“We have produced a scripted movie containing unscripted interviews showing pro-gay people changing their minds on whether or not homosexuals are born that way, because they were asked two simple questions,” he told WND.
The scripted plot focuses on Peter (Travis Owens), an aspiring comedian who confronts both stage fright and a challenge to his own moral convictions. Peter must decide whether he will stand up for what he believes, even if it means losing a friendship. More than that, he will also face a harrowing life-or-death experience.
Comfort acknowledges the topic of homosexuality is controversial.
“I didn’t want to make this. After making films about abortion and evolution, people kept asking for one that addressed the issue of homosexuality – because most Christians were very uncomfortable about how to deal with it and not sound hateful. But I adamantly said that it wasn’t going to happen. Anyone who spoke against homosexuality was instantly vilified, and nobody wants that.”
But Comfort explains the concept for the film arose by pure chance.
“Around April 2014, I was with a friend in Huntington Beach in California, when I saw two girls walking towards us kissing each other. I asked if they would like to be on camera, and to my surprise they said that they would. These two ladies gave me an amazing 14-minute interview about gay marriage, the morality of homosexuality, and the gospel … and they ended up thanking me for not being judgmental. Yet I hadn’t compromised the gospel even slightly. It was as though God had dropped the foundation for a movie into my lap.
That night he wrote a script and sent it to Mark Spence, the main editor and producer of “180,” which reveals how quickly people reverse their opinion about abortion once they are given the facts.
“He wrote back, ‘Wow, wow, wow!!!!’ I quickly called a meeting, and after just over a year later, we have what we believe is a very timely movie,” Comfort said.
Comfort understands he will be accused of “hating” homosexuals. But he believes the “frustrating” accusation actually provides an opening for “Audacity.”
“Someone wrote to me, ‘Please please please release ‘Audacity’ as soon as possible. Christians need to be equipped to handle the subject of homosexuality. I found an article on my Facebook newsfeed portraying Christians in an extremely negative way. … I have faith in the film, that it will help awaken people.’
“A Christian doesn’t hate anyone, and yet we are being painted with a wide and nasty brush by a sin-loving world. One of these people recently wrote to me and said that it was virtually impossible to be a Bible believing Christian and not be ‘homophobic.’ The frustration is there because I can understand his reasoning. Scripture is very clear on the issue.”
Comfort says Christians can communicate their beliefs effectively without being disrespectful.
Asked to respond to critics who call the film “intolerant,” Comfort countered: “I would say not to make that judgment until they see the movie. I think that even the LGBT community is going to be surprised, because it’s not what they’re expecting. They are going to see that we didn’t want to stereotype or vilify homosexuals.”
At the same time, Comfort urges Christians to remain true to Scripture.
“My opinion is irrelevant. What matters is what God’s Word says on the subject. This is another area covered in depth by ‘Audacity.’ The issue of homosexuality is putting a chasm between those who love God and those who don’t. You cannot separate God from His Word.
“But the movie goes even deeper using an opening scene that shows that those who speak the truth in love, speak the truth because they are motivated by love.”
Comfort believes ‘Audacity’ could serve as a model for Christian films by featuring strong acting and high production values.
“I want people to know that not every Christian movie is cheesy and predictable (a few recent Christian movies have shown this to be true). We went to great pains to avoid a second of bad acting and to make sure it has a high production value,” he told WND.
“We want Christians to be encouraged and equipped as to what they can say, and if they find the issue too contentious, we hope they will share the movie and let it do the speaking for them. To be honest, we didn’t know how it was going to be received up until recently. We are delighted with the reviews so far, and by the fact that a major TV network viewed it and want to air it to 190 countries.”
Comfort expects a big response to the film, because homosexuality is a “huge issue.”
“Millions of Christians are asking important questions, and we address them head on,” he said.
Citing positive reviews, Comfort hopes it may even surpass “180.”
He told WND: “When a reviewer (who didn’t pull any punches) wanted a link for review purposes, I was a little nervous. This is because I knew that he really liked ‘180,’ and that was a high bar to reach. Millions have seen it and loved it. I also wondered if he would be upset that we went through Hollywood, didn’t stick with Christian actors.
“A few hours after I sent him a link, he wrote back, ‘This is the best film you have made yet. Congratulations on a job well done.’
Comfort believes the Internet provides new opportunities to spread his message, especially through the medium of film.
“The Internet has changed so much – some for the better; most for the worse. Despite that, it’s a huge vehicle for the gospel. That’s why I want to put all my energies into social media, producing movies that reach the lost.
“When we launched our first production years ago, we had no idea that we would get over 33 million views on our YouTube channel. That’s amazing and such an incentive for us.”
And with that kind of access, Comfort has high hopes for his project.
“I believe that ‘Audacity’ has the power to change this culture (through the gospel), and even bring healing between the church and the LGBT community.”
See a trailer: