Controversial comedy ‘Faith Based’ pokes fun at Christian films — to a point

Religion News Service | 1/24/2020 | Emily McFarlan Miller
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(RNS) — It has all the ingredients of a faith-based blockbuster: an astronaut who finds God after she’s pushed to her limits.

Space - Monsters

And space monsters.

But you won’t find “A Prayer in Space” in theaters soon.

Christian - Film - Role - Faith - Film

The fictional Christian film plays a central role in “Faith Based,” a new satirical film about the Christian film industry that premiered this past weekend at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

The comedy stars Luke Barnett and Tanner Thomason of Funny or Die fame as two not particularly pious friends who decide nonetheless to make a Christian film, because, as Barnett’s character puts it, “the entire genre is a gold mine.”

Films - Decide - Budgets - Returns - Money

Christian films, the two decide, are made with small budgets and see big returns. And they don’t even need to be good to make money.

“Christians support anything Christian," says Barnett's character.

Story - Life - Projects - Success - Barnett

The story was pulled from real life. While pitching projects together with little success, Barnett, who also wrote the film, jokingly made a similar argument for making a Christian film to Vincent Masciale, the director of the film.

Like his character, Barnett’s father is a pastor, and he has watched his father’s church bus members to showings of new Christian films.

Masciale - Christian - Fun - Things

And Masciale, who identifies as a Christian, wanted to poke some good-natured fun at "weird things that we do," he said.

“It's not making fun of people that believe in something," Masciale said, noting that some of the movie's scenes were filmed in the church he attends. "It's more just kind of taking this idea that there are people who will believe something blindly, and there are people out there that will take advantage of those people.”

Faith - Jason - Alexander - David - Koechner

“Faith Based,” which also features Jason Alexander, David Koechner, Margaret Cho and Lance Reddick, sold out all three showings at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Barnett said. One audience member said...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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