While Americans are reportedly much happier on weekends when they aren’t working, if you love what you do for a living, you never have to work a day in your life. For Christian actor and filmmaker Kevin Downes, he believes that making film isn’t only his passion, but it’s his life purpose.
“I believe that God puts each and every one of us here for a specific purpose and reason,” Downes said.
Earlier this month, Downes spoke those words to King County residents as part of a celebration for National Prayer Day. During his speech, he urged the crowd to find their own purpose in life and not to stop until they realize it to its utmost potential.
“Certainly, back in 1994, God showed me what my purpose was,” Downes continued. “And that was to make films that glorify Him and glorify His name to people around the world.”
For the speech, hundreds of people gathered in Hanford Civic Auditorium.
Downes was born in Hanford himself and has worked on dozens of Christian films, some of which includes “Courageous,” and “Mercy Streets.”
When he made his first film, Downes told the audience that it came to be after making a pact with his friend and co-producer David White that they would make a film that would glorify God. At the time, neither of them knew much about the filmmaking process.
“We got together and we said, ‘We should write a script, but first we should pray that God will actually give us the wisdom to write a script,’” Downes said. “And we did that every single day.”
A great deal of work and only $80,000 later, the two finished “The Moment After,” a film so accidentally impactful that the film’s dialogue inspired a crew member to turn his life around.
Since the film was finished in 1998, it has been shown in more than 70 countries.
From there, Downes and White’s dreams only got bigger, as they hoped that Christian films would one day hit the Hollywood mainstream.
“It was a bit of a pipe dream back in the ’90s,” Downes said. “Yet, today you see Christian films dominating the box office.”
And indeed, his dream has come to life. “Woodlawn,” his most recent film, cost $13 million to produce and another $12 million to market, making it one of the most costly independent Christian films since “Passion of the Christ.”
The film tells the story of an Alabama high school football team, inspired by Christian doctrine in the face of racial tension.