Teens In The News (Part 3): Young Filmmakers
This morning's cover story from the Montgomery Advertiser's Lifestyle Section features none other than Colton Davie, a 17-year-old rebelutionary and one of Alex and my newest and best Alabama friends. Colton collaborated with Alex and me last Saturday to create our Save The Wheel short, "Reinvented: The Dinner Table." Now, the young Mr. Davie is garnering media attention for a greater accomplishment: snaring the Best Young Filmmaker Award at the Second Annual San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.
Enjoy the following feature article that honors 17-year-old Colton Davie and 16-year-old Tyler Litton for doing hard things, at a young age, and for the glory of God:
Let there be light, camera, actionThere are many reasons why Alex and I are thrilled at the recognition our friend Colton is receiving. First, he just one more example of how young people that "Do Hard Things" will be honored. Our readers must understand that a very favorable article about Christian films from a reputably liberal newspaper is rare. But Colton's age demanded attention. And not only his age, but the enormous task he undertook and completed.
Christian films on the rise
By Darryn Simmons
November 18, 2005
In today's movies, the comedy, horror and action flicks tend to dominate the marquees and lead at the box office.
But a new genre of films is starting to gain a foothold in the market, and some of the upcoming movies in that genre just may come from Montgomery and other spots in Alabama.
With the success of films like "The Passion of the Christ," "The Gospel" and the "Left Behind" series, Christian films are starting to show they can do as well as the biggest summer blockbusters.
The success of those films has inspired young filmmakers to try their hand at making them, with the hope of making the next big Christian film.
Christian film festivals have continued to build momentum. The second annual San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival drew 1,200 participants from all over the world, from New York to Romania. At this event, held earlier this month, the state of Alabama was well-represented.
Seventeen-year-old Colton Davie from Matthews was awarded the Best Young Filmmaker prize for his 55-minute film, "Bluestate: Tolerance for All," and Ed Litton, pastor of First Baptist Church in North Mobile, and his 16-year-old son Tyler were awarded Best Political Film for a film they wrote, produced and directed called "Intent."
"Alabama is taking over," said Doug Phillips, the founder of the festival and one of the competition's judges.
Phillips said more than 130 film submissions at this year's festival show there are those who want to make good Christian films that give glory to God.
The rise in the independent Christian film market can be attributed to a number of factors, Phillips said. The biggest may be that filmmakers no longer have to go through Hollywood to get a film produced or distributed, thanks to the digital technology and innovative distribution methods now available. The "Left Behind" series, for example, was marketed largely through churches.
He also said people are looking for more positive material in their movies and wholesome messages that differ from the usual Hollywood fare.
Davie said he was inspired when he attended last year's festival. He went to some of the seminars there, and they motivated him to want to do a film for this year's festival.
He started the script for "Bluestate" in December of last year and finished the film in August.
The movie tells the story of one family's sacrifice in a world where tolerance has been mandated by law.
"People think it's a political movie, but we weren't doing that," Davie said. "I just wanted to challenge ideas and show people what happens when you do things like take public prayer out of schools and what could happen if you continue to do things like that."
Phillips called the movie a "major film which demonstrates incredible promise."
"There was an overwhelming sense (among the judges) that 'Bluestate' should win," Phillips said. "It is an excellent example of what is possible for a young man to do."
Davie said it was exciting to win the award and that the festival itself was a great experience.
Ed Litton's half-hour film, "The Wall," was runner-up for Best Political Film last year, the inaugural year of the festival. The film focused on educating Christians on the meaning of the First Amendment.
"Intent" is an 18-minute film that explores the current crisis in the federal judiciary.
"Our hope is that 'Intent' will help break down barriers between Americans and their courts," Ed Litton said. "The average citizen is key to keeping the courts in line and preserving government by the consent of the governed."
Davie said he hopes to continue to make Christian films. While there are no current plans to have an exhibition of the films here in central Alabama, he said the success of recent movies shows there's a desire for them on the part of moviegoers.
There is a special kind of film Davie wants to make.
"I want to make movies with good stories that people will enjoy, but I especially want to do it for the glory of God and to do films that glorify him," he said.
But even more than that, we are thrilled at the attention Colton is receiving because he used it to glorify God and to address important issues. He earned a stage and used it to speak the truth. Now that is rebelutionary.
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