In Africa there is a proverbial saying that “it takes a village to raise a child.” We create a diverse, cross-cultural village every time we set out to provide a movie for an unreached people group. Although the people involved may come from different people groups and sundry places, we come together for God’s glory to see Him made known to the nations through media.
February first 2016 marked the beginning of the fifth Frontier Filmmaking Seminar http://create2020.com/training/, a training program designed to equip participants with hands-on experience
making evangelistic films cross-culturally. Our practical project goal was an evangelistic film for the Kpeople of India. Leading the project was Steve, a film director from Create International’s 2020 Vision team based in the USA. In 2014 and the first Visual Media Strategy Forum, Steve met Pastor Paul Matthews from the New Hope Center in Udaipur, Rajasthan. Together they pledged to help one another fulfill the 2020 Vision by providing Kpeople with a film in their own language and tailor-made for their culture. The plan put in place at that event resulted in the movie’s production earlier this year in a K village. Nevertheless, it took a lot more participants to make this movie a reality. If you have ever watched the credits of any film, you know that it represents the hard work of many people over a long period of time.
In addition to directing the film, Steve also provided filmmaking training to ten students, six of whom were staff members of the New Hope Center. The student body also comprised two Americans, one of whom was an FFS graduate from last year’s project who returned as the cinematographer this year, and three men with ties to one of the first Kchurches. All of these students, whether they were from India or America, were going to participate in movie magic by going into a culture they did not know to make a film in a language none of them understood. For that local help is needed, and the Kchurch served the project perfectly. Binu, from the Ahmedabad based Joel 2:28 ministry, served as the film’s competent co-producer who auditioned professional actors and managed local logistics for production. Key to our success was also the last-minute partnership with a church in Texas. The film’s financing was generously provided just on time as part of their ongoing effort to see K transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The result is a beautiful and relevant story of a young mother called Champa, estranged from her abusive husband, who is helped by a follower of Jesus who takes pity on her and her young son in the hour of her need. The film’s title “Milan” or “Reunion” refers both to the reunion Champa longs to have with her husband Nandu, and also the reunion of a people who return to the God who made and loves them. You can see a trailer online at: https://youtu.be/xiRLDY-zU5s
Without the contributions of each person in this very large group, this indigenous film would not have come to fruition. Indeed, many hands make light work. With any of our productions, however, credit must ultimately be given to God, because only He could see far enough ahead to know that one man from a filmmaking ministry would partner with a media ministry in Rajasthan and a church in Gujarat to make a beautiful movie for the Kpeople of Gujarat that was funded by believers in Texas. Our Lord works in mysterious ways and always provides everything we need for the success of our missions. It takes the people of God’s village to raise a movie.