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'I Can Only Imagine:' Springboro producer's second movie hits theaters this month

Posted at 4:30 AM, Mar 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-02 07:04:27-05

SPRINGBORO, Ohio -- Joe Knopp has a couple movie posters hanging on the wall of his office. One of the films, "I Can Only Imagine," premieres in theaters this month. 

Knopp is a producer on the movie, which stars Dennis Quaid. It's about singer/songwriter Bart Millard, whose Christian group Mercy Me topped several charts with the song "I Can Only Imagine." The movie tells the story behind that song.

"I'm in this business because of the impact that stories can have," Knopp said. "We all have a story."

Knopp said Millard grew up in an abusive relationship with his dad, but he was able to use the pain. He said he could identify with the story because of his own childhood.

"I grew up with an abusive dad who left when I was 5 years old," Knopp said. "And our mom was not in a position to take care of us. So we kind of lived on the streets of Philadelphia for a couples years until we were placed into an orphanage there."

Knopp said he got into movies by helping out a friend. Now he finds himself on the red carpet.

"I Can Only Imagine" is Knopp's second movie. It hits theaters March 16. "Woodlawn" was his first, and he's working on others. 

He said he hopes one day he can film in the Tri-State.

"I would love to be able to be in our backyard and film here," he said. "It would be a lot of fun."