In the ranks of Christians making a difference in Hollywood, Craig Detweiler may be well on his way to a "lifetime achievement award." And he's just getting started.

Chair of Biola University's Mass Communications Department, Detweiler is also a screenwriter (Extreme Days) and an author (A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture). He knows the many differing ways that Christians have either condemned, engaged with, or transformed an industry known for its spiritual bankruptcy. But he remains enthusiastic about Christians making their way into Hollywood. He loves the movies and their ability to provoke our minds into deeper spiritual inquiries.

Earlier this year, Detweiler hosted Biola's annual Media Conference. The theme: "The Deep End: How to Navigate the Open Waters of Hollywood." Christians in the industry gathered to concentrate their imaginations and efforts for a better future at the movies. At the conference, Detweiler talked to us about the state of Hollywood and movies.

What do you hope young filmmakers get from this conference?

Craig Detweiler: The goals for the conference are to gather all of the collective wisdom from people of faith who have been working in Hollywood, and figure out a way to impart that to the next generation. We're hearing from people who have been running a slow steady race built on excellence, ethics, and integrity—Ralph Winter, Mark Zoradi, Lori McCreary. They got to where they are by being great at what they do.

We called the conference "The Deep End: How to Navigate the Open Waters of Hollywood." One of the operative words there is "open." Ten years ago, people of faith might have been content to figure out how to get a foot in the door in Hollywood. They had adopted a defensive ...

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