SAN ANTONIO, TX — January 2, 2009 — Christian filmographers will take a detailed look at the widespread cultural impact that Science Fiction has had through film during the Fourth Annual Christian Filmmakers Academy (CFA) to be held January 5-7 in San Antonio, Texas. Following a year that saw Science Fiction movies account for 2.5 billion dollars of the 3.7 billion grossed by the top twenty films in the US, the CFA faculty will break down the great science fiction films of the past, even as they cast a vision for how Christians can rightfully employ this genre in the future.
“In 2008, Sci-Fi rocketed out of the basement to become a sci-cult phenomenon that is significant to the cultural history of the United States,” noted Doug Phillips, founder of the Christian Filmmakers Academy. “And movies are just the tip of the rocket. Fictional science in the billion-dollar video gaming, computer gaming, comic book and cable TV world is changing the thinking of an entire generation.”
The “Symposium on Science Fiction and Christian Filmmaking” will focus on the theology of Science Fiction, analyzing how the worldview conveyed through Sci-Fi films has shaped cultural priorities.
“Sci-Fi movies of the last fifty years have provided America with more than Hollywood entertainment,” Phillips remarked. “The popular genre has been responsible for persuading American thrill-and-chill-seekers that fictional speculation is reality — especially in regard to the creation of the universe, life on earth, and the ‘certainty’ of extraterrestrial life.”
The Symposium will examine this remarkable transformation of fiction into perceived “fact” and explore ways Christian filmmakers can reestablish responsibility in the genre and more carefully and truthfully examine the topics of Creation, time and eternity, the human soul, and the grand potential of science and technology.
“A filmmaker’s worldview may be more clearly seen in this genre than any other,” observed Geoff Botkin, senior faculty member at the Academy. “When he addresses the future, we know exactly what he thinks about man, God, philosophy, and time. When he addresses the moral challenges of technology, we know what he thinks about right and wrong. Some creators of Science Fiction find it a great vehicle to articulate their most serious ideas about politics, God, and social theory.”
The Symposium will trace the history of the genre and the literary sources of its influence and then analyze its impact on American life, thought and culture. Filmmakers will learn ways to approach and use the genre sensibly and maturely.
The Christian Filmmakers Academy, a project of Vision Forum Ministries, is a technical bootcamp for aspiring culture-changers to be held January 5-7 in San Antonio, Texas. Students will learn principles of scripting, casting, writing, directing, and marketing a Christian film — along with intense Christian worldview instruction. Each year, Vision Forum also hosts the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival and Jubilee Awards which showcases the best in Christian films. This year’s festival, to be held January 8-10, will award a $101,000 grand prize — the single largest cash award given by any film festival in the US.
Vision Forum Ministries
Phone: (210) 340-5250, ext. 222