Monday, August 22, 2016

Taking the Gospel to the Next Generation

As September begins (in Florida it’s the month our sense of humor about the heat runs out) I want to share about a couple unique short films we recently completed.

#1  A dystopian future, where several teenagers fight against the evil machinations of a despotic regime, in an effort to recover a computer file that will prove their history is not a random accident— pointing to Jesus Christ, the ultimate source for meaning and… whaaat? This isn’t your grandpa’s Jesus Film.

Several years ago our Film Production department began working on Archivo Cero (that’s “File Zero” for us English types), an animated multi-part adventure for Cru’s ministry in Spain. It’s designed to reach middle school/early high school kids who have little to no religious experience, with a story that introduces them to Jesus and points them to materials (like Bible studies) to help them grow in their understanding.

Since this kind of stuff takes a long time to finish, it was only this year that the voices were synced, and the materials ready to roll out. The English version was just completed and should be up on the Jesus Film Media app soon … several other languages are in the pipeline. 

We’re excited by the possibilities. We hear a lot about how science fiction can allude to spiritual truth. Now we have a property that does it directly

#2  Film Production recently completed “Theophilos,” a music video/Jesus Film mash-up. Instead of music, though, it features Spoken Word, an oral art that focuses on the aesthetics of word play with intonation and voice inflection. It is a “Catch all genre that includes any kind of poetry recited aloud…” (thanks, Wikipedia). Anyway, we got one of the top artists in the nation for this genre, Shawn Welcome, to do this film for us. It’s like a poem about Jesus, spoken to music.

We made it for young urban audiences and I’m excited at the possibilities. African Americans aren’t well-represented in mainstream American culture, and that’s sadly true of ministry as well. We’re trying to turn that around. “Theophilos” will also be on the Jesus Film Media app in the near future, so be looking for it.

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