We've been closely following and informing you about the 2015 Midwest Christian Filmmakers Academy. Well, the time has come, and early registration is now open! This academy is taking place from July 20th to the 24th, 2015, and is located at the Pens & Needles Lakeside Lodge in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.
Click here to watch the 2015 trailer!
Registration is now open, and if you sign up before May 30th, you can get an early-bird discount. This looks like an exciting and engaging conference that is sure to help and inspire any young person trying to find a place in the filmmaking industry. You can find out more information on their website at www.mwcfa.org. Be sure to stay tuned as we keep up with the latest on this academy!
We've mentioned the Genesis in 3D Movie before and we've been eagerly tracking their progress. If you haven't heard of the Genesis movie, they are attempting to tell the story of the 6 days of creation in a feature-length CGI animation.
Recently, they took the progress they had made on their movie to Answers in Genesis and sat down with them to discuss what they thought of it. You can check out their video update on their Facebook page at this link here.
It's exciting to see that a lot of progress is being made and that they're open to constructive criticism. You can definitely tell that they're invested in this project and want to make sure it's done right! The synopsis for this movie reads:
"We all know the power of a good story communicated in a good film. GENESIS is the beginning of the Greatest Story Ever Told, so we need to communicate it in a Great Film! GENESIS will depict the first three chapters of GENESIS (from God's creation to man's fall) in a very literal, accurate, even emotional way. Just to ensure that this film really reaches out and grabs you, it will also be created in 3D!"
They are also asking for people to be prayer warriors about this film. Their goal is to get as many people as possible praying about this movie. If you want to support them by praying for this movie, you can find out more details here. Be sure to keep checking back as we let you know when this movie releases!
If you haven't checked out our New Movies section in the past couple of days, you may have missed a couple of new movies we posted about recently. So, read on to catch up on the latest news!
This movie is being produced by Fred and Sharon Wilharm, the creators of The Good Book, and is expected to release in February of 2016. The synopsis says:
"Rachel and Mitchell both grow up in the small town of Providence, Tennessee. Their paths keep crossing and at one point it looks like they'll finally get together. But the opportunity slips away and they go their separate ways. It takes a tragedy many years later before they're reunited. This time will they let the moment pass or will they take a step of faith and trust God to work a miracle in their lives?"
Another sports movie, Shake Off the World is being produced by Avondale Pictures. It is expected to release sometime later in 2015. The synopsis says:
"The film revolves around Austin, a rising high school football star, who has his life all mapped out, until his coach makes a decision that forces Austin to change the course of his life. Austin finds himself in a new home, a new school, with a new set of friends and a whole bunch of problems. Just when it seems the world has Austin down for the count, he gets up, shakes off the world, and forever changes his destiny…"
A new film was released last week, Refuge from the Storm! This new movie, produced by Vista Films International was released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 10th. The synopsis reads:
"A True-life story of the complete deliverance from life's battles. Linda (Kristen Quintrall) the daughter of a wealthy family is left broken by spiritual forces beyond her control. While working at a night club Linda meets Steve (Michael Madsen), an aspiring writer, who in his search for the "Meaning of Life", gets pulled into a world of drugs and spiritual darkness propagated by Katrine (Jane Santos), the nightclub owner.
Linda begins to see beyond Katrine's world, with the knowledge she receives from a total stranger. With a fearless attitude she conquers the darkness in her own life, and unknowingly changes the course of many lives along the way.
A fearless spiritual awakening that shows forth the goodness of God in a dark and perverse world."
If you've seen this movie or are planning on seeing it, let us know your thoughts in the comments below! Also, be sure to check back in a few weeks as we'll be reviewing this film on the next episode of the podcast!
Yes, we do love Kickstarter campaigns! Today, we wanted to spotlight a short animated film currently attempting to be funded on Kickstarter, DisChord! Produced by Erin Heatherman and Burnt Bridge Films, they are looking to make an animated faith-based short film. The synopsis and video are below:
Our setting: a Central Park-like park--it is a beautiful summer morning. People are walking about, old men are playing chess, and a painter works his canvas--it's the kind that spins, so he is twirling it about and you can't make out what he is painting. A man walks into the scene with a flute case. He sets up and begins playing. What a wonderful tune! He’s really good and naturally some people milling about stop to listen. One throws a coin into his case. Then another sound cues and the flutist sees a woman nearby playing an bucket, a hat out in front for tips. She is equally as talented and thus draws the attention from the flutist’s crowd—much to the flutist’s chagrin. The painter’s strokes become a bit faster. The sound of a trombone towers over the rest, ripping attention away once again. Coins in hat. The painter gets more and more animated as paint begins to fly. The three musicians each take short turns trying to draw the crowd, moving closer and closer to each other in the process, eyes bulging, faces blue from effort. A couple of people look at each other confusedly. The trombone player’s exhaust blows the sheet music from the flutist’s stand, which causes him to lose it and all three play all the more fiercely. They play over each other, creating quite a horrible sound. The people turn to move on when they see the painter furiously painting something--you still can't quiiite make it out. The three musicians are all in a tight circle as the clamor reaches a climax—then! Silence. The painter is done. The three musicians freeze and take full hold of the situation. The painter gives his canvas a 'wheel of fortune'like spin, and backs away. The crowd, including the musicians, walk up as the painting slows. The painter is no longer visible. The canvas comes to a stop, revealing a picture of the three musicians being robbed. The three quickly turn to see that they have indeed been robbed. Already a long way off, the painter taps his pants pocket and slips away. One defeated musician separates his buckets for the others to sit down next to them. They look miserable. Blackout.
After the credits: The three musicians on buckets begin to tap. They each tap and create a beat. They begin to jam and their smiles return.
This is definitely a fun project and it's neat to see a Christian animation project on Kickstarter! You can find out more about this project over on their Kickstarter page. They're still a ways from their $10,500 goal, but if we spread the word, anything can happen!
After almost a year, we're back with another written movie review! While we will continue reviewing movies every other week on our podcast, we will also be reviewing Christian films on our blog and on our Youtube channel.
When one thinks of silent films, they normally think back to the early 1900s, when movies were in black and white, had very grainy images, and the only concept of dialogue was slides with text interspersed throughout the film. However, in the late 20's and into the 30's as "talkies" or talking pictures became the newest and greatest form of visual entertainment, silent movies slowly faded away. With various exceptions like The Artist (2011), silent films are nearly non-existent in an age where big explosions, high-res graphics, and controversial language are the keys to selling tickets. What's even more rare than a silent film is silent Christian film. While the past few years have brought us a slew of new Christian media, few have dared tread into this difficult and seemingly obsolete area of filmmaking.
That's what make this film so unique.
The Good Book, released on February 2nd, goes off in a completely different direction than your average Christian film, attempting to tell a feature-length story completely without words. The whole film is accompanied solely by a musical score, not uttering a single word until a few testimonials during the credits.
First off, look at the pros of creating a silent film. Without having any dialogue, it negates the need for a lot of audio equipment. You don't need many of the traditional equipment pieces, such as a microphone, wind muff, boom pole, recorder, several cords, and so on. It takes a lot of different pieces to add sound to a film, both in production and post-production. Removing sound from your film makes it much more affordable and allows you to spend your budget on other places. Besides being cost-effective, it also transcends language barriers. While the majority of films need to be dubbed in other languages in order to reach an international audience, a silent film is understandable in any language. This way of breaking down a language barrier is also a wonderful ministry tool, as it really does work in almost any community, regardless of what language is spoken therein.
This film does an amazing job of utilizing these benefits, but unfortunately, it does also have a few problems. While a silent film may have worked for this particular story, acting in a silent film is exceedingly difficult. Actions in this movie had to be done very obviously in order to communicate what was transpiring in the film to the audience. Something as simple as a child sneaking out his bedroom, having his flashlight fail, and him resorting to a match and candle instead are all acted out very awkwardly and unrealistically. If it were acted out more realistically, however, the audience might have missed out on what was happening in front of them.
This was my main complaint with the film. While I was excited to see something different from a Christian film, I was a little disappointed to see how it was executed. What sounded like a great idea on paper did not translate very well into a finished product. The story is very simple and one-dimensional and the lack of dialogue didn't allow for very much depth or substance. The story also plays out in a serial-like timeline, focusing on one story for 10 minutes, then moving on to a completely different story for the next ten minutes. Rather than having the same characters throughout the entire movie, we were introduced to a completely new cast of characters every 10 minutes or so. This was rather jarring and kept me from getting very attached to any one character.
I want to be clear and say now that I don't disagree with the content of the film. I do believe that the Bible is powerful and very moving. I've seen God's Word impact many lives in my own experience and I strongly believe that it is 100% valid and the true Word of God. I was glad to see that this film had respect for the Bible and it was good to see it get some well-earned respect and praise.
While this movie may not have been the highest quality or told the most compelling story, I do commend the producers for trying to do something that has never been done before. As I mentioned above, I think it's amazing that they're trying to transcend the language barrier and make a film that is easily accessible to anyone from any background. There were some genuine moments and I did enjoy watching it. If you are tired of the "Christian film formula" and want to check out something a little bit different, I would wholeheartedly recommend The Good Book.
It's almost Friday! You know what that means -- time to plan a movie night! If you're looking for a movie to watch for a fun Friday evening, you may want to check out the recently released Pure Flix film, Mission Air. The synopsis reads:
"Doctor and pilot, Diane Ireland (Gigi Rice), is the cornerstone of Mission Air, traveling across the Texas/Mexico border helping those in need, while also telling them about a Healing that reaches far beyond what she can do as a medical professional. Usually a peaceful adventure, the most recent trip to Villa De Luz puts Diane and her son, Michael (Tom Maden), face to face with banditos in an altercation ending in gunfire. Soon, Diane and the entire Ireland family find themselves unexpectedly teamed together against the Mexican cartel in a fight to protect their mission... and, their lives. Featuring a star-filled cast – Jamie Kennedy, Tom Arnold, Alexandria Deberry, Paul Rodriguez, Carey Scott – Mission Air is a modern day tale of faith and trust."
You can find out more about this movie on their website here. If you do happen to see this movie, be sure to come back and let us know what you thought in the comments below!
February 16, 2018 - Samson in Theaters March 16, 2018 - I Can Only Imagine in Theaters March 28, 2018 - Paul, Apostle of Christ in Theaters March 30, 2018 - God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness in Theaters March 30, 2018 - Mary Magdalene in Theaters