Recently, I attended the International Christian Film and Music Festival in Orlando. I made the trip because my script, A Lady in Defiance, was chosen as one of the Official Selections. That was quite the honor, considering it was the first script I ever wrote. I came away from the event with some thoughts I'd like to share with you.
1. I met some of the most amazing, on-fire-for-God brothers and sisters in Christ. They are intent on making God-honoring films that will impact the world with the Gospel. Their hearts really are in the right place and I expect to see some great things happening in the world of faith films. Keep your eyes open!
2. I learned a new term: faith adjacent. A "Christian" movie is either faith-filled or faith-adjacent. Faith-filled means you will see somewhere in the movie a clear and unabashed presentation of the Gospel. Faith-adjacent more or less means the movie has a Jesus worldview, but the Gospel won't be presented straight-up. And I do believe there is a place in this world for both. Sometimes an uplifting and encouraging movie is the "write" way to present a story.
3. I think actors are weird.
Okay, I can't leave it there. Yeah, they're kind of weird but in an endearing, courageous way. I sat in on some auditions as research. I was inspired by the actors' fearlessness and, in most cases, outrageous talent. Though, if I had to sit in a room and watch actress after actress after actress pretend-sob her way through her monologue, I would wind up banging my head on the desk. Casting directors have a tough job.
4. Like in the indy publishing world, technology is allowing an explosion of high-quality independent films to get made. I saw some amazing films full of inspiration and Jesus and made on shoe-string budgets. I think this is a great thing for the Gospel!
5. The industry as a whole knows what Christians are up against in this world, as far as the persecution and ostracization coming our way. They know it and most of them are charging headlong into the battle to get the Gospel out there while we still can.
On a related note, Kevin Sorbo is fearless with his opinions and belief in the black-and-white soundness of the Bible. His conservative stance has cost him greatly. He admits that but he also he admits he won't back down. I really enjoyed my conversations with him. The man don't play. He'll make movies as long as he can and defend the Gospel without apology.
6. I'm too chubby in the tummy for that purple dress. Back to the gym.
7. Praise God, several producers did ask to see my script for A Lady in Defiance. That is such a good thing. I'm telling you, one day you're going to see my town of Defiance and Naomi and Charles come to life!
So, below I've included some of the fun moments from the festival. If you ever get a chance to attend a film festival, you should go. It's pretty darn interesting. There were actor workshops, meet-and-greets, inglorious lunches anywhere you could find a seat, and smiles. Lots of smiles.