First-ever Salvation Army film festival
01 July 2015
Picture the scene – 12,000 Salvationists from every corner of Zimbabwe, pack into a venue with a usual capacity of 4,000. They squeeze between the aisles, fidget to fit in the seats and on any available floor space to witness the return of General André Cox to his birthplace.
These and many other striking images will feature in Homecoming Africa, a film produced in partnership between the International Headquarters (IHQ) Communications Section and USA Western Territory’s SAVN.tv, just one of a number of films and documentaries to premiere at the Boundless Film Festival – the first-ever Salvation Army event of its kind.
Three screens at the O2’s Cineworld—the second-largest cinema operator in the United Kingdom—will host Salvation Army films on 2 and 3 July during the 150th anniversary congress.
‘Some basic submission guidelines were created and the festival was born as a submission- based competition,’ said congress team member Jeremiah Hinson. ‘I began researching film festivals, discussing with Army film units and tracking down content.’
In total the festival received 35 submissions from individual film-makers from Poland to India, France, Germany, the USA, UK, Denmark and Switzerland. Hinson partnered with SAVN.tv and the USA Southern Territory’s Salvation Army Today to choose up to 10 films that will be screened. All submissions will be featured on the Boundless YouTube channel.
‘We want to empower the film-makers and open whatever doors we can for their work to be seen,’ Hinson said.
In addition to the premier of Homecoming Africa, IHQ and SAVN.tv will also screen Ethembeni – A Place of Hope and a documentary chronicling the Army’s diverse ministry in India.
International Communications Secretary Major John Murray, along with Web Manager David Giles and Multimedia Resource Assistant Gary Rose travelled the length of India over three weeks, exploring Salvation Army hospitals, schools, training programmes and anti-human trafficking initiatives.
‘The Salvation Army has always advocated for those who have no voice,’ David said. ‘It’s a privilege to be able to see and hear the stories of the “voiceless” in person.’
Ethembeni highlights an Army children’s home in South Africa that takes in ‘junkyard babies’, often suffering from HIV/Aids, who are abandoned in junkyards and trashcans.
Hinson hopes to see continued film-making and screening events in The Salvation Army.
‘We want to inspire people to think outside the box, to get creative, to push the limits and expand the reach that film-making can have on the work of The Salvation Army and ultimately the Kingdom of God,’ he said. ‘The possibilities are opening, the opportunities are presenting themselves and the people are getting empowered.’
By Erica Andrews -
This article was included in issue two of Boundless Today. Click to read all issues of Boundless Today.