First, introduce yourself and your role with Bedias, Texas, Christian Film Festival.
My name is Dave Woodruff, I am a member of Bedias United Methodist Church, in Bedias, Texas. I am the coordinator of our Christian film festival.
Where did you get the idea of starting the film festival?
We wanted to share a film on Easter morning, between services (2012) and in seeking permission to show the film we were introduced to the myriad rules of film licensing.
We wanted to share “Road to Emmaus”, and found that the film was licensed through Christian Video Licensing, International. Which lead us to PureFlix licensed films and then to Christiano Bros. films, then Provident, Bridgestone, Echolight and Affirm Films. All this opened us up to contacting and being offered the opportunity of sharing independently produced Christian films, including “Flowers for Fannie” (Mainstreet Productions) in March 2013.
So, it can be said that one thing lead to another. Wanting to share a single film gave us the opportunity to share many more.
What is the mission of Bedias, Texas, Christian Film Festival?
Our mission is to share Christ through the medium of Christian film, to share hopeful stories, often based on actual events and to shine a strong Christian light on the struggles we face each day.
What was the first movie that you showed?
“Road to Emmaus” (30 minutes)
What was the initial response?
Our first film was warmly received and our congregation committed to purchasing two annual licenses (CVLI and PureFlix) and to support the showing of a new Christian film each month.
How do you select which films to show?
We spend a lot of time on Facebook and on other internet outlets seeking out pages devoted to Christian films and Christian film producers.
Again, one thing leads to another. We will read about a particular film and they will mention other films in their reviews. We search out film trailers on YouTube and they often link to other films.
How many movies have you shown this year?
We have offered 17 films in 30 showings. We share our regular scheduled films twice (usually on the 2nd Saturday and again on the 3rd Sunday. And we have offered special showings over the last few months of films that were not covered by our standard annual licenses.
hat has been your most popular film?
Our best attended film, so far, was “Encounter–Paradise Lost”.
How do you promote the movies to your community?
We publish a monthly community newsletter and include movie flyers and articles for our readers along with wide coverage of general community events and organizations. We are also active on Facebook, www.facebook.com/BediasTexasChristianFilmFestival, and we post movie flyers everywhere. We also write a weekly column for 3 local newspapers, (Madisonville Meteor, Navasota Examiner and Huntsville Item) promoting all things Bedias, including our film showings
Tell us about Bruce Marchiano’s visit during your showing of his film, “Encounter – Paradise Lost”.
We were thrilled to receive Bruce Marchiano’s very kind and generous offer to visit our small community and give a talk about the Christian film industry and the value of sharing God’s Word through the film medium.
We were corresponding with Bruce about receiving permission to share “The Book of Matthew” film and he just flat offered to come speak to us (at his own expense) during our showing of his new film “Encounter–Paradise Lost”.
Bruce is a wonderful speaker and very generous with his time, as he spent two days with us.
What movies do you have lined up for the near future?
We usually plan our film schedule 6 to 12 months in advance, but we are flexible in being able to change the mix or substitute newly available films and we have been introducing a series of special film showings, such as “Flowers for Fannie”, “Bully”, “St. John in Exile” and “Finding Faith”.
Our film list for the next few months includes “Bully”, “Escape”, “I am Gabriel”, “Amazing Love”, “Able’s Field”, “The Potential Inside”, “Unconditional”, “Hopeful Notes”, “Meant to Be”, ” Revelation Road”, “25 Hill”,” Disconnect–Reconnect” and others.
Anything else you’d like to share?
This has been a wonderful opportunity to reach out and meet so many interesting people in the wider Christian community, both in and out of the film industry.
We have had the opportunity to better connect with our neighbors, meet passionate members of the Christian film industry, work with independent Christian film producers and see many, many great films that suffer from limited exposure to the public (we hope to rectify that limited exposure thing). And we got to meet Bruce Marchiano!