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in Filmmaking
on Jun 7, 2006

Cinematic sinners are accustomed to squawking when the MPAA threatens an NC-17 on a guns-blazing, sex-filled entertainment. But Matt Drudge links today to a report from the Scripps Howard News Service which describes a complaint by a group of Christian moviemakers behind a movied called Facing the Giants who say that the MPAA has given them a PG rating (instead of a G) because their film is “too evangelistic.”

From the piece:

The MPAA, noted [Provident Films v.p. of marketing Kris] Fuhr, tends to offer cryptic explanations for its ratings. In this case, she was told that it “decided that the movie was heavily laden with messages from one religion and that this might offend people from other religions. It’s important that they used the word ‘proselytizing’ when they talked about giving this movie a PG. …

“It is kind of interesting that faith has joined that list of deadly sins that the MPAA board wants to warn parents to worry about.”

Overt Christian messages are woven throughout “Facing the Giants,” which isn’t surprising since the film was co-written and co-produced by brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick, who are the “associate pastors of media” at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga. In addition to working with the megachurch’s cable-television channel, they created its Sherwood Pictures ministry _ collecting private donations to fund a $25,000 movie called “Flywheel,” about a wayward Christian used-car salesman.

“Facing the Giants” cost $100,000 and resembles a fusion of the Book of Job and a homemade “Hoosiers,” or perhaps a small- school “Friday Night Lights” blended with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association movies that used to appear in some mainstream theaters. Sherwood Pictures used local volunteers as actors and extras, backed by a small crew of tech professionals.

The movie includes waves of answered prayers, a medical miracle, a mysterious silver-haired mystic who delivers a message from God and a bench-warmer who kicks a 51-yard field goal to win the big game when his handicapped father pulls himself out of a wheelchair and stands under the goal post to inspire his son’s faith.

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