In the months following Ringgold resident Katie Beth Carter's death due to a car accident, the outpouring of support was tremendous, said her father, Jason Carter. Now, a plan is in the works to immortalize Katie's story on the silver screen.
The 18-year-old was killed last September when a tractor-trailer struck her vehicle during her drive back to Jacksonville State University following the Labor Day holiday.
Following her death, Carter and his wife started Live and Love Ministries to honor their daughter, and the leadership class she was in at Heritage High School raised over $50,000 to build a school in Nicaragua in her name. Katie's ballet troupe, Scenic City Dance Company, also raised money in her honor last December to help fund seniors in the program so they could continue to dance after graduating. And Jon Graham, a minister and friend of the Carter family, is currently working on feature film production of Katie's life.
"The way we say it is, well, this doesn't take away our pain and doesn't make the bad days better, but we don't want this pain to be wasted," Carter said.
While Graham said he and co-producer Joshua Sims are still in the early funding portion of making the film a reality, he's excited for thepotential it has.
"I felt like it was a rich enough story that it lended itself clearly to a narrative feature film," said Graham.
The film, tentatively titled "Kind Katie," will try to highlight how the Carter family said Katie lived her life: with love and kindness for everyone she met.
"We hope the film can inspire and challenge others to live a life that is full of love for other people," said her father. "That's what Katie did."
Graham, who has over a decade of experience as a video producer for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, said his team will try to film as much of the movie as possible where Katie grew up in North Georgia. He said he's spoken with Heritage High School officials and that they were supportive and optimistic about making the film happen down the road.
Graham and Sims are currently soliciting investors to help them reach the $1.2 million target they've set to make the film what they want.
"It's extremely rewarding and humbling to see all that God has done in the last nine months as a result of Katie's life," Carter said. "If she were here, I don't think she'd get what the big deal is. She'd say she was nothing special and just living her life as she knew how."
For more information about the film, visit kindkatiemovie.com.