Can a Non-Religious Producer Compete in 168? A Letter from Director, John David Ware
168 is NOT a Preaching Competition, it's Serious Storytelling!
The 168 Film Project is excited to welcome you to the competition, whatever your faith. No, you do not have to make a preachy film to win the up to $1 Million feature film budget. Scriptural Integration (how well the scripture is reflected in your story) is a key as is technical prowess.
There are some content restrictions, but your task is simple. Create a great story based on a scripture! We believe that all stories can be told without swearing, nudity, or overly violent content and religious attacks.
If you want to preach in your film, then you are welcome to do that with excellence too! We welcome your efforts at improving the genre of "Gospel Films" and there is an award for the best film that explains simply and directly the Gospel of Jesus; that we have sinned and he saves us.
Each year, mature content is portrayed in 168 with exquisite subtlety in the western, zombie, drama, comedy and almost every other genre. Yes, this type of storytelling is a lot harder than that full of "f-bombs," but it is far better and more satisfying art. This subtlety allows content to be enjoyed by a wider audience.
Real life is complex and real drama shows this. The fact is that people do pray and murder, steal and give gifts, lie and love. This is life and that is what we are after. The theme this year (2013) is Atonement, which is covering a wrong that's been done to us or by us. I think we can all relate.
Faith-friendly film or values-driven entertainment is a valid, money-making enterprise if you do it well (i.e. "Blindside," "Soul Surfer," "Chariots of Fire"). It is more than genre, it is a relationship to your audience.
A large segment of the population (mothers, kids, families and middle-America) is sensitive to gratuitous language, violence and sexual material. This is why PG and PG-13 films are the champions of the box office.
If you are up to the challenge of making a film from the best selling book of all time, then we are excited to cheer you on.
As you compete for a feature production budget worth up to $1 Million Dollars, you will develop significant creative, crew and industry relationships.
Film is at its best when it encourages discussion, reinforcing and celebrating values that make us human. We are excited to watch you touch lives and grow as an artist.
-- John David Ware, 168 Founder and Director
Photo credit: The Columbus Dispatch