The 2014 Churches Making Movies Film Festival has named UK film “Savior” as an official selection.
Produced by Freedom Church, Hereford, UK, “Savior” is a contemporary interpretation of the Christmas story set in modern England. Mary and Joe are working class twenty-somethings planning for their wedding and trying to make ends meet.
Everything changes when a supernatural visitor announces to Mary that she will bear the Savior of the world! This quirky but reverent treatment of the Christmas story gives a fresh perspective on the reality of Jesus’ coming.
Originally created by young staff members for the church’s 2012 Christmas service, veteran TV and film producer Stuart Bennett (who also happens to be my husband) saw the film’s potential and brought it to the US for distribution.
See the trailer:
Bennett says, “I could not believe what these young guys had accomplished with so little. I’ve no doubt that mega-churches in the U.S. will increasingly move further into the film production arena, but they had better keep an eye on these guys in England because they have exceptional talent.”
Far from being a large church with a media budget, Freedom Church is a congregation of around 300, nestled in the small, picturesque market town of Hereford, UK. When asked about the production, writer-director Jordan Snowzell remarked, “We had a camera, a tripod, some lighting, and a lot of hard working people. We used our imagination, innovation, and creativity and teamed up with the Holy Spirit.
“There was no budget for the film, so everyone in it is from Freedom Church. Everything was done by us; the script, the music, and the makeup. When you don’t have much, it pushes you to use what you have to its full potential.”
The small production team at Freedom Church produces topical video clips for sermon series and have even produced episodic drama for their Sunday School children.
Snowzell went on to comment, “There have been amazing ways of preaching the gospel, but we believe that media is a tool that God wants the church to use today. It is something that has the power to go viral online, it can be played on any device, and is ever growing ever changing. We want to use it to build the Kingdom. We want to be on the cutting edge of media, creating things that are as creative, excellent and as innovative as the secular world offers but with a message of love, hope, vision and purpose.
“‘Savior’ was one of the first feature films we have done and this is just the beginning. It blows my mind to think about what we may be doing in 5-10 years as God never stops, he never slows down and we are ready for the next challenge. We are ready to take our media stuff to the next level.”
The Churches Making Movies Film Festival is a cultural movement of churches harnessing the power of films to tell great stories that will impact culture, and inspire people to find a relationship with God. In its second year, the film festival celebrates the best films produced by churches, media ministries, and Christian nonprofits. This year’s festival will be held October 10-14 in Iselin, N.J. at the Renaissance Woodbridge.
To learn more about Freedom Church, Hereford, UK visit their Official Website
Don’t miss our new Let the Lion Roar – SCH Movie Review
M.K. Bennett is writer, musician and a Master’s degree candidate in theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. Originally from South Carolina, she has also lived in the U.K., Canada, The Philippines, and Thailand.