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The rise of faith-based movies, filmmakers

About Film Talk

Film Talk podcasts takes you inside the minds of some of the brightest filmmakers in the world. Learn from award-winning filmmakers as they teach the secrets to their success – the daily habits, routines and practices they employ to be the best in their industry. Guests include Oscar winners, Emmy Award winners, and Golden Globe winners. You can access the archive of all Film Talk podcasts here.

Creating the faith-based box office megahit with Harold Cronk

Harold Cronk is the director of box office hit “God’s Not Dead” and “God’s Not Dead 2.” Other movies of his include “Jerusalem Countdown,” “Silver Bells,” and “The Adventures of Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure.” Harold is also the founder of 10 West Studios, a large studio facility located in Northwest Michigan.

Excellence in directing with Cyrus Nowrasteh

Cyrus Nowrasteh is a writer, producer and director. Starting out as a television writer, Cyrus twice received the Pen USA West Literary Award for Best Teleplay, and is the only writer in the history of the Pen awards to win two years in a row in the same category. He wrote the pilot for the USA Network show “La Femme Nikita,” as well as numerous episodes of “Falcon Crest.” He also wrote and produced the Emmy Award-winning ABC miniseries “The Path to 9/11,” which starred Oscar winner Harvey Keitel.

Cyrus’ film work has been equally illustrious. He wrote and directed “The Day Reagan was Shot,” which starred Oscar winner Richard Dreyfuss and was executive produced by Oscar winner Oliver Stone. He then went on to co-write and direct the film “The Stoning of Soraya M.,” which starred Jim Caviezel and won runner-up for the Audience Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, amongst numerous other award wins. “The Stoning of Soraya M.” was condemned and banned by the Iranian government but thousands of copies were bootlegged into the country and it became an underground hit in Iran – forcing the government to put a temporary suspension on stoning as a punishment.

Cyrus’ latest release, “The Young Messiah” – which he directed and co-wrote – is based on an Anne Rice novel, and stars Sean Bean.

How to build a faith-based studio with Bobby Downes

Bobby Downes has produced more than a dozen feature films for the faith market. Beginning in 1999, Bobby produced his first independent feature film “The Moment After” and its sequel, “The Moment After 2: The Awakening,” both of which were acquired by Sony Pictures. Bobby then produced “Mercy Streets” starring Oscar nominated Eric Roberts and again worked with Roberts in “Six: The Mark Unleashed,” which also starred Stephen Baldwin and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Both films were acquired for distribution by Sony Pictures. He subsequently executive produced for Ralph Winter on the adaptation of Frank Peretti’s best-selling novel “The Visitation,” distributed by 20th Century Fox. And he has also produced “The Lost Medallion,” “The Redemption of Henry Myers” and “Hoovey.”

Bobby’s most notable film was based on the novel by New York Times best-selling author Karen Kingsbury,”Like Dandelion Dust,” which starred Oscar winner Mira Sorvino and Emmy Award winner Barry Pepper, and was released by Twentieth Century Fox after winning more than 30 international film festival awards.

In 1999, Bobby founded ChristianCinema.com, which is now the largest selection of faith-affirming and family-approved movies online, and the largest independent retailer of faith-based movies in the U.S.

The future of digital marketing with Ash Greyson

Ash Greyson is the founder of Ribbow Media Group where he has led the digital strategy for numerous film releases including “2016: Obama’s America,” “God’s Not Dead,” “The Giver,” “Earth to Echo” and the number-one box office hit, “War Room.” Ash is an innovator, a change-maker and an expert in helping companies transition to the digital universe, as well as a frequent speaker on the subject of emerging trends in digital marketing.

Previously Ash helmed one of the most high-traffic religious websites as editor-in-chief of Beliefnet.com, during which time the website saw traffic skyrocket more than 400 percent through SEO optimization and strategic social media partnerships.

In addition, as a director and producer, Ash has collaborated on many music videos with artists such as Grammy Award winner “Weird” Al Yankovic and Oscar nominated Gus Van Sant. His work as director also includes the documentary film “Strong Enough To Break” about the Grammy nominated group “Hanson.”

And Ash’s past and present clients for digital marketing include Lionsgate, Affirm Films, Echolight Studios, Sony Pictures, Walden Media, Paramount, Focus Features, and The Weinstein Company. Ash is truly one of the world’s brightest minds in film digital marketing.

Marketing faith-based movies with Adam Hastings

Adam Hastings is the vice president of theatrical marketing at Pure Flix Entertainment, where he’s managed campaigns for theatrical releases including the box office hit “God’s Not Dead” and the upcoming “God’s Not Dead 2.”

He’s also the associate producer of films such as “Do You Believe?” starring Oscar winner Mira Sorvino and Golden Globe winner Cybill Shepherd, “This Is Our Time” starring Oscar nominated Eric Roberts, and “The Book of Esther.”