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For a church so rooted in visions and imagery, and with such broad investment in mass media, Adventists have made curiously few forays into cinematic storytelling. In the tension between story and theology, telling and showing, Adventists have prioritized transmitting information over developing engaging content. They’ve used film and television to simply recreate a church experience rather than using audio-visual media to its full dramatic potential.
Perhaps that’s why a production like the children’s series Smoky Mountain Rescue still feels so noteworthy. No audience is more tuned into media of all kinds than children and young people, and no group needs greater investment in media to reach them.
Team-up - North - American - Division - Stewardship
A team-up between the North American Division Stewardship Department and Southern Adventist University’s School of Visual Arts and Design, Rescue subtly enfolds principles of stewardship into the story of kids and the collared dog they find wandering next to the scene of a car accident. Brought together for the summer at their grandfather’s country home, three young cousins put out fliers about the dog (the characters don’t attempt to contact authorities who might have information about the accident). Meanwhile, as the kids enjoy the canine’s easy-going yet courageous company, they find that life is full of surprises — and opportunities to take responsibility.
Available for free online at smokymountainrescue.org, the web series consists of eight episodes, each about 5-6 minutes long. Each chapter is titled with a principle like “A good steward is kind to animals” and “A good steward shares with others.” The segments touch on their themes in...
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