Bobby Downes presented the fifth general session, drawing from his vast experience in the film industry. He founded ChristianCinema.com in 1999, a site facilitating the buying and selling of Christian films in a variety of formats. Throughout his career he has produced many films, lately collaborating on popular films like The Lost Medallion and Hoovey.
Because of his experience as ChristianCinema.com’s CEO, Downes brought a valuable business and economic perspective of filmmaking to his audience. He expounded on the huge emergence of digital platforms for distribution of movies, and how it has surpassed the traditional televised platform. Downes memorably said, “Excellence equals access, and access equals impact,” encouraging filmmakers to display the riches of Christ with quality and attention to detail through the medium of film.
Downes’ grasp on the film market is carefully filtered through his Biblical worldview. Through the 10 Laws of Filmmaking, he shared that realizing our ideas come from God is critical. After all, He has created us with the ability to write stories and produce films in the first place. Christian filmmakers are to be set apart from the world’s endless striving after fame and fortune, and instead give glory to their Creator.
“You do not have to defend yourself. Let your life defend yourself,” asserted Downes. As promised in Scripture, he realizes that living a sanctified, or set apart, life will draw ridicule from others. However, he concluded by reminding his audience that ”God’s ability to redeem is greater than man’s ability to do harm.”