Hello again! I worked on another film production last month (Surrender), so haven't kept up the ol' blog as closely as I'd thought I might so far this year.
I just got back from a well-known Christian film festival held in San Antonio, TX, where over 2000 people gathered to appreciate each other's months and years invested in stories they were inspired to bring to life on the screen, and forge or strengthen partnerships and teams for the next project down the road.
This particular festival has a specific and clearly expressed goal of publicly recognizing and honoring films that are excellent, meaningful, and affirming of Biblical values.
Our society has been deluged with a constant stream of media, to the point where many don't even pretend to be discerning in what they feed their minds, their souls on. Art and entertainment have never been neutral. Newscasters and filmmakers (the storytellers of our day) are not so much reflections, but rather shapers of culture around them, not only by the way they present their stories (based on fictional or real events), but more importantly by the sort of stories they choose to spend their finite time on this earth telling.
As the audience, we are also choosing who we will become both by how we ingest stories and simply which stories we take in. Last week at the festival I was greatly encouraged by the stories I saw being told. Stories that I believe will change lives, that will give people hope, and the courage to then participate in giving hope to others.
Two films I had a part in working on were screened: Indescribable and Alone Yet Not Alone. It was my first time seeing either one, which made it even more exciting. The two other films I had a chance to see (between hours upon hours of speaking with various filmmakers and attendees) were Return to the Hiding Place, which won Best Feature, and The Drop Box, a documentary which won two big awards: Sanctity of Life category winner, and the Grand Jubilee Prize for Best of Festival ($101,000).
I saw it at the Thursday showing, and in my opinion The Drop Box was well worthy of the win. (trailer: http://www.dropbox-movie.com/trailer.html) I haven't found it available for purchase anywhere yet, but when it is, I'm going to acquire a copy! If Return to the Hiding Place comes to a theater near you (next month or so?), I recommend it as well. The awards ceremony was fabulous, and the last portion was especially moving. Below is a video that will help give you a taste of it.
“I’d rather tell the plainest truth with $100,000 than the most sophisticated technological lie with $10 million or $100 million.”
The 22-year-old young man who made The Drop Box has a deep vision for producing media that will present Truth. Truth is not popular or politically correct, but it is powerful in the best of ways. We must study, prepare, work and pray to handle the Word of Truth honorably, in humility and reverence toward God, not mens' opinions.
Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
~ 2 Corinthians 4:1-2
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. ~ 2 Timothy 2:15
Stories matter, and they are worth telling well. Speaking of which, I'm actually heading out this week to go help on the script development team for another film. I'd very much appreciate your prayers for clarity, creativity, and wisdom as we work on characters, themes, plot arcs, and all the other strands that weave together to make a coherent and compelling narrative.
For now, I'll leave you with a favorite song: