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Live Not By Lies

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The battle for truth continues.

The survivors of Soviet Communism have a warning for us: The seeds of totalitarianism are sprouting in our society today. Live Not By Lies, based on the bestselling book of the same name, is a docuseries giving voice to the living survivors of the USSR and their fears about our future.


Many times when people hear the alarm, they dismiss it: “The Soviet dystopian nightmare will never happen here,” they say. But this is because they imagine “1984” by George Orwell: gulags, secret police and firing squads. What they fail to recognize is that soft-totalitarianism, the brand put forth in the classic novel “Brave New World,” is already prevalent today. It takes the form of smaller lies that we are forced to agree with in order to get along in mainstream society. It has even seeped into our churches and begun to erode our faith.

We believe this documentary is critically important for our times. With production underway, the filmmakers are eager to continue European production and deepen the level of access and storytelling to bring this important series to life.

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Production Update

With the resounding support of more than 1800 investors we have already raised nearly $900,000, assembled an incredible team, and commenced the first leg of production in Eastern Europe where we interviewed some of the most heroic people we’ve ever met. 

Our first stop was Prague, in the Czech Republic. It was in Prague that we talked to Kamila Bendova, a remarkable woman who, along with her late husband, refused to bend a knee to the godless Soviet regime and paid a dear price for their courage. It was by building and relying upon a tight-knit community of other courageous people she was able to survive - and even thrive while raising four children - during the years her husband spent in a Soviet prison.

From this apartment and the community the Bendas and other dissidents built, sprang forth the resistance movement that eventually toppled the Soviet leadership in Czechoslovakia. The future president, Vaclav Havel, and many other top government officials, met in this same apartment while they plotted their resistance and made plans to rebuild a new and better government. 

After a powerful experience in Prague, we then traveled to Bratislava, Slovakia, where we talked to even more unsung heroes of the anti-Communist resistance. We interviewed Jan Simulcik, Who took us to an underground bunker where he and other dissidents worked covertly to print and distribute contraband materials like bibles and prayer books. 

We visited the river where Slovak citizens tragically lost their lives attempting to cross the Iron Curtain for the freedom of the West.

We talked to many inspiring people during our travels and the trip was one of the most meaningful of our lives. We are so grateful for the financial support of more than our investors and the spiritual support of the people who prayed for us during our time abroad. But the work is not finished. The race is not yet won. The story is not yet told and we need your help to go back! 

We need to travel to Romania, to learn about Ceaușescu’s child gulags. We need to travel to Hungary. We need to go to Poland. We need to be in the same room and walk the same streets with more of the people who risked everything for their faith and freedom against the tyranny of communism. Additionally, there are stories we need to capture here in the United States. Ex-Pats who moved here to flee Communism. Journalists and thought leaders who are working to stem the tide of totalitarianism here in the West. The war for Truth has battlegrounds all over the planet today. 

Please join us in this important battle. Express your interest in the project. Tell your friends. The time to fight is now.


Get to know a few of the team members behind the project.

Isaiah Smallman


Isaiah is an accomplished producer, writer, and director with films that have played major festivals such as Sundance (Dayveon in 2017 and Never Goin Back in 2018), SXSW (Hunter Gatherer in 2016), Tribeca and Berlin and sold to distributors like Netflix, Amazon, and A24. In 2021, Isaiah sold Rollers, his first feature as a director, to Level 33 Entertainment. He is currently finishing post production on a feature documentary about his experiences growing up as a missionary kid in a struggling neighborhood of west Baltimore called Sandtown.

The Angel Studios Model

Nova Roma, Inc. (Live Not By Lies) plans to bring this series to life in a way that traditional Hollywood has never done before, utilizing the innovative model of Angel Studios. Angel Studios is a film and television studio platform that helps filmmakers come together with viewers to create high-quality TV and film without the Hollywood guesswork. How do they do that? Producers like us use the Angel Studios’ platform to pitch TV content to you, and then you—the audience—chooses which projects qualify to be potentially distributed by Angel Studios.

At Angel Studios, the approach to entertainment isn't just about crafting captivating stories; it's about something more profound—amplifying light. They define entertainment that amplifies light as entertainment that is true, honest, noble, just, authentic, lovely, admirable, and excellent. Through Angel Studios’ platform, thousands of fans choose which titles will be created, funded, and distributed. Angel Studios allows creators and audiences to form passionate communities around their creative projects, making the story behind the story as important as the final project itself.

*Investing involves a high degree of risk, including the possibility of the total loss of your investment. There is no guarantee of any return. You should consult with your advisors prior to making an investment decision.*

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