The highlight of Day 2 of the 2014 NRB Convention was the opening of the exhibition hall. They made quite a ceremony of the opening with a fully costumed bagpipe player walking in a processional fashion onto the floor. We decided this was a perfect spot to begin our interviews which included media guru Phil Cooke and his wife, Kathleen, of Ascend Women. They gave input on some of the upcoming faith-based film releases and gave perspectives on trends in Hollywood and the faith-based film industry.
We also interviewed Mark Cochran who wrote & directed the upcoming film, “First Do No Harm”. This is a short film dealing with the issue of abortion.
Multi award winning filmmaker, Gary Wheeler (“The List”, “Jimmy”) talked with CMC about “Mountain Top” and other films of his soon to release. We also talked with actor, Alec Rayme, who discussed his role in “Left Behind,” set to release in 2014. Alec related how he started out doing stunts, but has turned more to acting. He will be making his directing debut in 2014 with “Let’s Be Cops” which will also be released in 2014.
We also spoke with Rick Eldridge of ReelWorks Studios, known for “The Ultimate Gift” and now the follow up, which is also a prequel, “The Ultimate Life.” Dan Paris, a very passionate young producer who shot a documentary about the poverty in Africa called “What Matters Now”, is another I interviewed.
The ICVM (International Christian Visual Media) Catalyst Conference sponsors an ice cream social every year. This is the “go to” spot for hanging out with those in the film industry. Admittedly by this point in the night, I was just about too tired to speak coherently, but I had a great time nonetheless and hopefully everyone was forgiving.
One big event of the evening was a session with Ken Hamm of Answers In Genesis–this was open to the public. His recent Creation vs Evolution debate with Bill Nye–‘The Science Guy’ has been a world-wide topic of conversation. Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to enabling Christians to defend their faith and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively.
As usual, there are a variety of events to choose from but the evenings take a lighter note. For those who wanted to let their hair down, there was a family game night that featured audience participation games, like “Name That Tune.” I snuck in long enough to grab some popcorn (my all time favorite snack!)
I got a chance to spend a few minutes in the hymn sing with Joni Eareckson Tada. It was a moving, sweet experience. The song she sang, “Alone Yet Not Alone” (from the film “Alone Yet Not Alone”) has also been been the focus of a lot of attention when it was nominated for an Academy Award, only to have the nomination later revoked.
There was also an opportunity to see the advanced screening of the movie “Son of God”. This is the movie produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett…a very dramatic presentation. One of the perks of attending events like this is the opportunity to see films before they hit the screens. This one is going to be huge! It opens in theaters on February 28th and there are already many sold-out screenings.