Christian Films Tempt $$$-Hungry Hollywood

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2009 5:34 PM CST

(Newser) – Lurking behind the mainstream film industry is a low-budget, high-return business poised to break through: the world of Christian filmmaking, NPR reports. Fireproof, a tale of marital woes and redemption, was the highest-grossing independent feature of 2008—a fact trumpeted at a Christian film festival in San Antonio last month. “Christian filmmaking is coming of age!” festival organizer Doug Phillips told an enthusiastic crowd.

The festival's $101,000 prize—the biggest in the business—is also turning heads, but studio moguls won't "ever get it," said one attendee. "They will try to mimic it, but you can't mimic Christ. They'll never get the love part. They'll never get the forgiveness." Phillips says Christians need their own production houses. "We're going to have our own Steven Spielbergs," he said.