I’m working on finishing the novelization of my screenplay Over-the-Rhine, a drama about addiction, death, and forgiveness (you can watch the trailer here). I’m striving to keep it real and honest, while wondering if Christian readers, like faith-based moviegoers, will find it too real (I’ll probably end up with a secular publisher). After the movie Over-the-Rhine’s premiere, I wrote about the audience’s response (below).
Have we finally come of age?
“Faith-based” movies are in the toddler stage. Hollywood only began to realize there was a large audience for such films when The Passion of the Christ sold massive numbers of tickets to churchgoers in 2004. But it wasn’t until Fireproof, a low-budget indie written and directed by a Baptist minister, made almost $40 million in 2008 that faith-based movies became a recognizable box office phenomenon.
They’re still learning to walk. Almost every faith-based film released has been criticized for ringing false, for being more concerned with being inoffensive than with creating something real. And there’s more than a little truth in the criticism.
We knew our film was different—it has a grittiness that is unfamiliar in religious movies—so we didn’t expect to win any awards. We just hoped to find out how movie-goers would respond. And we were overjoyed when Over-the-Rhine’s premiere audience cheered as the…
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