T.C. Johnstone is a multi-award winning documentary film director/producer.  He has produced and directed multiple features and short documentaries as well as narrative films including the award winning film “Rising From Ashes” executive produced by Oscar winning actor Forest Whitaker. The film won 19 film festivals, received US and international distribution and was a catalyst for the creation of the Rising From Ashes Foundation which continues to support the work of peace and second chances in Africa. He is currently working with Oscar award winning writer David Seilder on the script for the Hollywood narrative adaptation of Rising From Ashes which he has been contracted to direct via French Production Company Radar Films which is currently releasing “THE RACE” the life story of Jesse Owens. 

He is also the founder of the Gratis 7 Media Group Foundation which produces films designed to create measurable change in 5 specific areas; reconciliation, equipping servant leaders, assisting the poor, caring for the sick, and educating the next generation. Gratis 7 has produced 3 award winning documentary films as well as consulted on multiple films worldwide. 













Today’s media is filled with stories of America’s struggling education system. There is a consistent narrative about what is being done wrong—this is a story of how one school is doing it right..
“Teen Press” is a short documentary about one semester of the Santa Barbara Middle School Teen Press program. The film follows the selection process and initial training, as well as multiple interviews—with celebrities and unknown heroes alike—throughout the United States.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: teenpressthemovie.com


  • Heartland International Film Festival: AUDIENCE CHOICE
  • Virginia International Film Festival: AUDIENCE CHOICE
  • Santa Barbara Film Festival: Official Selection
  • Crested Butte Film Festival: Official Selection
  • Napa Valley International Film Festival: Official Selection
  • DOC NYC International Film Festival: Official Selection
  • Chargrin International Film Festival: Official Selection
  • Rhode Island Film Festival: Official Selection
  • St.Louis International Film Festival: Official Selection
  • Bend Film Festival: Official Selection
  • Orlando International Film Festival: Official Selection
  • Dam Shorts Film Festival: Official Selection
  • Boston International Kids Film Festival: Official Selection


“Rising from Ashes” is a feature length documentary about two worlds colliding when cycling legend Jock Boyer moves to Rwanda, Africa to help a group of struggling genocide survivors pursue their dream of a national team. As they set out against impossible odds both Jock and the team find new purpose as they rise from the ashes of their past.


The documentary feature film Rising From Ashes was created with a common goal, to tell a story of redemption, hope, and second chances. It was not about the bike, however, the bicycle became a tool that has changed a nation.

Rising From Ashes has been produced by two partnering non-profit organizations, Gratis 7 Media Group and Project Rwanda. Many have believed in the project over the past 6 years and have generously provided over $800,000 in funding. The film has been completely donor funded and we currently have no debt on the motion picture.

For more information visit:

Website: risingfromashesthemovie.com







Thirty-eight years ago, Ed Everett went to Mexico to help the poor. What began as a simple trip became a path to destiny as the young father of six seized a unique opportunity, one for which he was unusually suited. Hearing Everett is a story of faith, love, and adventure, of one man’s legacy and its lasting effect on thousands.

The Everett’s were an average American family in the 1960s, with a comfortable life in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Ed owned a successful neon-sign business, a Cadillac, and a brick house, and attended church every Sunday. The family seemed to be living the American dream, until a series of events altered their lives forever.

It began with their young son Luke’s debilitating illnesses—ones that resulted in the child’s major hearing loss and forced the family to learn sign language. It continued with a journey to a pastor’s conference in Florida, where Ed made a commitment to God’s plan. Ed’s calling finally came in Mexico, where he encountered a deaf shoeshine boy and realized a need he and his family could meet. Inspired, he returned stateside, sold his business and home, and moved his family in a converted school bus across America into Baja, Mexico, to the town of Ensenada, 70 miles south of the border.

Once the lives of Mexico’s deaf children intertwine with the Everett’s, the adventure truly begins. Over the next 38 years the story takes many twists and turns, from the heights of happiness to the depths of tragedy. It’s a story that delivers a message of hope, of overcoming obstacles, of realizing that the reward outweighs the cost. Hearing Everett was filmed in two countries, covering thousands of miles from the lush, green riverbanks of the South to the barren, dry desert of Mexico’s Baja peninsula. Its story is told through the eyes and memories of the hearing and the hearing-impaired. You will come away with a better understanding of how you, as an ordinary person, can accomplish the extraordinary, if you’re only willing to take that initial step of faith.

For more information visit hearingeverett.com


In 2009, T.C. began speaking at universities and colleges on his unique approach to creating movies with meaning. “There is more to filmmaking than just making money.”

In 2010, T.C. in partnership with Zacuto films, created a unique teaching tool called “BTS”. This 60 minute, 3 part series was developed to help the next generation of filmmakers engage their passion for story telling and produce movies with meaning. The series in conjuction with the “Rising From Ashes” feature film, and personalized workshops are currently being used in universities and film schools as a teaching curriculum for filmmakers. In 2012, T.C. and a group of award willing filmmakers will be hosting four, 3-day filmmakers workshops that will cover the ”how” and”why” of the “films with purpose” model.



SXSW Film Festival; Austin, Texas

University of Arkansas

Crested Butte Film Festival; Crested Butte Colorado

GAP Film Festival; Austin, Texas

Napa Valley, CA 1400 students in 8 high schools

Goldman Sachs; London England

UNESCO; Paris France

United Nations: New York City

Universities and Colleges

Montreat College; Asheville North Carolina

Carson Newman College; Jefferson City, Tennessee

For more information on workshops, consulting or speaking engagements, please contact info@gratis7productions.com


All topics are tailored to best suit your event and format, from preliminary sessions with screenings to all day workshops and classroom visits.

The power of storytelling to make a difference in the world.

The power of vision. Finding stories that matter.

How to find and use your passion and think beyond yourself.

The power of partnerships. Creating networks to accomplish your vision.

18 months with Rick Warren. 10 life lessons I learned from documenting Rick Warren.

Life stages of a filmmaker. The Business of independent filmmaking and how to thrive.

“Leaders are Learners”: The importance of personal and professional mentors. Fundraising: The difference between a donor, investor and friend. How to create a healthy financial model for your movie.

Profit vs Non-profit filmmaking. What we own is only on loan. Balancing your goals of money and meaning.

Technology and film.

International documentary filmmaking. What they don’t teach you in film school. Genocide Recovery: Rwanda and it’s future development.

Money matters: Goal setting and lifestyle management for staying financially healthy as a filmmaker.

Business basics: The ten commandments of building a successful production company.

Please email at "CONTACT" below.