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Church Film Festival Empowers Emerging Movement

Contact: Jayla James, Churches Making Movies, 518-530-1413

CLARK, N.J., Oct. 7, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Churches Making Movies Christian Film Festival will host hundreds of movie goers in Clark, New Jersey, October 11-13 when it screens seven world premiere feature films and presents workshops for faith-based filmmakers including a screenwriter's bootcamp taught by one of the most prolific screenwriters in the country. All feature films screening are produced by or in conjunction with churches.

Included in the lineup of films is the regional premiere of "My Son," which received a controversial R rating from the MPAA. Appearing on Fox TV, representatives from the church that funded the film accused the MPAA of having an anti-Christian bias.

The festival has attracted some of the biggest names in the faith-based movie industry including Keynote speaker Dallas Jenkins, son of Jerry B. Jenkins of "Left Behind" fame. The remake of the movie stars Nicholas Cage and is set for release in June. Dallas is currently, senior director of media at Harvest Bible Chapel, a mega-church in Chicago. His short film at Harvest, "The Ride," recently won Best Film, Best Short, and Best Director awards at the Attic Film Festival in Austin.

Other speakers include Sean Paul Murphy, the writer of several top-selling Christian movies including the popular "Revelation Road" and Pastor Doc Benson who went on a much publicized hunger strike to raise funds to complete his church-produced film "Seven Deadly Words" that will premiere at the festival.

Also screening is world premiere "After the Knight," a feature written and directed by Aerin White, a fourteen-year-old homeschooler; "God's Amazing Grace" which stars Clifton Davis of the long-running television shows "Amen," "That's my Mama," and "The Love Boat;" and "Sidewalk Singer," a world premiere that was awarded 5 Doves, the most awarded a film, by the Dove Foundation.

Churches that make movies are apart of a new cultural movement of churches harnessing the power of films to impact culture. This culture-impacting movement is fueled by pastors, Christian organizations, and media/producing ministries using faithful filmmaking to transform hearts and minds. Increasingly, churches are seeking to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the world through films because movies have a powerful effect on people and have perhaps the greatest potential to influence culture.

"Movies have always played an important role in our society and churches have realized the power of movies to transform hearts, renew minds, and reach across geographic boundaries," said LaVonne McIver James, founder of the festival. "A well-told story can change the world and now churches are using movies, one of our greatest exports to reach the masses."

Faith-based movies in general have generated great interest this year with Hollywood expected to release at least eight major Christian movies in the next 18 months including the highly anticipated "Noah" starring Russell Crowe and Anthony Hopkins; "Left Behind," starring Nicholas Cage; "Pontius Pilate" rumored to have Brad Pitt attached; and the Will Smith project "The Redemption of Cain" about the biblical story of Cain and Abel.

THE FESTIVAL
The mission of the Churches Making Movies Christian Film Festival is to educate, energize, and empower churches to incorporate filmmaking into their ministries and to give exposure to the best church-produced films. In addition to movie screenings, the festival offers seminars and panels for church leaders, directors, producers, actors and those interested in utilizing films as a Christian evangelical tool. For images and additional information about the films and filmmakers, please visit
www.churchesmakingmovies.com.