Knoxville serves as movie set for faith based movie

Artist and Director of the film, Matt Shapira, leaves his mark in Knoxville with elephant mural.
Artist and Director of the film, Matt Shapira, leaves his mark in Knoxville with elephant mural.
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 1:53 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -For weeks, artist and movie director Matt Shapira has been in Knoxville filming his upcoming movie ‘Nothing is Impossible.’

Shapira said the movie is a faith based movie about a man getting a second chance in life with the NBA. He’s been working on the film alongside actor David AR White, who is the star of the film.

“It’s a movie about inspiring people to always believe that despite things not working out as planned, there’s always a second chance of opportunity at a different stage in your life,” said Shapira.

Working behind the scenes on the movie, Alyse McCamish said the movie lives up to its name.

“At times it really did seem like this movie was going to be a little bit impossible, I think everybody felt that. We faced a lot of challenges, but it lived up to it’s name in the end and I think we have a really good film,” said McCamish.

Shapira said the movie was filmed all around Knoxville, including places like the Thompson-Boling Arena, and features Dolly Parton’s sister Stella Parton, Nadia Bjorlin from Days of our Lives, Steven Bauer from Ray Donovan and more.

“I think the locals will be like ' oh that’s there, that’s that statue,’ it looks beautiful, and like I said the number one character in the movie is Knoxville,” said Shapira.

Aside from filming the movie, Shapira left his mark in Knoxville with an elephant mural called “Bernadette, the Matriarch.” He said the mural is kind, strong, and welcoming.

The mural is painted on the rooftop of Bernadette’s Crystal Garden in Market Square.

“Like my films, art has been something very passionate for me since I was young. My mom and me used to paint as a kid,” shared Shapira.

The mural has a deeper meaning to Shapira, and he hopes it’s message will help create a conversation and raise awareness when it comes to elephant poaching.

“I’ve been fortunate because each place that I’ve done a movie, I leave a mural as a gift. The intention of my roaming elephant, which is the brand of the thing I created. We all roam like elephants in search of compassion and empathy. Elephants to me represent the meaning of love, and along the way I’ve worked with organizations and nonprofits to help them raise hundreds and thousands of dollars for the well-being and growth of calf elephants who have lost their mother to poaching,” said Shapira.

Known as ‘The Roaming Elephant’, Shapira said he’s painted 97 elephant murals around the world so far.

Shapira said ‘Nothing is Impossible’ will be released December 2021.

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