The last few years have seen an unprecedented number of faith-based films shining their light and touching lives in movie theaters nationwide. Thankfully, this trend will continue in 2017 with an exciting lineup of films already scheduled and additional films released later in the year. These movies inspire and encourage believers, providing a special opportunity for an uplifting experience for our families. And since many people who are hesitant to come to church might accept an invitation to see a movie, these films often help reach the unchurched. The more that individual believers and churches help support these films in theaters by their prayers, spreading the word and purchasing tickets (especially for opening weekend), the greater the reach of these movies. A well-made, faith-based film is much like a carefully-crafted, illustrated sermon; it will grab people’s attention and plant seeds of faith and hope in their hearts. And most of the films from previous years continue to impact lives through DVD and streaming as well as special church-licensed showings.
Below is a list of the movies currently scheduled to open in 2017. Each film is unique and will impact people in a different way. Be sure to visit the movie websites for trailers, theater listings and other information and “LIKE” their Facebook pages to receive updates. These films vary in quality, amount of spiritual content and number of theaters, so check my special movie Facebook page (LightInDarkPlace) for the latest news. Some films are regular releases and will play one or more weeks in theaters while others are one-night only events. If available, the start date for each film and the dates for one-night only events have been given below. Release dates are subject to change, and additional films will be added later. If you have a strong interest in a particular film, you can even help bring that film to your community.
“The Bowden Dynasty” (1/8/17 one-night only) Documentary about former FSU football Coach Bobby Bowden. A story of faith, family, and of course, football. bowdendynasty.com
“Silence” (1/13/17) Andrew Garfield (“Hacksaw Ridge”) stars in this film about two 17th century Jesuit priests facing violence and persecution in Japan. silencemovie.com
“The Resurrection of Gavin Stone” (1/20/17) A messed up, former child TV star (Bret Dalton, “Agents of Shield”) fakes being a believer to get a part in a Holiday Pageant, but then his life is transformed by God. resurrectionofgavinstonemovie.com
“God Bless the Broken Road” (2/10/17) A young, widowed mother struggles to raise her young daughter. This movie combines faith, country music and stock car racing while paying tribute to those who serve in the United States Military. godblessthebrokenroad.com
“Is Genesis History?” (2/28/17 one-night only) Documentary featuring scientists and scholars looking at the world and explaining how it intersects with the history recorded in Genesis. Hosted by Dr. Del Tackett, creator of “The Truth Project.” isgenesishistory.com
“The Shack” (3/3/17) A grieving man receives a mysterious, personal invitation to meet with God at a place called “The Shack.” Based on the controversial best-selling book, “The Shack” is a moving story, but some have raised concerns regarding its inaccuracies in comparison to scripture. Cast includes Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer and Tim McGraw. theshack.movie
“Facing Darkness” (3/30/17 one-night only) True story of Samaritan’s Purse doctors applying faith, determination and prayer during the West African Ebola pandemic. facingdarknessmovie.com
“Mully” (6/8/17 one-night only) Rags-to-riches story of Charles Mully, whose rise from orphaned poverty in Kenya leads him on a journey of selflessness. mullymovie.com
“The Star” (11/10/17) Animated film about a small but brave donkey and his animal friends who become the unsung heroes of the first Christmas. thestarmovie.com
“The Case for Christ” (date pending) Based on the true story of Lee Strobel, an atheist, investigative journalist who is transformed as he tries to disprove the newfound Christian faith of his wife. thecaseforchristmovie.com
“Same Kind of Different as Me” (date pending) Unforgettable true story about an international art dealer who befriends a homeless man in order to save his struggling marriage. With Renée Zellweger, Djimon Hounsou, Jon Voight and Greg Kinnear. samekindofdifferentasmemovie.com
“Power of the Air” (date pending) Dave Christiano film about a missionary from Africa sharing how the enemy uses Hollywood to deceive people. With Michael Gross (“Family Ties”) and Patty Duke. fiveandtwopictures.com
“Grace Wins” (date pending) Story of four teenage high school seniors and the life altering decisions that they have to make. gracewinsthemovie.com
“Let There be Light” (date pending) An atheist experiencing a near-death experience converts to Christianity. Starring Kevin Sorbo (“God’s Not Dead”). Produced by Sean Hannity. facebook.com/Lettherebelightthemovie
“An Interview with God” (date pending) A journalist whose life is falling apart is offered an interview with someone who claims to be God. What would you ask? aninterviewwithgod.com
“Champion” (date pending) In the world of dirt track racing, a single mistake forever changes the lives of two men. One fights for his family, the other fights to forgive. With Robert Amaya (“Courageous”) and Andrew Chenney (“Beyond the Mask”). championthemovie.com
“All Saints” (date pending) Based on true story of a salesman-turned-pastor, a tiny church he was ordered to shut down, and a group of refugees from Southeast Asia, who together risked everything to plant seeds for the future. facebook.com/allsaintsmovie
“A Salted Christmas” (date pending) Inspirational comedy filmed in South Florida highlighting adoption and foster parenting told through a day in the life of a family just prior to Christmas. manifestpictures.com
Help these films touch more lives
If each of us does our part, these films can be used to impact many lives in our communities and in the world.
Here are some ways you can help.
- Pray! Successful ministry needs effective prayer (and even fasting) behind the scenes and it is the same with these movies.
- Help spread the word via social media, fliers, posters, church bulletins, etc., since the secular media normally ignores these movies.
- See the film on opening weekend and try to organize a group (large or small) to attend. It does not matter to the theater how good a movie is; if enough people do not see it opening weekend, the theater will not keep it for the next weekend. Feel free to contact me directly if you would like information about obtaining group discount tickets or how you can become a movie contact person for your church or ministry.
- Purchase tickets as early as possible. The simple act of planning ahead 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 up-to-date information on these films, “LIKE” Stan’s Christian movie Facebook page (facebook.com/LightinDarkPlace) and Twitter @LightDarkPlace.
Stanley Goldenberg has been involved in grassroots promotion of Christian films for over 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 scientific articles and appeared in TV hurricane specials.