Last night I went to the Des Moines 48 Hour Film Festival with my wife and a group of other friends. Hollywood it wasn’t, but I was treated to a wonderful batch of original short films by some of Des Moines’ finest.
Some were funny,
Some were touching,
Some were weird,
Some were just plain awful.
Before we left the historic Fleur Cinema, I was struck with a thought: “These people are making it happen.“ Regardless of the artistic merit of their film, they took a chance and created something that did not exist before. They assembled teams, all of various sizes and skill levels, picked a genre, and then made a film in 48 hours (or less.) They acted on their passions instead sitting on their haunches, waiting for the film to make itself.
The film makers had a dream (more than one of them mentioned pursuing a film career full-time would be a “dream come true“) and they did something about it. It left me feeling overjoyed (for them) and convicted (for me). I felt convicted because I couldn’t remember the last time I took a chance like that, putting all my skills, talents, hopes and dreams on the line without knowing the ending.
Without knowing what people would think.
Without knowing how the bills would get paid.
Without worrying if it was “Christian” enough.
I determined that I’m tired of being stuck on the sidelines. I’m tired of hiding inside of my holy huddle, pretending to close my eyes to all the beauty and light and life I see around me in the lives of people who don’t go to church. I’m tired of thinking in “Us” (Christians) vs. “Them” (non-Christians) categories. It’s not that I don’t want to be a teetotaler, it’s just that I can’t.
Some of the films last night were crude, lewd, and non-sensical. I blushed at a few of them. The filmmakers cussed. And I’m pretty sure that one of the film’s entire crew was high for most (if not all) of the process. But for some reason, I felt more “ministered to” by the passion of these filmmakers than I have anything else in quite awhile. How does that work? I don’t know.