1. Religion & Spirituality
Mary Fairchild

Interview with Letters to God Co-Director Patrick Doughtie

By April 7, 2010

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Letters to God
It's rare to find a Christian film I can enthusiastically endorse, but I'm truly excited about Letters to God. In theaters nationwide on Friday, April 9, Letters to God will be the widest faith-based film release since The Passion of the Christ in 2004.

Letters to God is a refreshing change from the typically disappointing production quality of many Christian movies. Not only did the film makers strive for excellence, they managed to build a solid ministry framework into a work of entertainment. I encourage parents and families dealing with cancer, loss, life-threatening diseases, and any major crisis, to go see Letters to God. The story has a strong message of hope. It deals with real issues facing grieving families, and it shows a way to cope through the unbearably heartbreaking times in life. It also reminds families to keep on loving, laughing, and living with loved ones who are still alive.

When I attended an early screening of Letters to God, I was still grieving from a tremendous loss my family endured in 2009. I won't go into details, but in light of my personal heartache, Letters to God affected me deeply. I'm certain God wants to use this story to help broken people and hurting families find a path through loss to healing.

How does a parent cope with the loss of a child? How do families fight the frightening battle against cancer? Where do we find a way of hope through great sorrow and unimaginable pain? And how do you remember to love, and laugh, and live with the ones who are still living?

Tyler & Patrick Doughtie
Tyler Doughtie, pictured here with his father Patrick.
The co-writer of Letters to God knows the answers to these questions, because he has lived through it. Patrick Doughtie, the film's co-director and co-screenwriter, lost his son Tyler after a valiant fight against a rare and aggressive type of brain cancer.

Letters to God is based on the true story of Tyler Doughtie. Patrick says his son was his inspiration in life. After Tyler's death in 2005, as Patrick reflected on the boy's upbeat mindset and invincible spirit, God gave him the determination to go on living, loving, and believing. Two years later he wrote the screenplay to Letters to God.

Like Patrick, many of you know too well the pain of loss. Maybe you're struggling right now with a disease that is threatening the life of your child or another family member. I had the privilege of talking to Patrick through an email interview, and I believe you'll find tremendous comfort and courage as you read inspiring words from the father of the boy who gave life to this story.

I hope you'll go see the movie, too. Patrick wants readers to know that Letters to God isn't a sad movie about a child with cancer. "It's a celebration of life," he said, "and an uplifting and inspirational movie about hope and faith! I feel it has something to offer everyone, regardless of your faith or belief, because cancer doesn't care what you believe in or how much money you make. It'll come knocking at your door no matter who you are."

Interview with Patrick Doughtie, Co-Director of Letters to God

Letters to God Official Site
Patrick Doughtie's Website

Images Courtesy of Possibility Pictures and Patrick Doughtie

August 15, 2010 at 7:37 am
(1) Kevin Large says:

May P Tyler D. soul rest in perfect peace, I just watched the movie today and I don’t usually cry but, I couldn’t control my tears and my prayers to everyone going through any kind of cancer, and I hope GOD have mercy on us and give us the opportunity to cure this terrible thing.

May his soul rest in perfect place, I don’t know him but the movie explain the kind of kid he was, we love him but GOD love him more.


June 2, 2011 at 9:01 pm
(2) Tiana Quarles says:

I was scrolling down to find a good movie, and I believe in my heart, that God wanted to me watch this movie, I clicked and saw the preview and could help but to watch the full movie, such a beautiful movie, I’ve shed a couple well alot of tears while I was watching this movie, may GOD rest his beautiful soul.

June 2, 2011 at 9:05 pm
(3) Tiana Quarles says:

I meant “couldn’t help but to watch the full movie”

June 20, 2011 at 11:28 am
(4) Sasha H. says:

I was just scrolling through netflix to find a movie to watch. The cursor suddenly stopped andni looked at the cover and i knew this was the movie to watch. I shed tears, laughed and i also felt bad for the family. I have lost family members, very close neighbors and other loved ones. I had a friend in kindergarten battleing cancer. After a few months she was fine and now we are 13 and she hasnt had any complications. She is a cancer survivor! R.I.P. “Tyler” Doughtie

July 2, 2011 at 10:58 am
(5) Britani B says:

I forced my mom to watch this movie I had a great feeling about it. im only 13 but i cried it was so insparational to me and when I saw that it was a true story made me cry harder im sorry for the loss and it was a very gret movie may Patrick Tyler Doughtie rest in peace :)

December 16, 2011 at 5:07 am
(6) fisayo says:

I jst saw d movie yesterda and I cried sooo hard.tyler wuz really a warrior and he handpicked by God to help oders find him and hv faith n him.tank u Mr doughtie for sharing dis wiv d entire world.God bless u.and may tyler’s soul rest in perfect peace

December 21, 2011 at 4:49 am
(7) JseR says:

Thank you for this amazing movie. It touched my heart

January 6, 2012 at 2:36 am
(8) Richard Patterson says:

One of the most wonderful movies that I’ve seen lately. Tyler and other children like him battle deadly diseases. Tyler’s Faith was a comfort to him and an inspiration to so many others. I certainly pray that his story will continue to bring others closer to God and our Saviour, Jesus. Thanks to his father Patrick who has shared Tyler’s story with all of us.

To everyone who is battling an illness…

never surrender, never quit, never lose Hope, and ALWAYS keep the Faith <

March 23, 2012 at 12:09 am
(9) lekshmi says:

one of the best movies that i have ever seen. also a very good message to all who are suffering. may P Tyler D’s soul rest in peace.. he be with GOD…

December 27, 2012 at 6:04 pm
(10) BISHOP GEE says:

So touching, you know i can’t take Tyler of my mind, i keep on thinking about him and how a little child has to suffer so much pain and agony. His letters to God inspired me to do same. By God’s grace i intend to keep on writing letters to God. Rest in the Bosom of the Lord Tyler D.

December 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm
(11) BISHOP GEE says:

Tyler has been a source of inspiration to me;after watching the movie and reading about him, i can’t get him off my mind, you know i see a child though broken, down trodden,but still strong; strong in heart and in the lord. Rest in the bosom of the Lord Tyler D.

August 10, 2013 at 10:39 am
(12) Brittany says:

Such a good movie, Tyler was a special person sent specifically to teach people about God and faith – in my opinion! I’m a Christian too and my mom has terminal cancer – I cried a lot during this movie because it is very real, watching a loved one waste away is the worst thing to see-,however I have faith in the resurrection and that is what keeps me focused- this is not all there is too life- there’s much more! God bless the family Tyler left behind!

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