According to Genesis, the first thing God did was to create. His ulimate creation was us, and he made us in his own likeness. This means we carry in within us the truth of what God is really like.
If we – the ones who acknowledge God as creator, really are made in his likeness then his creativity is at the heart of what he meant us to be.
Being creative like God doesn’t mean we have to make a new physical world – though we’ve acquired a frightening amount of God like powers in this direction. It means we have to create in his likeness – things, words, images, experiences that reveal what God is really like.
God, creation and creating movies
The creative arts give us, God’s people an opportunity – a responsibility even, to show what God is really like and how he meant us and his world to be.
Each new age brings new methods and new materials for showing creativity. The creative art that most defined the last century and looks set to dominate this was film and cinema.
Film and cinemas, and later TV, was the mass media entertainment of the last century. Through a resurgence of cinema, advances in TV and new interactive and portable devices, screen arts continue to dominate.
Movie media-moguls and motivation
From the beginning of moving pictures, faith motivated creatives saw the creative potential of film but couldn’t hope to compete with the production and distribution resources of the big studios.
The image and likeness of God was the image and likeness approved by the big studios and their big money backers. The Christian story they told was the ‘self authorised’ version; conventional, safe and in tune with what audiences expected.
There might be no questioning the craft of the big studio Bible epics, but whether or not their output was 'creative' will be a feature of film student dissertations for long time to come.
Faith based movie-making opens up
Twenty-first century technologies and internet distribution brought the cost of film making into the reach of anyone with the determination and talent to make to make it happen.
Faith based film makers are now taken seriously as a creative and economic force in the industry. Christian film festivals and competitions show case the best in established and new movie talent.
One of the most creative Christian film projects draws its inspiration from the Genesis account of the original creative act. The '168 Hour Film Project' allow faith based film makers the same time to make a film as God took to make the universe.
168 Film project: 7 days to make a movie
The 168 Hour Film Project is a worldwide competition for faith-based teams to make a short film in just 7 days. Each year’s films are screened at the annual 168 Film Festival.
The challenge for the 2012 is to explore the importance of being faithful. Under the working title ‘Promises, Promises’ films will show how God's promises are a testimony of his love and how love prioritizes the actions of his people… and what happens when it doesn’t.
Armed with only a theme (‘Second Chances’ in 2011 and ‘Hearing God' in 2010), a verse from the Bible and 168 hours, amateur, independent film makers even on the smallest scale compete for up to $10,000, media exposure and access the industry’s top facillitors.
Faith movie festivals drive excellence
With affordable technology, social network distribution and prestigious festivals faith based film has never been better placed to show creativity in the image and likeness of God.
Festivals like the 168 project raise the profile of faith based film makers within the movie industry. Winners of the 168 Festival include York based UK Christian company 'Riding Lights Theatre Company'.
On the theme of ‘Family Business’ and the Bible text Matthew 3:21 “You are my son, …with you I am well pleased,” Riding Light's 7 minute film took best international film, best script, best supporting actress and best ‘making of…’ documentary for their 2009 entry ‘Unscripted’.
Christian film festivals in the UK
Screened in Motherwell in 2006, 'Reel to Real', the UK’s first Christian Film Festival and featured a visit from the famous VeggieTales characters. This year’s UK Christian Film Festival is supported by the Jaffa Entertainment Group of Watford.
Formerly 'The London International Christian Film Festival', the November festival will hand out awards for best feature, best short, documentary, audience choice, actor and actress.
Quick Guide to Christian Film Festivals
What are they?
- Show cases to encourage movie excellence in exploring Christian themes.
- Industry and audience exposure for Christians in film and visual creative media.
- Opportunity for public and professionals to interact and influence faith based film.
What will they do for me?
- Provide incentives toward movies with a fresh, creative take on Christian themes.
- Encourage more and betterfilms exploring man and God throughthe visual arts.
- Develop entertaining and enlightening movies taking Christ to a secular world.
Over to You
At Eden.co.uk you can find a truly interactive Christian community helping you find all you need to live, learn and grow your faith.
- Have you seen a life changing faith-based movie?
- What subjects and issues would like to see made into movies by Christian film makers?
Tell us. Post your ideas, views and tips – beautiful, bizarre and brilliant at Eden.co.uk
March 6th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison