Lifeway hosted the scheduled Nashville Faith in Film Breakfast Club meeting as a part of #NRB16 week. The speakers this month were filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick whose second film, “Facing the Giants,” gave them more public exposure when it unexpectedly landed in the Top 10 the week it opened. They shared stories, beginning with their early days of filmmaking, on to the increasing success with “Fireproof,” “Courageous,” and “War Room.” Each film they have made has reached out to a wider audience and even that first project, “Flywheel,” has sold more than a million copies to date.
Alex Kendrick remarked, “When we went to Sony to mention “War Room,” about a prayer room, they thought we were nuts. The major studios have never understood what we do, which is fine. We get hundreds of scripts a week, but if we’re going to be spending a year on a project, we want to make sure it’s where God is leading us. We can follow some idea that we really like, and God can say ‘that’s great, knock yourself out’ while He commissions someone else to do the film He wants to do.” Prayer is a key factor in choosing the movie’s theme and even the actors. We want to make sure by lots of prayer were doing the film he wants. “We have sometimes picked an actor that we like and who looks the part, then find out God is saying, ‘No, use this other person.’ In other words, ‘This is a Saul, here’s David.’”
Stephen Kendrick reiterated the importance of prayer surrounding all aspects of their films. “We spend enormous amounts of time in prayer. Often at 1:00, each day, we would have a teleconference specifically to pray together about our film.”
Back at the NRB Convention Center, the film, “The Young Messiah” was screened during the early evening, followed by a panel discussion that included Moderator Dr. Ted Baehr, MOVIEGUIDE®; Phil Cooke, Cooke Pictures; and Cyrus Nowrasteh, director of the film.
Nowrasteh shared, “This was based on an Anne Rice book. We wanted to focus on one year, since it was best for the narrative.” “The Young Messiah” is a fictional account of Jesus and His family as they take the dangerous journey from Egypt to Nazareth and on to Jerusalem.
Film professionals look forward to the annual Dessert Social sponsored by ICVM. After a couple of days of lectures, films, learning new things, pitching projects, and trying to absorb it all, attendees are ready for a bit of relaxation and restoration. Enjoying the sweet treats as they catch up with friends they only get to visit with at times like the NRB Convention, makes this a sweet time in more ways than one.