The last few years have seen a huge interest in faith-based films. Beyond reaping big at the box office they have cast big stars and attracted big audiences globally. 2014's God's Not Dead started the new round of interest in Christian films reaping over $62 million (Sh6.4 billion) at the box office prompting the 2016 sequel God's Not Dead 2 and God's Not Dead 3 slated for a 2018 release by Pure Flix Entertainment.
The 2015 film Heaven is for Real starring Greg Kinnear and Connor Corum made over $101 million (Sh10.3 billion). 2016’s Miracles from Heaven, starring Jennifer Garner earned over $74 million (Sh7.6 billion). 2015's War Room realized over $67 million (Sh6.9 billion), showing a sustained interest in faith-based attractions. The following 2017 Christian movies continue this trend as filmmakers seek to cash in on this renewed magnet.
THE CASE FOR CHRIST (2017)
Lee Patrick Strobel armed with his Yale Law School’s Master of Studies in Law and a University of Missouri journalism degree was an accomplished print journalist for 14 years working with the Chicago Tribune. As an unashamed atheist he took the conversion of his wife to Christianity with a pinch of salt.
To disapprove his wife’ spanking new faith that was straining their marriage he gets out to investigate the historicity of Jesus Christ. He relies on his intellectual ability, investigative journalism experience and legal knowledge to find tangible evidence and the result culminated into one of the most passionate Christian faith apologist since C.S. Lewis. The film is based on Lee Strobel’s book The Case for Christ and stars among others Mike Vogel, Faye Dunaway, Erika Christensen and Robert Forster.
THE SHACK (2017)
William P. Young self-published a novel entitled The Shack in 2007 and in one year it became a U.S. bestseller selling over a million copies and remained on the New York Times Best Seller list for two years. The popular book faced sharp criticism from a number of evangelicals such as Mark Driscol, Chuck Colson, Norman Geisler and Albert Mohler. A man’s life is shattered while camping with his three children when he goes out to save two of his older children who had an accident in their canoe leaving his little daughter behind. She is abducted by a serial killer and her torn, bloody clothing is left behind in the ‘shack’.
He received s mysterious typewritten message in his mailbox inviting him to the shack. An encounter with three strangers will set of a journey of self-healing and self-forgiveness including letting go those who have hurt him and his entire family. The film stars Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Graham Greene, Radha Mitchell and Aviv Alush.
KHUMBULA-I WILL REMEMBER (2017)
A game ranger and ex-soldier working in a game farm in South Africa is visited by his son and ex-wife from Ireland. The son loves the game farm constantly threatened by poachers. Together with some friends, the son is allowed to go to a special camp for a couple of days. Something happens in the last day and the bus leaves his son behind with two of his friends who are captured by poachers.
One poacher wants the children dead and in the melee the ranger’s son uses survival lessons taught by his father to escape leaving behind his captured friends. The unrelenting poachers on hot pursuit, he uses the survival skills to leave behind a trail that only his father would know; he is not far away behind.
The father and poachers are on the boys trail and each intends to get to him first. Full of faith and scriptural messages the film unreels in a backdrop of beautiful game environment with wild animals permeating the scenery. The film stars Frans Cronjé, Jacques Gombault and Manie Kohn.
SAVING FAITH (2017)
Following a familiar storyline, saving faith is the story of Faith and Uncle Donny who are about to close the doors of a theatre in a small Clinton, Tennessee community for the last time after many years of running the establishment. To save the theatre and keep the doors open both come up with an idea of a monumental Christmas show in the middle of the year using a headliner of famous music artists Amy Grant and Vince Gill.
A local investor has an eye on the theatre and intends to buy it at a throwaway price once the bank has foreclosed it. The big popular headliner might end his dream and he has no intention of letting that happen. Like many people the theatre owners will question their faith and their belief in God when bad things happen but Saving Faith might just be their salvation. The film stars Henry Cho, Donny Richmond, Jim E Chandler and Jenn Gotzonand with significant cameos by Amy Grant, Scott Hamilton and Vince Gill.
THE RESURRECTION OF GAVIN STONE (2017)
One of the few Christian comedies of 2017 the American film stars WWE’s Shawn Michaels, Brett Dalton, D.B. Sweeney, Anjelah Johnson and Neil Flynn. A former child star whose better days are behind him returns home, trashes a hotel and receives a punishment of 200 hours of community service in his hometown.
The local church where he is doing his community service is staging a production with religious sensibilities. He pretends to be a Christian and he is offered the part of Jesus Christ. The director of the event is a young beautiful woman and as expected he is drawn to her. The fact that she is the pastor’s daughter makes matters even more interesting for the washed up former star.