Red Carpet Premiere Announced to Celebrate Digitization of World-famous ‘Joni’ Film.
Occasion will recognize how God has used Joni Eareckson Tada’s
50 years in a wheelchair and the ministry of Joni and Friends

Originally released in 1979 by Billy Graham’s Worldwide Pictures, “Joni” tells the story of a young Joni Eareckson Tada, injured in a diving accident at age 17, and her journey of faith as she came to understand how her quadriplegia could be used by God to draw others to Him. Subsequently translated into 15 languages and shown in countries around the world, “Joni” is about to receive new life as it is digitized and Premiered at a Red Carpet event at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, California, on Aug. 6, 2017 – just over 50 years since her accident.

The premier is part of a celebration of God’s faithfulness to Tada through 50 years in her wheelchair. Joni and Friends International Disability Center is partnering with the church to host the event.

“Doing the movie wasn’t the smooth, easy process I thought it would be, but I learned a lot, including that the closer I got to Jesus, the more I found out who I was supposed to be,” Tada said. “It had always been my prayer that as people witnessed the struggle of a young girl coming to terms with her hardships and gaining trust in God, hundreds of thousands would embrace Jesus Christ for the first time. I pray this digitized version of the film will have the same impact on a new generation.”

The evening will begin with an invitation-only reception before the film Premiere itself, which will begin around 6 p.m. All attendees will have the opportunity to walk the Red Carpet as they enter the church.

“We are so excited and humbled to be a part of this special screening, and the occasion to honor all that the Lord has done through Joni and the ministry of Joni and Friends, far and above the original film’s release,” said Calvary Community Church Senior Pastor Shawn Thornton.

Joni and Friends President and COO Doug Mazza clarified the reason for the festivities surrounding the digitized film’s Premiere:

“While most people wouldn’t celebrate their 50th anniversary in a wheelchair, we see this event as a true celebration of Joni’s life, and all that God has accomplished through her ministry because of her 50 years as a quadriplegic. So we thought this timing for the ‘Joni’ digitization and Red Carpet Premiere couldn’t be better, and we wanted to mark the occasion with fanfare as well as recognition for others who have been used by God in disability ministry, including our great friend Pastor Shawn Thornton.”

Joni and Friends contracted with Fotokem to complete the digitization, and has exclusive rights to show the film for one year, before Worldwide Pictures assumes distribution rights.

“We appreciate our friends at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for their cooperation on this project, and look forward to seeing how Joni’s story will be further used to reach people for Christ,” Mazza added. “I have seen some clips of the digitized film and it is beautiful; I pray even more people will be able to view the movie and be impacted by this new, enhanced version.”

For more than 38 years, Joni and Friends has worked to accelerate ministry to the disability community around the world, offering a wide array of life-affirming ministries, including the Christian Institute on Disability; Wheels for the World; international radio and television programs filled with inspirational stories; and Family Retreats, where families affected by disability learn they are not alone. For more information, please visit

A. Larry Ross Communications
Melany Ethridge

Note to Editors: For more information or to arrange an interview with Joni and Friends representatives, please contact:
Laura Brokke, Manager, Special Events , (818) 575-1775

A Spectacle of Glory – by Joni Eareckson Tada, with Larry Libby


God’s Light Shining through Me Every Day

You are unique, special and chosen. God created you to showcase His glory – and to show His love to everyone you meet each new day. After living as a quadriplegic for nearly half a century, and dealing with chronic pain daily, Joni knows from her own life’s experience how very important it is to glorify God in the toughest of circumstances. In this devotional, you will learn how to put God’s glory on display and live as a spectacle of His glory. You will find peace, joy, comfort and encouragement when you trust in Christ, who will lead and guide you every step of the way, every single day, all the days of your life. Your life is a stage set for you to glorify God. A Spectacle of Glory is breathtakingly beautiful and full of wonder, truth and honesty, signed with God’s wondrous heart of love and compassion. This devotional book is a rare jewel of a treasure to cherish every day for its limitless reservoir of divine wisdom. God will make you a spectacle of glory and a spectacle of grace.