A Preview of Faith-Based Films Coming to Theaters in 2016

Christy (JENNIFER GARNER) assures Anna (KYLIE ROGERS) that everything will be alright in Columbia Pictures' MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN.The last two years have produced an unprecedented number of films with Christian themes in the theaters and 2016 is expected to continue that trend with a large number of these films already lining up for release. Last year films such as “Old Fashioned,” “Do You Believe?” “Where Hope Grows,” “War Room,” “90 Minutes in Heaven,” “Captive,” “Woodlawn” and many more, impacted lives.  Most of these are now available via streaming, on DVD for sale or rent, and for church-licensed showings. These films inspire and encourage believers and often help reach the unchurched. Many people who are hesitant to come to church might accept an invitation to see a movie. A well-made faith-based film is like a carefully crafted illustrated sermon; it will grab people’s attention and then touch their hearts.


2016 Releases

Here is a list of the movies currently scheduled to open during 2016. Each is unique and will impact people in a different way. There is a lot to look forward to. I pray these films will bless you and others around you. Be sure to check the web sites and LIKE the Facebook pages. These films are regular releases that will play one or more weeks in theaters. Check the movie websites as the release date approaches for trailers, theater listings and other information. Also check my movie Facebook page (LightInDarkPlace) for the latest information. These films will vary in quality, amount of spiritual content and number of theaters. You can check the websites for information on bringing a movie to your community. Release dates and even the titles are subject to change, and some additional films might be added later in the year, including some special one-night events. If you know of any upcoming faith-based films that are not on this list, please let me know.


 “The Masked Saint” (1/8/16) Inspired by the true-life story of Pastor Chris Whaley, a retired pro wrestler who becomes a small-town pastor with a secret: He moonlights as a masked vigilante fighting injusticethemaskedsaint.com


“Caged No More” (1/22/16)
 Powerful story dramatizing the growing problem of human trafficking. Features Kevin Sorbo, Loretta Devine, Kathie Lee Gifford, Natalie Grant and more. cagednomoremovie.com


VANISHED Left Behind: The Next Generation” (2/16/16) Youth­focused telling of the aftermath of the rapture. ymistillhere.com


 “Risen” (2/19/16) Epic biblical movie about the resurrection, told through the eyes of a non-believer, Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a powerful Roman military tribune. He and his aide Lucius (Tom Felton) are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to the body of Jesus in the weeks following the crucifixion. risenmovieresources.com


“Young Messiah” (3/11/16) Tells the story of Jesus Christ at age seven as he and his family depart Egypt to return home to Nazareth. Features Sean Bean, David Bradley and more. Written by Anne Rice. theyoungmessiah.com


“Miracles from Heaven” (3/18/16) When Christy (Jennifer Garner) discovers her 10-year-old daughter Anna (Kylie Rogers) has a rare, incurable disease, she ferociously advocates for her daughter’s healing as she searches for a solution. facebook.com/MiraclesHeaven


“God’s Not Dead 2” (4/1/16) Highly anticipated sequel to the powerful 2014 movie.  A principal and superintendent join forces with a zealous civil liberties group in an epic court case against a teacher who answered a question in her classroom about Jesus. Godsnotdeadthemovie.com


“I’m Not Ashamed: The Rachel Joy Story” (date pending) True story of one of the victims in the Columbine shootings—a story of hope in this tragedy. Rachel Joy was not ashamed to share her love for Jesus to those around her, even to her killers. imnotashamedfilm.com


“Same Kind of Different as Me” (4/29/16) A modern-day slave, an international art dealer, and the unlikely woman who bound them together. Cast includes Renée Zellweger, Djimon Hounsou, Jon Voight and Greg Kinnear. facebook.com/SameKindofDifferentasMefilm


“Ben Hur” (8/12/16) Mark Burnett and Roma Downey bring us a remake of the classic tale of the journey to faith of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince from Jerusalem, enslaved by the Romans and trained as a charioteer, and whose life intersects the unfolding story of Jesus. Stars include Jack Huston and Morgan Freeman. sharebenhur.com


“Remember the Goal” (8/26/16) Story of a fresh out of college female Coach, with wisdom beyond her years, who takes over the cross country program at an all-girls private Christian school and sets a goal for them to win their first ever state title. fiveandtwopictures.com


“Forbidden Doors” (10/31/16) Armed with only the power of God, two teens must fight the dark, supernatural forces that have imprisoned their town. Based upon the C.S. Lewis series.  facebook.com/ForbiddenDoors


“Priceless” (Fall 2016) Film made by the Christian band, For King & Country, about the value of women in Christ’s eyes.  Great film to reach the Christian teen/youth audience. pricelessthemovie.com


“The Last Race” (Fall 2016) The story of Olympic gold medalist Eric Liddell (whose story was told in “Chariots of Fire”) and his return to China as a Christian Missionary. Starring Joseph Fiennes (“Risen”). imdb.com/title/tt4714896


“Hillsong: Let Hope Rise” (date pending) Concert documentary about the rise of Australia-based Christian band Hillsong United. Originally scheduled for 2015. hillsongmovie.com


“Genesis 3-D” (date pending) A creation-science film in high-quality CGI 3-D animation. genesismovie.com


Ways to support these and other Christian films

Much prayer and work go into the making of these films and if each of us does our part to support them, these films can be used to touch many lives in our communities and in the world.

Here are some ways you can help.

1) Pray! Any successful ministry needs effective prayer (and even fasting) behind the scenes and it is the same with these movies.

2) Help spread the word. We as believers can help to spread the word via social media, fliers, posters, church bulletins, etc.

3) See the film on opening weekend and try to organize a group (large or small) to attend. It is extremely important for these films to do well opening weekend. It does not matter how good a movie is; if enough people do not see it opening weekend, it will fade very quickly. Feel free to contact me if you would like information about obtaining group discount tickets or how you can become a movie contact person for your church or ministry.

4) Purchase tickets as early as possible. This is far more important than people realize. Successful advanced ticket purchases can expand a film’s release to additional theaters and larger auditoriums.

To receive notices about upcoming releases, leaders advanced screenings, group discount tickets and more, email your contact info to Stan at [email protected] to be added to a Christian movie email list. And for more info, Twitter @LightDarkPlace and LIKE Stan’s Christian movie Facebook page (facebook.com/LightinDarkPlace).


Stanley Goldenberg has been involved in grassroots promotion of Christian films for 10 years. He hosts a regular “Movie Connection” show on LIFE-FM (90.9 FM) in Miami. He is also a federal hurricane research meteorologist who has published a number of scientific articles and has appeared in numerous TV hurricane specials.


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