Returning after the preview of his feature film Beyond the Mask at last year’s festival, Chad Burns keynoted Tuesday’s opening session. He detailed the importance of our relationship with God and the insight it should bring to Christian filmmaking.
Burns showed that a Christian filmmaker’s prayer life directly correlates with the goals and vision behind their films. Through examples from A Praying Life: Connecting With God In A Distracting World by Paul Miller, he contended that a strong prayer relationship with God can help a filmmaker combat the cynicism that is so prevalent in American culture.
“The road to filmmaking is fun and exciting, but it is heartbreaking and challenging as well,” Burns noted, as he compared the difficulties with rough times in our spiritual lives. When receiving an answer to prayer that isn’t desired or preferred, it’s easy to doubt or fear God’s ultimate plan. The proper response is to have the battle plan of relying on the Holy Spirit to inspire joy in us as we surrender to Him and humble ourselves.
John 16:13 contains Jesus’ words on the Holy Spirit, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears (from God) He will speak,..”
Burns explained that we must implicitly trust God and have confidence that He will guide our film endeavors. His conclusion is that for filmmakers to include the truth of God’s word in their films, they must be continually and regularly in communion with the Holy Spirit through prayer — “A real us has to meet the real God to have a real relationship.”