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Faith and Film Festival

Due to concerns about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the 2021 Faith and Film Festival will be held online Jan. 28-29, 2021. We hope to be back on the Concordia Seminary campus Jan. 27-29, 2022. Thank you for your understanding.

Jan. 28-29, 2021

Concordia Seminary’s annual Faith and Film Festival is a gathering to screen and ponder Christian themes in contemporary cinema. Geared toward people interested in film and theology, the festival serves as an opportunity for participants to explore Christian themes in movies and develop eyes to see film in new ways. Participants will view all chosen films on their own in advance of the festival. During the festival, participants will discuss films together during online sessions; hear from theologians, pastors and film critics; and engage in challenging discussions about the ways in which the themes of redemption, reconciliation, mercy, grace and more are embedded in film.

Movies are the vernacular of our time. This gives Christians a unique opportunity to love our neighbors by applying our knowledge of the narrative of God to these popular modern stories — film. Unfortunately, many Christians opt out and reject all but the most simplistic, church-sanctioned titles. This creates an even greater divide between the sinners inside the church and those outside of the church — a divide we can begin to bridge by learning to see film through a new lens.

Festival attendees will view a predetermined number of films. Following each film, a discussion moderator will encourage a deep dive into the film’s themes.

Continuing Education credits are available.

This is a limited seating event.

Disclaimer: This festival is for adults only.

Presenters/Moderators

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Heather Choate Davis is an L.A.-based writer, speaker, creative director and co-creator of the Faith and Film Festival. She wrote screenplays long before she read Scripture or earned her Master of Arts in theology from Concordia University, Irvine, Calif. Coming full circle, her vocation now includes tearing down walls between the church and the culture with projects like these.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. In fringilla, lorem vel feugiat convallis, ligula urna venenatis ex, ac facilisis nisl purus id nibh. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. In quis malesuada mi, at volutpat magna. Curabitur ut interdum ante. Vivamus congue ipsum laoreet, pellentesque purus quis, dapibus elit.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. In fringilla, lorem vel feugiat convallis, ligula urna venenatis ex, ac facilisis nisl purus id nibh. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. In quis malesuada mi, at volutpat magna. Curabitur ut interdum ante. Vivamus congue ipsum laoreet, pellentesque purus quis, dapibus elit.

Dr. Philip Hohle is the author of The Filmmaker's Prayer and Lenses, and a member of the Society for the Cognitive Study of the Moving Image. He created the course "Cinema and Religion" (with Jacob Youmans) at Concordia University Texas, Austin, which he now co-leads at the movie-theater-based ACTS Church Lakeline. He is a professor at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

Rev. David Lewis is assistant professor of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and is currently finishing his dissertation. His passion for films is captured in the essay, "Cinema and the American Mind," (The American Mind Meets the Mind of Christ). Having a film festival on campus has long been a dream of his.

Abby Olcese is a Kansas City-based writer who focuses on the intersection of faith, culture and social responsibility. Raised on Narnia, Bob Dylan and Monty Python, she is drawn to the weird, the nerdy and the profound corners of popular culture alike. Her writing has appeared in Sojourners, Think Christian, Birth. Movies. Death., /Film and more.

Dr. Timothy Saleska is a professor of Exegetical Theology and the dean of Ministerial Formation at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He thinks of watching movies as a moral activity that helps us empathize with others, and has a deep appreciation for films that stir us to contemplate the mysteries of grace and redemption at work in the world.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. In fringilla, lorem vel feugiat convallis, ligula urna venenatis ex, ac facilisis nisl purus id nibh. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. In quis malesuada mi, at volutpat magna. Curabitur ut interdum ante. Vivamus congue ipsum laoreet, pellentesque purus quis, dapibus elit.

Dr. Travis Scholl is managing editor of theological publications at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and the author of Walking the Labyrinth. He sometimes wonders if he will ever again witness a film as beautiful as "A River Runs Through It," which also happens to be, in his opinion, the only movie that is just slightly better than its marvelous book.

Rev. Jacob Wampfler is the pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Topeka, Kan., the co-host of the Cinema Bros podcast, an Army veteran, a Topeka Top-20-Under-40 nominee and the co-creator of the Faith and Film Festival. His love for film began as a young movie theater projectionist. He believes that we can see Jesus everywhere, especially in film.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. In fringilla, lorem vel feugiat convallis, ligula urna venenatis ex, ac facilisis nisl purus id nibh. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. In quis malesuada mi, at volutpat magna. Curabitur ut interdum ante. Vivamus congue ipsum laoreet, pellentesque purus quis, dapibus elit.

Dr. Michael Zeigler is the 10th Speaker of The Lutheran Hour, the world's longest running Christ-centered radio broadcast, and co-hosts "Speaking of Jesus," a conversational podcast about life centered on the story of Jesus. His book, Christian Hope Among Rivals (2017), explores the power of story to set up, upset and set in hope. He enjoys watching this power on display in film.

Schedule

Registration: $20
Registration deadline: Jan. 11, 2021

Thursday, Jan. 28

Time Event
12-12:30 p.m.
Virtual Greeting

Erika Bennett, Heather Choate Davis and Jake Wampfler

12:30-1:30 p.m.
Bill and Ted Go to the Movies: Viewing Film through the Lens of Faith

Bill Cwirla and Ted Geise

1:45-2:45 p.m.
Feature Length Films (pick one)

Logan - David Lewis
A River Runs Through It - Tim Saleska and Travis Scholl
Eighth Grade - Abby Olcese
True Grit - Ted Geise

3-4:15 p.m.
Short Length Films (pick one)

My Neighbor’s Window - Michael Zeigler
Late Afternoon - Josh Salzberg
Ten Meter Tower - Heather Choate Davis

4:30-5:30 p.m.
Feature Length Films (pick one)

Stranger than Fiction - Heather Choate Davis
Age Out - Phil Hohle
Annihilation - Jake Wampfler
Hugo - David Lewis and George Denholm

5:30-6:45 p.m.
Dinner Break
6:45-7:45 p.m.
Backstage Interview

Paul Walter Hauser

7:45-8:15 p.m.
Contest Prizes
8:30-11 p.m.
After Hours Viewing Party & Discussion

Jake Wampfler, Abby Olcese, Bill Cwirla, Ted Giese


12-12:30 p.m.

Virtual Greeting

with Erika Bennett, Heather Choate Davis and Jake Wampfler


12:30-1:30 p.m.

Bill and Ted Go to the Movies: Viewing Film through the Lens of Faith

Bill Cwirla and Ted Geise


1:45-2:45 p.m.

Feature Length Films (pick one)

Logan - David Lewis
A River Runs Through It - Tim Saleska and Travis Scholl
Eighth Grade - Abby Olcese
True Grit - Ted Geise


3-4:15 p.m.

Short Length Films (pick one)

My Neighbor’s Window - Michael Zeigler
Late Afternoon - Josh Salzberg
Ten Meter Tower - Heather Choate Davis


4:30-5:30 p.m.

Feature Length Films (pick one)

Stranger than Fiction - Heather Choate Davis
Age Out - Phil Hohle
Annihilation - Jake Wampfler
Hugo - David Lewis and George Denholm


5:30-6:45 p.m.

Dinner Break

6:45-7:45 p.m.

Backstage Interview

Paul Walter Hauser


7:45-8:15 p.m.
Contest Prizes


8:30-11 p.m.
After Hours Viewing Party & Discussion
Jake Wampfler, Abby Olcese, Bill Cwirla, Ted Giese


Friday, Jan. 24

Time Event
9:30-10 a.m.
Morning Devotions

Heather Choate Davis

10-11:00 a.m.
Feature Length Films (pick one)

Stranger than Fiction - Heather Choate Davis
Captain Fantastic - Jake Youmans
There Will Be Blood - Josh Salzburg
A River Runs Through It - Tim Saleska and Travis Scholl

11:15-12:15 p.m.
Best Documentary Short Subject (pick one)

White Helmets - Harrison Parker
Period. End of Sentence. - Heather Choate Davis and Gillian Bond
St. Louis Superman - Jake Wampfler
Heroin(e) - Tim Saleska

12:30-1:30 p.m.
Featured Short Film with Director

Change for a Dollar
Dale Ward and the Director of the award-winning short film Sharon Wright

1:45-2:45 p.m.
Feature Length Films (pick one)

Eighth Grade - Abby Olcese
Hero - David Lewis and George Denholm
Age Out - Phil Hohle
Annihilation - Jake Wampfler

3-4 p.m.
Features and Documentaries (pick one)

Heroin(e) - Tim Saleska
White Helmets - Harrison Parker
Dick Johnson is Dead - Abby Olcese

4:30-5:30
Feature Length Films (pick one)

True Grit - Ted Geise
There Will Be Blood - Josh Salzberg
Logan - David Lewis
Whiplash - Heather Choate Davis

5:30-6:30 p.m.
Dinner Break
6:30-7:45pm p.m.
Featured Short Film with Director (repeat session)

Change for a Dollar
Dale Ward and the Director of the award-winning short film Sharon Wright

7:45-8pm p.m.
2022 Short Film Competition Announcement
8 p.m.
Closing Thoughts and Doxology

9:30-10 a.m.

Morning Devotions

Heather Choate Davis


10-11:00 a.m.

Feature Length Films (pick one)

Stranger than Fiction - Heather Choate Davis
Captain Fantastic - Jake Youmans
There Will Be Blood - Josh Salzburg
A River Runs Through It - Tim Saleska and Travis Scholl


11:15-12:15 p.m.

Best Documentary Short Subject (pick one)

White Helmets - Harrison Parker
Period. End of Sentence. - Heather Choate Davis and Gillian Bond
St. Louis Superman - Jake Wampfler
Heroin(e) - Tim Saleska


12:30-1:30 p.m.

Featured Short Film with Director

Change for a Dollar
Dale Ward and the Director of the award-winning short film Sharon Wright


1:45-2:45 p.m.

Feature Length Films (pick one)

Eighth Grade - Abby Olcese
Hero - David Lewis and George Denholm
Age Out - Phil Hohle
Annihilation - Jake Wampfler


3-4 p.m.

Features and Documentaries (pick one)

Heroin(e) - Tim Saleska
White Helmets - Harrison Parker
Dick Johnson is Dead - Abby Olcese


4:30-5:30

Feature Length Films (pick one)

True Grit - Ted Geise
There Will Be Blood - Josh Salzberg
Logan - David Lewis
Whiplash - Heather Choate Davis


5:30-6:30 p.m.

Dinner Break

6:30-7:45pm p.m.

Featured Short Film with Director (repeat session)

Change for a Dollar
Dale Ward and the Director of the award-winning short film Sharon Wright


7:45-8pm p.m.

2022 Short Film Competition Announcement

8 p.m.

Closing Thoughts and Doxology

Additional Continuing Education Opportunities

Faith and Writing Workshop

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Lay Bible Institute

Calling lay people, students involved in homiletical education, pastors and others interested in the proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world: the Lay Bible Institute is for you!

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Multiethnic Symposium

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Pre-Lenten Workshop

The Pre-Lenten Workshop includes sermon manuscripts, textual notes, orders of service for midweek services and also suggestions for the Sundays of Lent to help pastors in developing their own worship resources.

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Workshop Series

Hosted by congregations across the country May through August, and led by Seminary faculty, these workshops offer an opportunity to delve deeply into topics ranging from the teachings of Martin Luther to pastoral tools, such as preaching, responding to conflict and teaching confirmation.

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Theological Symposium

Parish pastors, LCMS district and Synod officials, Seminary and Concordia University students and faculty, and interested laypersons attend each year to delve into some of the most pressing issues of our time. One CEU is available for attending the Symposium.

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