(CBS 11 News) A terrorist plot, a group of geniuses, and a deadline… if it sounds like the stuff of movies, it is. The brains behind “The Genius Club” are actually several north Texans.

It’s not your average day at the office for Jacob Bonnema. Jacob is part of a father-son duo, that’s thinking about the box office. Their movie, “The Genius Club” directed by Tim Chey opens September 15th.

“The movie is about, if you knew you had six hours to live, 27 minutes to live. What would be going through your mind?” said producer, Arch Bonnema.

Arch is the producer of the film, his son Jacob is one of the stars. Their day job is running Joshua Financial in Plano.

For the newcomers it was another big screen venture that showed them the way movies can move an audience and spark dialogue. For the Bonnema’s it was “The Passion of the Christ.”

“We went out and bought out 22 screens from Cinemark for opening day, for 6:30 in the morning, to have people come out and see it,” Arch said.

Then they read Tim Chey’s script of “The Genius Club.” It depicts a terrorist threat in Washington that brings together seven geniuses, with an apocalyptic mandate: to solve the world’s problems by morning.

“I think that this movie has tact, poise, and it has an intellectual battle that’s so exciting to watch,” Jacob said.

Actors Stephen Baldwin and Tom Sizemore agreed the script was good, and joined the cast.

“It’s got a message of hope, and it’s very intriguing, and engaging. It’s going to make you think,” Baldwin said.

The Bonnema’s shot the movie in three weeks in February, for less than 10 million dollars. So far, theatres across Texas and Oklahoma plan to show it.

For Arch Bonnema, it is a drastic departure from the world of corporate trusts, but this investment, he says, is a personal one. “I wanted a movie to make people think. Just to find out what really is important when it gets down to the end?”

CBS 11 News did a story on Arch Bonnema several weeks ago. It was about his trek to Iran to search for Noah’s Ark. Arch says his next film will be a documentary on that expedition.

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NEWS RELEASE (1.25.07):

The prestigious Washington, DC Independent Film Festival (DCIFF) is an award winning festival which showcases world premieres, award winning features, shorts, animation and documentaries by local, national and international filmmakers.

“We’re happy we were invited to a great film festival in the Nation’s capital,” says Tim Chey, the director of the closing night film, ‘The Genius Club’.

DCIFF is proud to present the 2007 finalists** (**films are subject to change) More information will be posted shortly :


1) The Genius Club, directed by Tim Chey (2006) World Premiere, U S A
2) Baby Blues, directed by (2006) World Premiere, U S A
3) Barrio Cuba, directed by Humberto Solas (2006) East Coast Premiere, Cuba
4) Disappearances, directed by Jay Craven (2006) World Premiere, U S A
5) Al Qarem, directed by Affandy Yacoob (2006) World Premiere, Afghanistan U S A
6) God in My Pocket, directed by Arnault Labaronne (2006) US Premiere, France
7) ntellectual Property, directed by Nick Peterson (2006) World Premiere, U S A
8 ) My Brother, directed by Anthony Lover (2006) World Premiere, U S A
9) One Buddha, directed by (2006) World Premiere, Argentina
10) Rain in the Mountains, directed by (2006) World Premiere, U S A

Here’s an interview with Paula Jai Parker, star of ‘The Genius Club’.

Paula Jai Parker’s character is Tatiana, a cancer research specialist, who is one of the seven geniuses.

The motion picture trailer for ‘The Genius Club’

Here’s an interview with Jack Scalia, star of ‘The Genius Club’.

Jack Scalia plays the President who has assembled 7 geniuses to try to solve the world’s problems in 1 night or Tom Sizemore’s terrorist will detonate a nuclear bomb.

Here’s an interview with Stephen Baldwin, star of ‘The Genius Club’.

Stephen Baldwin’s character is Rory, a pizza delivery guy with an IQ of 239.