The feature film Uncertainties, produced by the video platform Feliz7Play, was awarded in the category of best foreign film during this year's International Christian Visual Media Crown Awards (ICVM), held on June 23 in the United States.
The ceremony took place during one of the world's largest Christian media events, hosted by the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). ICVM was created in the 1970s to celebrate films and the work of filmmakers with the aim of encouraging and inspiring creativity by presenting examples of excellence in communicating Christian values.
“[This recognition] shows that Christians from around the world have understood that films are an important means of sharing the gospel,” stresses Carlos Magalhães, manager of digital strategies at the South American Division of Seventh-day Adventists headquarters.
Magalhães, who, in the late 90s, created the Advir website, is one of the creators of the Feliz7Play platform. For him, the use of audiovisual resources is one of the main modern ways to connect people to the message of the Bible, which also reinforces the role of the Adventist Church to share it in innovative ways. “This result is an achievement for the church, which appears on the scene with other big names, as a denomination that makes use of films to lead people to Christ,” he says.
He also points out that Christian feature films can have several goals, such as focusing on clarifying biblical principles, inspiring behavioral and lifestyle changes, exemplifying the Christian worldview on themes such as suffering, mourning, and death, and being evangelistic. “Films can be modern parables that serve to clarify and amplify the meaning of biblical symbols, showing how the Bible remains relevant and current,” he assures.
Current Approaches to Old Issues
The film Uncertainties took to the cinematographic narrative the debate about one of the main mental health problems of our time: depression. Alice's story is presented from a perspective faced by people of different age groups and social conditions but brings answers based on the biblical vision to overcome it.
Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that, in 2017, approximately 264 million people were facing the disease worldwide. However, that number has increased, mainly due to the new coronavirus pandemic, which began in 2020, the same year that the feature film produced by the Adventist Church was released.
According to Magalhães, Christian films show the worldview—the way that Christianity understands and interprets the dilemmas of human life. Therefore, they try to represent these real-life dilemmas, always proposing a solution or explanation based on the teachings of the Bible.
“Feliz7Play could be just another strategy of a Christian church that uses the films for the spiritual nourishment of members or for evangelism. However, it goes beyond that. It is a platform that uses films to establish dialogues and discussions of current issues with new generations. Its contents are answers to the questions, anxieties, and challenges that our audience faces,” he defines.
New Ways to Bring Hope
For Pastor Rafael Rossi, director of the Communication department at the South American Division and executive producer of Uncertainties, the award not only makes Feliz7Play and its contents reach an even larger audience but accelerates the preaching of the gospel and strengthens the preparation of people for Jesus' soon return.
“We are always looking for the answer to the following question: What comes next? We try to anticipate technological changes to take advantage of trends and witness the love of Jesus to people who otherwise would not be reached,” highlights Rossi. “We don't just deliver the content without offering an additional resource that helps people get deeper into the topic or a path where they can find spiritual support.”
How to Support Feliz7Play
According to Rossi, there are three special ways to do this:
- Pray for the team. It is always looking for the best content and improving scripts and the language to deliver products that make a difference in people's lives.
- Watch the contents. In addition to reaching and awakening faith in people's hearts, Feliz7Play materials also serve to strengthen spirituality and help in the growth and solidification of faith.
- Share. Feliz7Play is a way to fulfill the mission of the Adventist Church. When you send a link to your friends and family, you are also helping these people to get to know Jesus and the Bible better in a pleasant and impactful way.