Interview by Paul Salfen
From the Press Release:
LOS ANGELES – March 10, 2021 – Do you believe in miracles? Laurence Jaffe wants you to. Some might say he’s a miracle himself. All he’s done is produce his first feature film that will premiere in theaters nationwide Easter weekend.
By the way, Laurence Jaffe is 98!
So, how does a nonagenarian “newcomer” in Hollywood pull off a feature film that attracts actors like Oscar® winner Mira Sorvino, Emmy® winner Peter Coyote and Kevin Sorbo? After all, when Jaffe was a kid, movies were still silent.
From a young age, Jaffe always set the bar high for himself. When World War II broke out, he joined the Marine Corps “because I wanted to serve with the toughest and the best.” After the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Jaffe found himself stationed in Nagasaki for nine months helping medical units. After the war, he graduated from Dartmouth College and then received a master’s degree from Columbia University. Jaffe then launched a successful decades-long career in marketing during the “Mad Men” era. By his side through it all was his wife of 72 years, Hope, who passed away last October.
But why, when most people at his advanced age are ready to retire from their retirement, would Laurence Jaffe want to start a new career as a filmmaker? “I guess I’ve never been one to look back, only forward. That’s the secret to a full life.” Jaffe’s eternal optimism is evident in his film, THE GIRL WHO BELIEVES IN MIRACLES, about a young girl, Sara, who takes God at His word and prays for people in her small town to be healed. “Both young children and old people possess the same innocent and beautiful quality – they trust. I think that, after the year we’ve all endured, the world needs an uplifting movie like this to give us the capacity to trust once more.”
Jaffe hopes the film generates enough money to underwrite a major initiative to help the poor through a program he created to help disadvantaged kids in Gainesville, Florida. “My dream is to close the gap in income disparity that threatens the social fabric of our democracy,” he said. “That would truly be a miracle to me – and for so many others.”
As he approaches a century of living, might there be more films ahead for this now-veteran producer? “Absolutely,” says Jaffe, who will again bring his good humor to the next project. “The joke on the set was that Moses and I went to Hebrew school together,” he said. “I may not be a spring chicken, but I am still clucking.”
SYNOPSIS – THE GIRL WHO BELIEVES IN MIRACLES
When Sara hears a preacher say faith can move mountains, she starts praying. Suddenly people in her town are mysteriously healed! But fame soon takes its toll – can Sara’s family save her before it’s too late?
THE GIRL WHO BELIEVES IN MIRACLES stars Academy Award® winner Mira Sorvino (MIGHTY APHRODITE, DO YOU BELIEVE?) Austyn Johnson (THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, THE POST), Kevin Sorbo (LET THERE BE LIGHT, GOD’S NOT DEAD), and Emmy Award® winner Peter Coyote (E.T. THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL, A WALK TO REMEMBER)