is to convince others not to make the same mistakes.

"Everyone has a chance. You have until your last breath!"

BRIAN TAYLOR - Painstaking Loss

Brian was addicted to pain killers, and was charged with over 10 misdemeanor and felony counts after his life of addiction. Brian shared pain pills with a friend who subsequently fell asleep behind the wheel and drove under a school bus. The loss of a dear friend was only shadowed by years of struggles keeping jobs because of his record. Now, Brian is a Youth Pastor, and is on fire with sharing his story and keeping teens off the same path.

"I'm labeled as a felon. I can't run from it. But I found my hope and transformation."

MEET THE FILMMAKER

JORDAN MEDERICH - Director / Editor

Jordan began his filmmaking career in college, where he studied Theatre and Mass Communications at College of the Ozarks in Missouri. After working in production on hundreds of commercial and informational videos for several local and Fortune 500 companies, Jordan returned to his hometown of Osceola, Wisconsin… unprepared for the reality he’d find.

He discovered that drug and alcohol addiction was taking a shocking toll on his hometown, where his mother is a schoolteacher and his father the pastor of an evangelical church. Many of the victims of this addiction epidemic, Jordan learned, attended his father's church. As he became more and more outraged about the tragedy of addiction and the seeming indifference of the legal system, he knew that he needed to put his filmmaking skills to use to bring awareness and change.

Church of Felons is Jordan's first feature-length film. Since its completion in late 2016, thousands have attended sold-out screenings at film festivals, churches, and community centers, followed by emotional discussions about the addiction crisis. The majority of the film’s gross income founded the basis of a grassroots addiction recovery fund for Polk County residents. Jordan's goal is to change our country's unforgiving policies toward addiction and the addicted, believing that everyone deserves a second chance.

MIKE GIANNULIS - Executive Producer / Marketing Director

Mike Giannulis is an online marketing consultant from Trinity, FL. He graduated with a degree in Marketing Management from Western Governors University. He lost 255 pounds in 1 year as documented on ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss. He’s taken several companies from 0 to 7 figures with his insights. With business savvy, ninja marketing moves, and powerful persuasion skills, Mike looks forward to applying his marketing know-how to “Church Of Felons”.

J.J. KELLEY - Advising Producer / Distribution Director

J.J. Kelley is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and explorer focusing on wildlife conservation, exploration, and wildlife crime. He’s the 2014 recipient of the Blue Ocean Film Festival’s Best Short Film for GYRE, a National Geographic documentary he directed on the mounting tragedy of ocean trash killing wildlife. He’s also the winner of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival’s Best Conservation Film for Battle for the Elephants, a 1-hour NGTV-PBS special on brutal slaughter of African elephants for their tusks, fueled largely by China’s demand for ivory.

J.J. brings his expertise in Festival / Distribution Logistics from his years of experience producing films to the Church Of Felons Project.

Bring Church Of Felons To Your Community!

We're now open to church or community groups to host a Church Of Felons Screening Event in your hometown! Please contact us for more details.