Bainbridge native gets worldwide recognition for new film

Published 4:09 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2019

It’s never too late to change your lifestyle.

Just ask Thomas Wade Jackson, a Bainbridge native who has transformed his and countless others’ views on faith through his new feature-length documentary, “A Prayer for Compassion”.

Jackson’s film explores the concept of compassion, how it informs the fundamental beliefs of Christianity and many other religions around the world and how people everywhere can show it every day. The making of the documentary took Jackson around the world to interview people of a variety of faiths, ultimately asking the questions, “Can compassion grow to include all beings, and can people who identify as religious or spiritual come to embrace the call to include all human and nonhuman beings in our circle of respect and caring and love?”

Email newsletter signup

For such a large project, it really had humble beginnings. It all started with Jackson’s newly born daughter in 2012, and a Netflix documentary called “Cowspiracy.” He came to the conclusion the planet’s resources were dwindling more and more every day, and his daughter and future generations wouldn’t inherit the same Earth.

“Now this really troubled me,” said Jackson. “I grew up in Bainbridge, and went to West Street Baptist Church. I still am very spiritual. I pray and meditate regularly, and whenever something troubles me, I pray and ask what can I do. I got the idea to make this film.”

Jackson has a master’s degree from Florida State’s College of Motion Picture Arts. He won awards for his student thesis film, and has worked on countless other film projects over the years. He knew how to make a film. But starting one from the ground up was another beast.

A contact he had made while living in New York City, author and educator Victoria Moran, was at the top of his list of people to call. Jackson simply asked for contacts. Before long, he was immersed in the project and traveling around the world.

The film follows Jackson on a quest across America, to Morocco for the UN World Climate

Conference, and throughout the Indian subcontinent, using all the skills and talent he had developed up to that point in his career.

“I took everything I learned,” said Jackson. “All the jobs I did in 20 years, I thought I did it to survive, but they all informed this.”

The film premiered in New York City in March, and has since won the Compassion Award at the Cinema Verde International Film Festival and has been selected to show at three more film festivals: The Fort Myers Film Fest, New Haven International Film Festival and the Brave Maker Film Festival in San Francisco.

On May 16, “A Prayer for Compassion” will show at the CMX in Tallahassee at 6:30 p.m. For Jackson, this is the most important showing yet.

“This is the one I’m most nervous about and excited about,” said Jackson.

He hopes people in Bainbridge will attend. Tickets for the Tallahassee premier can be purchased online at