Saturday, April 28, 2007

Christian Movies or Movie Christians?

The recent runaway success on Christian or 'faith' based movies like The Passion of the Christ and Facing the Giants has Hollywood turning their focus on 'Christian' movies.

Recently Christian movies makers and producers debated this at a Biola Media Conference. Jeffrey Overstreet reports on this in Christians as a 'Niche' Market.

Some of the suggestions are

The idea of marketing "faith-based" entertainment specifically to Christians has inspired a wave of new "niche market" ideas, many of which were discussed by conference guests. Some even spoke about the possibility of a new movie theater chain: separate cinemas for Christians, built within churches.

Wow. Talk about an idea brought too far. But apparently these are serious suggestions. There are still many unanswered questions.

Will "faith-based" film departments produce lights that shine in the darkness, or will they ultimately hide them under a bushel—being seen only by a Christian audience?

Will Christian movies establish a reputation for truth, courage, and uncompromising artistic standards? Or will they produce shoddy sermons, airbrush the reality of the Christian experience, and perhaps only pander to what audiences want to see?

Will faith-oriented films have a significant, lasting influence in Hollywood? Or will they be disposable, forgotten within ten years?

And what about success? What will Christian filmmakers do if they succeed the way Facing the Giants did, turning a $100,000 project into a $10 million box office surprise? Is financial success a sign of God's blessing, a sign of merely appealing to a niche market's wants, or a reflection of an audience that doesn't demand artistic excellence?

Many of these questions will only be answered through the successes, failures, and testimonies of those who blaze new trails for Christian media.

The Biola conference's theme this year was, "Gold Rush: Mining for Opportunity in the New Hollywood." Screenwriter Craig Detweiler, the conference host, summed it all up when he welcomed attendees with this question:

"Have we hit the mother lode, or will we fall for fool's gold?"

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home