For the First Time at Sundance: A Panel on Faith and Films

Posted on January 28, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Copyright 2014 Paramount
Copyright 2014 Paramount

The acclaimed Sundance Film Festival, where ground-breaking films and indie favorites often premiere, will have its first-ever panel discussion of faith and films this week. “Hollywood reflects society, society reflects Hollywood, and each needs the other,” Tim Gray, founder and president of Gray Media said of unprecedented panel discussion. “Years in the making, this conversation will challenge storytellers’ notions of faith in films and inspire filmmakers to next levels.”

Copyright 2014 Sony Pictures
Copyright 2014 Sony Pictures

On January 29, 2015, the 4 p.m. panel will open in a one-on-one with Devon Franklin, now president/CEO of Franklin Entertainment. At MGM and as SVP of Columbia Pictures, Franklin produced “Pursuit of Happyness,” “The Karate Kid 2,” “Heaven is for Real,” and “Annie.” He is the author of Produced by Faith: Enjoy Real Success without Losing Your True Self.  This will be followed by a panel moderated by Gray, featuring Franklin along with Adam Hastings, Pure Flix Entertainment director of marketing and operations, whose 2014 “God’s Not Dead” earned more than $60 million domestic box office; Bill Reeves, founder of Working Title Agency, behind faith-market groundbreakers “Fireproof,” “Courageous,” “Soul Surfer,” “Heaven is for Real” and more; and Julie Fairchild of Lovell-Fairchild Communications, whose film work ranges from “Fireproof” to “Get Low,” “20 Feet from Stardom.” and “Heaven is for Real.”

This is an important step forward, and I hope it becomes an annual tradition — and, unless they want to change the name to “Some Sects of Christianity and Films,” that future panels include a broader range of faith traditions.

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Spiritual films Understanding Media and Pop Culture

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