What if Christian Movies Weren't All So Horribly Gross?


I don’t even remember the title.

I just remember that less than ten minutes in, I couldn’t stop laughing—and I was supposed to be writing a movie review for a national publication to promote this “groundbreaking Christian film.” This was the most challenging writing job I’ve ever had: putting a positive spin on something that was so god-awful without betraying everything inside me that believes that art (which includes movies) should be exceptionally beautiful.

The sad thing is, Christian art—movies in particular—are the laughing stock of the rest of the world, especially in the industry. And rightly so.

I’ve always felt that way, and up until this point in my life, I thought I was the only one who noticed the way a lot of Christian films serve up moralism on a sentimental silver platter as an effort to “evangelize,” but instead become more like a pat on the head to those who agree with the message.

It’s not inspiring or challenging, and it’s certainly not reaching people who need to hear the message. Not that they would listen, though. I wouldn’t if I were them.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought to myself, This is always how it’s gonna be, I guess. Better make my corner of the world as beautiful as I can make it and let that be enough.

But what if that isn’t the end of the story? What if revival was possible? What if I could be a part of making beautiful films telling stories that matter?

Enter 8beats.

It’s an eight-part anthology film exploring the collision of the Beatitudes into our human experience. Its stories challenge us to rethink happiness, suffering, and the meaning of life. And it’s produced by some of the top Catholic filmmakers in the industry, all gathering around this one powerful idea: that we can reinvigorate the Catholic imagination by weaving the universal into the personal, the ancient teachings of the Beatitudes into today.

We’re trying to take these challenging teachings and show what they look like in our modern, everyday life—in all its chaos and beauty. And we’ll produce it in the highest technical quality of the industry.

These are the films I’ve always wanted to bring into the world: the kind of film that, after watching it, challenges you to be a better human, or shows you a mirror to yourself and inspires you to see things differently.

I don’t think these eight short films are literally going to change the whole culture of Christian art — but it’s a massive step.

One, because a group of Catholic creatives are coming together from all over the country and putting the benefits of the digital world to good use by collaborating on a ground-breaking project. Two, because these stories aren’t afraid of the nitty-gritty of life. They’re not afraid to impact you, to speak into the difficult corners of the world. In grief. In addictions. In bad choices. And still these stories  dare to say, “There is hope here.”

It’s been my lifelong dream to shape culture, to be a part of making something that says that I won’t settle for mediocrity. I want excellence. I want a challenge. I want to be a part of a revolution.

And you can be a part of that too. We really hope you will be. Because culture isn’t changed overnight, or with a single film, or even by many individuals. It’s changed by communities. And we want you to join this one. This movement of shaping culture through a captivating and powerful medium: film.

Follow us on Indiegogo to find out more details about the project and how you can join the movement today.



blog by therese bussen

Read her stuff here.

Alan Barros