A Modest Renaissance before the End
This chapter explains how the efforts of a new generation of Christian filmmakers to offer interesting and challenging films sparked a modest renaissance as progressive distributors searched for fresh products. This rebirth would be short-lived, however, due to the impending demise of the 16mm Christian film distribution network and the subsequent rise of videotape. While the Christian film market maintained its separation from Hollywood, it was aware of the trends in the larger industry. Rather than imitating the secular behemoth, it focused on preaching sermons, reporting on missions, and teaching the faithful, using the goals of communication practiced by the church for millennia. With the education of film school graduates in the 1980s, Christian filmmakers tapped into technical and narrative strategies practiced by Hollywood. Yet, Christian filmmaking lingered on the fringes of cultural impact, rarely inviting either broader critical awareness or economic influence.
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