Archive for the ‘Hallmark Hall of Fame’ Category

Front of the Class Will Air Two Times This Weekend

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Front of the Class will be on The Hallmark Movie Channel this weekend two different times.

Friday, March 29th at 6pm (EST)
Saturday, March 30th at noon (EST)

Check local listings to confirm.

Be sure to look for my cameo appearance with my wife right after the orchestra concert when I’m getting up from my seat and heading to the stage. You’ll see us in the background as some of the teachers in the room.

That scene took about 8 hours to film. It was a long day, but the director said, that was the one scene he had to get right to make the movie really be successful.

You be the judge! Did they get it right?
Enjoy watching Front of the Class! It’s my favorite movie of all time and I hope it will become your favorite too.


Click Here to buy Front of the Class Now!

Gotta Love Inspirational Stories: A Smile as Big as the Moon!

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Be sure to check out this Hallmark Hall of Fame movie: A Smile as Big as the Moon. It is based on the book by Mike Kersjes and it is a true story. Tom Rickman wrote the screen play. He is the same guy who wrote the screen play for my movie, Front of the Class.

This movie should be a reminder to all of us to never give up, follow our dreams, and always dare to go where others can’t even imagine.

Check out ABC on Sunday, January 29th, 9pm EST.

Check out some news stories at these three links:

Front of the Class Nominated for Movieguide Award

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009
Movieguide Awards 1

Movieguide Awards

Those Movies Nominated

The Movies Nominated

 Today I learned Front of the Class has been nominated by Movieguide Awards for their Faith and Freedom Award for movies that promote positive American values.  The award ceremony is in LA on Wednesday, February 11, 2009. 


This is a great honor to just be nominated along with other great movies like John Adams, The Christmas Choir, Hero Ships, and The Medal.  Due to the last minute announcement, I’m not sure if we will be able to attend the event.  Either way, just being named is unbelievable and to find out that we won would be even better. 


I’ve always known that my story would make a difference in the lives of others, but for the movie to be nominated for an award would be a great way to give credit to all those actors, actresses, directors, producers, etc and all those behind the scene people who worked so hard to make Front of the Class the first class movie it turned out to be. 


Thank you Hallmark Hall of Fame for once again believing in my story! And thank you to Movieguide and the selection committee for thinking so highly of my story and Front of the Class!

Click here to see pictures from the event: Dominic Scott Kay (pictured), Tom Rickman, Brent Shields, Andy Gottlieb, and Cameron Johann all in attendance repsenting Front of the Class.

We have officially learned that Front of the Class didn’t win the Faith and Freedom Award. That award was given to John Adams and The Medal. But we did win a special award which was not on the program for Outstanding Movie About a Disability. Members of the team got up to speak at the ceremony!

Front of the Class is a Hit on CBS as 12 Million Viewers Watch

Monday, December 8th, 2008

What an amazing 2 weeks I have just had. First we saw the movie at the Kansas City Premiere with the Hallmark Executives. Then we went to the LA Premiere with all the big name actors, writer’s guild members and Front of the Class team. Next was the Atlanta Premiere were we watched the movie with family, friends, and local actors. To top it off, I had a chance to see my movie, on my TV, in my lazy boy, in my jammies, in my own home like the rest of America saw it (with commercials).

I’m very proud of this movie. Jimmy Wolk and Dominic Scott Kay played me better than I play myself. Peter Werner (director) and the rest of his team put together one heck of a movie. Hallmark Hall of Fame is an amazing company and I could not ask for anything more. The 234th presentation of a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie was ten times better than I could have ever wanted.

The emails that have come POURING in is a sign of the impact this movie has made across our nation. The positive energy that came from the viewers is something I will forever cherish. The support of my friends and family is something I’ll savor. And the lessons we will all take away from Front of the Class shall be legendary.

Although some will say this is the end of an amazing experience, I believe this is the beginning of an incredible journey. My mission is to make a difference one day at a time. I hope that others will help me achieve this goal. With a positive attitude, a passion for life and never giving up…….we can all achieve our dreams like I have.

Thanks for tuning in to CBS to watch Front of the Class. The movie will be out on DVD in late January in Hallmark stores around the country. In the meantime, grab your book copy of Front of the Class now so you’ll have it around from many years to come.

Thanks for all the support and let’s continue the celebration.


P.S. Yes Nancy and I do love Milli Vanilli !!!!!

Front of the Class is now in Paperback- Buy Now!

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

I’m pleased to announce that Front of the Class is now available in paperback.  Thanks to St. Martin’s Griffin you’ll find Front of the Class in stores across America.  The release comes 2 weeks before the airing of Front of the Class as a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie on CBS on December 7th.  In the book you’ll find a new epilogue and a few more pictures.  Grab the book now as I hear it has a great ending.  It could be a great holiday gift for someone you know.

Click here to buy the book

I know my agent is still shopping around the book for other rights so if you’re interested, please contact her: Sharlene Martin, Martin Literary Management


Meet Helen Ingebritsen Who Plays Brad Cohen’s Mentor in Front of the Class

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

Let me introduce to you Helen Ingebritsen. Helen plays the role of Susan Scott in Front of the Class. Susan was my mentor when I first started teaching at Mountain View Elementary. Susan and I had a similar philosophy of education. We partnered up on a lot of projects to help make our lessons better for the kids. We took her experience and expertise with curriculum and my creativity and youth and put them together for a winning combination. She was a great mentor for me and we continue to keep in touch today.

Helen plays this role well. She was a delight to meet and I had a chance to see her act in just a few scenes. She had the look of a teacher and was very energetic about playing this role. I’m excited to see how things turn out. You’ll see in the movie that her support helps push me through my first year of teaching. Every first year teacher needs someone like Susan. I think you will enjoy her role in the film. Cheers

Meet Charlie Finn Who Plays Brad Cohen’s Roommate Jordan Hirschfield and Also See Our Apartment

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Charlie Finn plays the role of my roommate Jordan Hirschfield in the movie Front of the Class. When you start watching the movie, don’t get confused when you see Charlie’s character named “Ron.” At first the screen writer, Tom Rickman,” changed Jordan’s name to Ron because Ron was really a composite of a bunch of my friends. But as they edited the script, I noticed that almost all of the content about Jordan really was what happened with me and Jordan. By that time it was too late, and Ron was here to stay.
Jordan was my roommate for 4 years when we first moved to Atlanta. I imagine a number of my friends characters could have made it to the big screen, but they chose “Ron” because they really focus on 1996 when I first moved to Atlanta, struggled to find a job because I had Tourette Syndrome, and of course Jordan was my roommate at the time.
Charlie was a very nice guy. I didn’t have a chance to see him shoot any scenes, but we did get to meet after lunch one day. As you could imagine, the first thing I noticed about him was the Cubs hat, so I wasn’t very excited about that. I allowed him to keep the hat on for the picture because I’m a nice guy.
The other two pictures show our apartment. I will guarantee you that this is not what our apartment looked like. Our place was much messier. Just kidding. They built this apartment from scratch in a warehouse studio they were using in Shreveport, LA. I also took a picture of what you will see across the street from our apartment. It is a nice house with trees in the front yard, but in reality, it is a huge background shot which will hang from the studio so it looks like we actually had neighbors. Cheers

Meet Joe Chrest playing Brad Cohen’s principal how hired him, Jim Ovbey, in Front of the Class

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

This is Joe Chrest, playing the role of Jim Ovbey in Front of the Class. I had a chance to chat with Joe for a while and he was a very nice guy. He’s been in a lot of films, most recently in “The Secret Life of Bees” which is about the be released. And of course how appropriate that the real Jim is a bee lover and makes his own honey right outside his home.

I only had a chance to see a few scenes filmed with Joe but with what I saw, I was impressed.

The one picture you see was when Jim and Hilarie and the state observer come visit my classroom and see a spelling lesson I was teaching.
Jim and Hilarie gave me a chance to teach in their school as a 2nd grade teacher despite having Tourette Syndrome. 24 other administrators didn’t give me the chance to be a teacher. You’ll see some of my experiences with the interview process as well as the magic question Jim asked me during the interview! You won’t believe what he asked me. But you’ll have to watch the movie! No spoilers! Cheers

Front of the Class introduces Dianne Butler playing Brad Cohen’s assistant principal, Hilarie

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Meet Dianne Butler, playing the role of assistant principal to Brad Cohen in Front of the Class. Hilaie Straka is the AP who finally hired me on my 25th interview. Dianne was a very nice lady and did a good job acting as Hilarie. Of course, more make-up, more jewelry, a better wardrobe and a younger actress would have pleased Hilarie more, but life goes on.

Hilarie is now my current assistant principal again. It has been great to work for her in two different situations. Hilarie deserves a lot of credit, along with Jim Ovbey, my first principal, for giving me the opportunity to begin my teaching career. 13 years later I’m still teaching and I’m not sure where I would be if they didn’t give me a chance and believe in me. Thanks!

Meet Johnny, who is playing Brad Cohen’s brother Jeff as an adult!

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Believe it or not, we still haven’t figured out Johnny’s real last name. Johnny was one of the last actors hired on the set. He is a nice guy and Jeff and Johnny had a chance to hang out as we ate lunch together on the set and we went out to dinner one night. Johnny has a silly personality as during one scene at Thanksgiving dinner, he showed his creativity changing his motions each time he passed through the hallway. Most people didn’t notice but Jeff certainly did as he kept his eye on what Johnny was doing the entire time. You’ll see Jeff and Johnny in the pictures and you’ll also notice the Cohen Brothers. As if 2 Cohen boys weren’t bad enough, now you have a total of 6!

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"Brad Cohen is a walking billboard for the idea of living positively. He is like a cold drink on a hot day--refreshing, energizing, and likely to put a smile on your face."
Tim Shriver - Chairman of Special Olympics

"I have observed the magic of Brad Cohen in the classroom. He has turned Tourette Syndrome into an asset, and his life into inspiration."
Senator Johnny Isakson, Georgia

"Brad Cohen's story is a triumph of hope, determination, will and relentless good humor."
Peter J. Hollenbeck, Ph.D., Professor and
Associate Head of Biological Sciences,
Purdue University

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