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The Family Friendly Market for Distribution

Fox Faith and Fox Family Enteratinment, Lion’s Gate, Sony Screen Gems, New Line and even the Weinstein Company are taking steps to go after the family market, in addition to the old standbys like Disney.

The Christian Sector

In Relevant Magazine the editor makes some distinctions between "famiy-friendly" and "Christian" fimmaking.
  • "Most importantly, “Christian” should be defined by truth."
  • "We, as Christians, are salt. Salt preserves what is good. Salt stings in an open wound, but it heals. We must not allow ourselves to be sugar, which turns into fat."
  • "So let’s make sure that attempts to serve the underserved market of “family friendly” do not get labeled as "Christian."

The Family Sector

Parents and grandparents are using movies and the media to educate their children about the wide, wide world (and universe) and in that process, are exposing them to a worldview. A set of principles for living, relating to one another and to the earth itself.

Organizations such as the Dove Foundation are helping shape a set of standards that families want to foster on-screen. Many of these standards are about hope, inspiration, positive human relationships, positive lifestyles, and good working relationships with animals, the environment and one's self.

Pablum has been big in past decades, but preparing our children and young adults for the real world requires thoughtful message making around our cultural "campfire".

Films that deal with teenage pregnancy, such as "Juno" and films that discover more about nature such as "March of the Penguins" indicate the broad spectrum of issues that families want to explore. Family films can help them explore more than they can participate in during their lifetime. And that's needed if we are to understand global issues such as climate change, ethnic peace and harmony, diversity in governance and families.

The Kid Sector

Animation has been the mainstay of programming and film for children for several years. But children are more sophisticated than simple art and simple themes allow. Their exposure to the global cultures, universe and minute intricacies of life and the earth are helping them understand and connect more at earlier ages.

Just this week I listened to a 19 year old girl who is conducting industry-shattering research on cancer! And she started at age 14. She wasn't necessarily a genius -- just engaged by ideas and helped to see how she could explore them. Isn't that what kids want? To see, explore, and do something fascinating?

Film and documentaries that respect this tremendous appetite for adventure and exploration will help our children cope with the rapidly changing cultural mix, the global warming challenges, and the political world in which they live and are also preparing themselves for their next week, next year and adulthood.

And yes, they enjoy a good laugh and playfulness at times, too. But they are hungry for more!

The Nature Sector

Whether you see the globe as God's creation, the remnant of "Eden", or as an ongoing evolution of life producing systems, nature is our lifeboat.

Understanding the complex systems of nature can be greatly enhanced with excellent filmmaking. Appreciation is the first step. Witnessing is second. Relating parts to one another to see the whole is next. Doing something follows that deep understanding. And films and documentaries, even YouTube and Revver and live, online video contribute to this personal understanding of global issues.

It's exciting to be part of this search for not just "truth" but understanding and entry points for participation.


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