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An Interview with Angela Walker of Christian Cinema

by Dale Pierce

March 2011

Quick Links

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Frankie & Annette Beach Party movies

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You are big with Christian Cinema. Tell people of your functions.

I'm the editor and content manager for ChristianCinema.com. I create and manage the pages for our DVDs (over 2500 faith and family films), write and post articles about faith and entertainment, interview filmmakers (from Matt Damon to Denzel Washington to Anthony Hopkins, as well as a slew of independent filmmakers), and keep my finger on the pulse of independent filmmaking by Christians. 

 

What is the web page and contact point?

 

The website is ChristianCinema.com, which was created in 1999 for the distribution of independently-made Christian films. Since its inception, ChristianCinema.com has grown to be the largest faith and family movie store on the planet.

 

Do you produce your own films or just aid others in the press and distribution of theirs?

 

Brothers Bobby and Kevin Downes, the owners of ChristianCinema.com, are independent filmmakers. Their lates production, Like Dandelion Dust, was a feature film released in theaters last fall and on DVD this January. The award-winning film stars Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino and Golden Globe nominee Barry Pepper. When the brothers produced their first film in 1999, they created the ChristianCinema.com website to distribute their film and those of their friends who were also producing films.

 

What companies have you worked with?

 

Not sure if you're asking on a personal level or with regards to ChristianCinema.com, so I'll answer on the website level.

We carry films from over 20 different companies and studios. We also specialize in films from independent producers, so many of our titles are brought in directly from the producer.

 

Do you only deal with Christian film?

 

That label means many things to many people. We carry films either made by Christians (i.e., producer, director or writer of a film) or films made for Christians with strong faith themes, as well as family films. We also recognize the faith and redemptive themes in other movies not made with any specific faith underpinnings, such as Dead Man Walking or The Book of Eli.

 

Yet some of these have found their way into the secular world, have they not?

 

Yep. Good filmmaking is universal, as is good storytelling.

 

Let us just say for practical purposes, I am a non-Christian. How could you convince me I should take a look at some of these movies, if I have no interest in religion per se?

 

I would recommend the films that I think you might find entertaining. I'm not a NASCAR fan but I watched Talladega Nights. Back to the previous statement - if a film is entertaining, it's entertaining on a universal level. I wouldn't try to proselytize you with a film. If you are a history buff, I'd recommend you'd appreciate based on its historical content. If you enjoy comedy, I can recommend some hysterical comedians.

 

Among the titles, what ones would you suggest to a non-Christian?

 

See the above - it depends on what genre and type of entertainment you like.

 

On the other hand, to a Christian?

 

We have over 2500 films, and Christians come with as many likes and dislikes as do everyone else. If a Christian was looking for sheer entertainment, I'd recommend What if ..., if they were looking for a family drama I'd recommend Like Dandelion Dust, if they were looking for an end-times film, I'd recommend The Moment After or Left Behind.

 

How did your page and company come about to begin with?

 

When the Downes brothers created their first film in 1999, you had to be a major player to be able to talk to bookstore owners (which was the traditional distribution outlet for Christian retail), and very few were making films for Christian audiences. In recognition of that, they decided to reach out to as large of an audience as they could and build a website. Once the site was up & running, they invited all of their filmmaking friends to sell their films on the site as well.

 

As Christian film has expanded and more players have gotten into the business, the site has grown to where it now contains over 2500 films, over 6500 reviews, and over 250 interviews with filmmakers.

 

While dealing with film people have you had any experiences that are worth sharing or highly interesting?

 

I have found filmmakers as a whole to be very dedicated and determined people - you have to be in order to take 3 years of your life on a project.

 

I received some personal advice from Denzel Washington, which I now employ regularly. Sat in a group interview with Sir Anthony Hopkins, who is a very well-read man, and interviewed Matt Damon in New York City. 

 

Going back to bridging the gap and making films that cross market to both Christian  and secular realms, I would rate Cloud Ten the best at it. Would you?

 

Not necessarily. They are certainly very good at it, but there are many companies who are following their example of making good films that anyone would like. Cloud 10 has focused on a very tight niche of the market and capitalized on the interest in the end of times. There are other companies (Jenkins Entertainment, Downes Brothers Entertainment, Sherwood Pictures) who are making great films that are more general interest films and would appeal to any viewer.

 

Anything else to touch on?

 

As a company, our goal is as much about the advancement of independent film as anything. It's our passion to help the filmmaker reaching a larger audience and have the opportunity to make more films, improving as they go.

We're the bridge between the filmmaker and the audience.

 

Closing remarks?

 

Good film is good art, and good art is about truth. If a film tells a story that rings true and has characters that are genuine and multi-dimensional, it deserves a chance, no matter who made it.

Just as Christians go to the theaters and watch movies not made by other Christians, I'd invite people who don't call themselves Christians to watch films made by Christians. Might enjoy it!

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Dale Pierce


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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