168 Helping Birth Wildflower Film Project for Kids

Public Event: "What is the 168 Film Project and Why is Media So Crucial to Our World?" Speaker: John David Ware Founder and Director of the 168 Film Project.

Sept 10, 9:30-11:30, Wildflower Country Club, 4902 Wildflower Lane, Temple, TX 76502-4804

I am going to Temple, Texas (2 hours from Dallas) to speak with area church leaders and to consult with a very ambitious group based at the Temple Bible Church (weekly attendance 4,000). This project warms my heart, because #1 it is a sort of outgrowth of the 168 Film Project and 2, it is aimed at kids.

I believe that if we do not tell our kids the good news of Jesus Christ, then they and the whole world suffers. Want proof, watch the news. No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace.

The Wildflower Film Project began as a charity fund-raiser for the Salvation Army of East Bell County, Texas. According to organizer David Roland, "The original plan was for a fashion show. However, the committee struggled to make that happen. Through what I call divine intervention, the focus changed from a fashion show to the beginnings of a Christian Film Festival. Co-Stars, Kevin Sizemore and Boo Arnold were invited to come and present the film, 'Useless,' which won Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay honors at 168 Film Festival."

On July 28, Kevin and Boo presented the film and their testimonies. The response to this event was so positive that plans were immediately begun for the 2012 film festival benefitting the Salvation Army of East Bell County.

Goals for the Wildflower Film Project are: To promote films of Christian values, with high moral character and integrity, To reach school-aged kids in both public and private schools and to provide practical experience in all filmmaking and related disciplines.

Wildflower Film Project will provide an opportunity for school-aged students to demonstrate a high level of understanding of course content through the medium of filmmaking. Like 168, this is a timed film production contest.

Eligible students include grades 4-12, which are split into three divisions. Students will use the art and science of filmmaking as a demonstration of their level of knowledge and understanding of school content. In conjunction with existing course work, the kids will research class subjects and write a film script, which they will oversee through production and post-production.

Teachers or school administrators will supervise. All cast and crew must come from the school community. Professionals (cast or crew) may only participate in an advisory capacity. The film must be student directed, and students will be at least 75% of the cast. No profanity of any variety is acceptable.

For authenticity, adults may be cast from the school district. The entry fee is $50 submitted with the contract.

Finalists will be notified before the end of the academic school year. All films will be shown throughout Temple and Belton. Each team will introduce their film for the viewing audience and complete an interview by the Final Awards Jury.

I asked organizer David Roland some questions:

How do you plan to get other schools to cooperate?
"I believe the enticement for students (at any age) is in meeting Hollywood personalities, and possibly getting an award or two. School recognition and outstanding accomplishments go very far in a campus's overall academic rating AND they also provide prestige to the campus which may be used when applying for state or district grants and extra funding. For teachers, learning how to use film as a tool demonstrating student knowledge could be a valuable tool over paper and pencil assessments, and less expensive too, said Roland "

What else you want people to know about this?
"As a mission-minded person, I want to encourage others to embrace filmmaking as a way of sharing taking the Gospel throughout our world and as a tool for documenting how God has blessed those who call upon Him for salvation, forgiveness, and mercy. The Wildflower Film Project isn't just about supporting the mission and ministry of the Salvation Army, it is also a collective Christian voice saying we will make films of high moral integrity, and of praise to the Father AND they will be entertaining and enjoyable, he said."

Tell me how 168 has influenced your plans to date.

"For me, 168 is the model to follow; encouraging Christians to take the step, move forward and tell the stories, the stories of Jesus, of the Father's love for His creation of His mercy, of His forgiveness. Because of the 168 Film Project, we have been inspired to encourage central Texas storytellers with this project," Roland said.

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