"We are training students who will one-day direct big-budget films with moral integrity and fidelity to a Biblical worldview."
Advent Film Group (AFG), a new film company founded by homeschoolers recently completed "pickup" filming of their first movie, Come What May in Purcellville, Virginia. The movie has garnered wide attention because it features Patrick Henry College (PHC), a national powerhouse in debate and moot court competition. The movie centers on two PHC students who battle to overturn Roe v. Wade at the National Moot Court Championship. They are coached by Dr. Michael Farris, the real-life founder and Chancellor of PHC and a high-profile homeschooling advocate. This is the first of five movies planned by Advent.
With a cast/crew of 40 homeschooled students led by film professionals, AFG's movies are similar to Facing The Giants in scale, budget, and aspirations. AFG's national network of supporters, now several hundred homeschooling families strong (and growing); will help promote the film's release in late Spring 2008.
Homeschooled students and their parents, interested in rebuilding culture for Christ in cinema, have sought out AFG as an alternative to film school. "This fulfills part of AFG's mission," says Ex-Discovery executive and AFI producing fellow George Escobar, a homeschooling dad. "We are training students who will one-day direct big-budget films with moral integrity and fidelity to a Biblical worldview."
Unlike film schools where students pay large tuitions to make short or student films, AFG productions are feature-length from the start, giving the completed film immediate market value. AFG actually pays college students a small stipend even as they are trained, earn professional credits, and receive profit-participation points.
Escobar explains, "We're doing this because film schools aren't working sufficiently for Christian filmmakers." Escobar claims, "The status-quo is clearly broken, otherwise big-budget faith-based or Christian-authored movies like Amazing Grace or Narnia would be directed by Christian directors, unless you finance the film yourself as Mel Gibson had to do for Passion of the Christ."
AFG is also building a movie distribution system from within the homeschooling, pro-life/pro-family communities. Rather than sharing film revenues strictly with traditional distributors, AFG seeks to channel movie revenue into Christian and family-based organizations. Escobar remarks: "Homeschoolers have already successfully turned the public education monopoly upside down; we will now do the same in cinema production and distribution."