This April, Create Perth travelled to Janakpur – the home of Nepal’s largest Hindu temple – to produce resources for the Maithili. Many Hindu pilgrims travel each year to this site for spiritual blessing.
It was our desire to create a film that would help to reveal to these men, women and children the true blessings that our Creator wants to bring to all of us – blessings of relationship, peace, and hope for eternity.
We worked with brothers and sisters in the local body of Christ to produce this movie. There, we heard many amazing stories of how Christ had transformed their lives, even in the face of great trouble and persecution. Out of their experiences, these partners had developed an evangelistic story about a young man from a Maithili village who finds Jesus as he struggles to make his way in the city. It’s a story of grace, perseverance, and hope.
Over twelve days in April, we laboured together, working alongside a cast of both professional and amateur actors, to capture this story. There were many
challenges and last minute adjustments, but God made a way every day to get the footage that we needed. At the same time, we saw God working in the local community – largely Hindu – that we were shooting in. He was building anticipation in people’s hearts for this film that was being made in their own village and in their
own language. It was an unexpected side benefit to filming in this village: the very audience we are wanting to share the message with are getting excited for that message to come.
The Garwali Project – What Our Students are Saying…
Before this year, I had never wanted to go to Asia. People would tell me that they wanted to go to every continent and wanted to visit Asia, and I would always say, “I have no desire to go to there.” But then, out of nowhere, God called me to India. I had never felt called to do any missions work before, but through a friend telling me about the Frontier Filmmaking Seminar (FFS) and my friends and family encouraging me to go, I realized going to India to learn about cross-cultural filmmaking was something I needed to do.
The FFS was challenging. I came alone, not knowing anyone, but by God’s grace everyone on the team was very friendly and I quickly felt like I had known everyone on the team for months. In two weeks I learned the essential aspects of filmmaking, as well as the importance of contextualizing the gospel in our films so that it can most effectively reach our target people group. In addition to learning about filmmaking, I learned about my new friends, and what India was really like, and I grew to love the people I was with and the country I was in.
The filmmaking process posed new challenges. We had to find actors with availability on short notice, we had to scout locations. But God provided us with everything we needed, and we were able to start filming four days after arrival. On outreach, I learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes when filming a movie. As script supervisor, I was present for nearly every take, taking notes so that the editor could easily identify the best footage from each day.
Filmmaking is tedious, especially when the actors do not always understand what you want from them, or your English. Achieving perfect lighting and sound is also a challenge that we faced nearly everyday. However, despite complications, Steve and Paul (the director and director of photography) always worked for the best quality footage that they could achieve, and maintained a good attitude throughout the shooting process. Though the days were long, it was very rewarding to see scenes come together, and the changing power of the gospel come to life in a different language and a different culture.
In all, I had an incredible experience learning about cross-cultural filmmaking on the FFS. Even more important than what I learned about film, I feel blessed to have been able to contribute to a film that will share the gospel to Garwhali people who may have never heard about Jesus before, or maybe assumed Christianity was only for Westerners. Finally, it was a blessing and a privilege to get to know the other members of the team and
develop relationships with them, and I hope that we can reunite and work together soon.
What I’ve learned in India is still with me, even as I’m back in the US. I’m going to take what I’ve learned about making films and working cross-culturally, and I’m going to use my experiences to help direct my future. I want to be a writer, but now I have a better idea of how I can write to glorify God. Maybe I can write a contextualized short film for a target group of Americans. Maybe God will call me abroad again. Wherever the Lord leads me in the future, I know that God has used the FFS to change how I see the world, and how I see myself working in it, for the better.
Sarah Figucia, FFS Student 2014
The Berar Marathi Project
In the first week of April’14, The Media Discipleship Training School (MDTS) went to Amravati a small city in Maharashtra. Here we were filming an evangelistic drama film for the Berar Marathi people group. This group is an unreached mega people group. Simon and Abhishek along with the MDTS students had gone to this place for 3 weeks. The team had to travel one and a half hours to two hours one way everyday to go to the village to film. The weather was very hot and dry. There were many challenges but we saw the faithfulness of God in every situation. Abhishek is now working on editing the film and it should be done by the end of Aug’14. Please pray for this editing and also for the background music which we still need to compose and add to the film.
After the team came back from Amravati, in May’14 Anima took the MDTS team for a couple of weeks to Ajmer, a city 2-3 hrs away from Jaipur. Ajmer is a popular Hindu and Muslim religious place. Here the team did a lot of praying for people and sharing the gospel using the movies that Create International had
made. Before they left, God had given the team a word, Isa 61:1,2. “Anointed to bring healing, comfort and gladness to those that mourn, brokenhearted and desperate”. The team saw people saved (accepting Jesus) and comforted.
The Jan’14 MDTS graduated on the 30th May’14. So, overall the students of the Jan’14 MDTS were involved in producing three short films. During the Lecture Phase they completed two short videos. One was a promo video for the Literacy Program in the Slum and the other one was a Prayer mobilization video for the ‘Barren Childless Women in India’. All the students have left for home and a couple of them plan to come back to work with us this month.
Our next MDTS begins on 1st Sept’14. Please pray that God would bring students for this school. If you know anyone interested in doing a DTS in India and also wanting to learn and use Media skills to communicate the gospel, please let them know of our school. For application and other information regarding the school, they could write to firstname.lastname@example.org