Some of those working in what’s long been called the faith-based film industry don’t want that title anymore.
Producer Mark Joseph, whose credits include “I am David,” “The Vessel,” and “Ray,” told Fox News recently that the term “faith-based” isn’t needed.
“The term faith-based in an odd term to describe movies— or anything else,” he said. “For most Americans, faith is a normal part of our lives, so it’s only normal that faith is weaved into movies as it’s weaved into most of our lives.”
He also said that the term could discourage people from seeing the movie.
“The term scares away both the marginally religious and the irreligious, and it’s a signal to them that the story is going to be preachy and overbearing,” he added.
Said producer John Sullivan: “It diminishes the role of faith like it’s (something) second-tier when a majority of Americans are still religious. Having faith in God is not an extreme view, but a very common one, so it should be natural for stories to incorporate that element without being sidelined.”
In 2016, the movies “Miracles from Heaven” and “God’s Not Dead 2”— both centered on faith— were released. “Miracles from Heaven” grossed $61 million. “God’s Not Dead 2” earned $20 million.
Sullivan said that movies that are faith-related that aren’t labeled “faith-based” are able to reach a wider audience.
“I think recent films like ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ and even ‘American Sniper’ demonstrate how characters embraced and struggled with their Christian faith without it being a ‘faith-based’ movie.”
“Hacksaw Ridge” grossed $67 million, and “American Sniper earned $350 million.