Biola community attends sold-out RestoreNate documentary premier

Biola alumnus tells the story of Biola student Nathan Lewis and his family’s journey of finding faith and joy amidst trials.

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Haven Luper-Jasso//THE CHIMES

The Lewis family greeted attendees at the RestoreNate documentary premier.

Fashion Castillo-Delgadillo, Arts and Entertainment Editor

In February 2020, Biola freshman Nathan Lewis suffered a severe traumatic brain injury after a skateboarding accident off-campus in the surrounding La Mirada area. While Nathan is still recovering from his injury, his family’s story of faith continues to inspire many. Biola alumnus Josiah Daniel Solis reached out to the Lewis family and created a documentary based on the life of Nathan Lewis that premiered on Sept. 3rd. 

THE SHOWING

Biola students, close friends and other community members packed the auditorium, selling out the event a few days prior to the premier. Many could be seen surrounding the auditorium and inside greeting one another in anticipation for the event to begin. 

DJ Torbit, best friend of Nathan Lewis and current senior business administration major at Biola University, mentioned that he looked forward most to witnessing the support from people in the community that had built online throughout the pandemic. 

“I felt so fulfilled with love and support from all of these strangers,” Torbit said. “Just knowing that continues on, years later, is mind blowing.” 

Karen Corbett, producer of “A Brief Silence” and MC for the evening, began with a few words from Dan Lewis, Nate’s father. Dan greeted the audience with gratitude and excitement and emphasized his hopes for the evening. 

Dan stated that he hopes everyone will “see God’s story at work in [their] story” and “leave here knowing that God is at work.” 

Following this, the screening of a short seven-minute film, titled A Brief Silence, featured the story of a young boy learning about his mother’s terminal illness prior to leaving for college. Alumnus Josiah Daniel Solis wrote and directed the film as his Biola University senior thesis in hopes of shedding light on cancer battles among minority communities. 

Senior music major Hope Langston performed an acoustic rendition of her original song “Running” and recorded her own cover of the hymn “Be Thou My Vision” for use in the RestoreNate documentary. 

FOLLOW-UP

After the viewing of the touching documentary, the auditorium exploded with an uproar of applause as the film received a standing ovation. While the story of the Lewis family is not complete, they draw strength from God walking with them during trials and tribulations. 

In a post-documentary viewing Q&A, Solis said that he hopes to “tell more stories of perseverance and struggling well and what that means for the body of Christ.” Dan Lewis also highlighted the importance of finding joy in the midst of suffering and, “[hearing] the stories of the people who are in the middle of [trials] and don’t know what the end is going to look like.”

Torbit stated that he wants people to realize that, “God’s glory is very visible through [tragedy] and God is still working in lives beyond the Lewis’.” 

Correction: September 4, 2022

An earlier version of this article misstated the year Nate was injured. It was Feb. 2020, not 2021.

Correction: September 5, 2022

In an earlier version of this article, the name of the music major who recorded her own cover of “Be Thou My Vision” for use in the RestoreNate documentary was misspelled. She is Hope Langston, not Hope Langstone. 

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