Can secular film and the Christian church find common ground in America's so-called culture wars? Absolutely, say 30 individuals from Fuller Theological Seminary who bridged the cultural chasm to attend the Sundance Film Festival, which took place January 25-30 in Park City, Utah.
There is a serious God-conversation going on in our culture, but often the church is unaware of it—not even invited to the dance, many say. The Sundance Film Festival provided a dynamic learning laboratory for students to engage in this cultural dialogue as it takes shape.
Justin Bell, a Fuller student in Pasadena and assistant director of Fuller's Reel Spirituality institute, commented: "These films were so prophetic, so honest, so thirsty for life, that faith conversations were inevitable in post-screening discussions."
These discussions took place in question-and-answer sessions after each film, in classroom meetings visited by Sundance filmmakers—and while waiting in the lines, sitting in the coffee shops, or attending the parties that all make up the Sundance scene.
"At the heart of many of the Sundance films is a cry for compassion," said Kara Stewart, another Fuller participant. "If that's what we're about as followers of Christ, then we have some middle ground—a place to start a meaningful dialogue."
Fuller students joined others who were part of an inaugural dialogue on film and faith in Park City called the Windrider Forum, sponsored by Priddy Brothers Productions. Windrider is a loose partnership of several faith-based institutions, including the Colorado extension of Fuller Seminary, undergraduate film students from Biola University and Northwest Nazarene University, award-winning student filmmakers from the Angelus Student ...1
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