A group of media professionals from across the Seventh-day Adventist Church around the world met recently to work on a cross-media project that will bring hope to anyone facing uncertainty in their lives.
The select group from several Adventist media centers spent time brainstorming, praying, and shaping the creative project during two days of meetings at the Inter-American Division headquarters in Miami, Florida, United States, July 9-10, 2019.
“Uncertainty is an existential theme that is present in any person’s life today, regardless of reason or religion, so we have an opportunity to help, guide, and inspire audiences, showing them the importance of the message of hope in which we live,” said Adrian Dure, overall coordinator of the cross-media project and documentary film director from Stimme der Hoffnung, the Adventist Church’s European media center, located in Germany.
The international cross-media project will show the ways that uncertainty plays a part in the life of several individuals, along with methods of dealing with uncertainty and the growth that it can bring as a result, Dure said. It will include several types of media projects, including an intercultural documentary film composed of stories from different regions; a book; a campaign of short video clips for social media; and two special and exclusive productions from the North American Division and the South American Division, all intertwined with biblical principles, Dure said.
“Living one day at a time is based on biblical values and principles,” Dure added. ”Knowing that ‘we are not alone’ in this world is another biblical principle that the project will highlight.”
The new network project follows in the wake of the cross-media project called Fathers, an international Adventist film media collaboration project that highlights the role of fathers, which premiered earlier in 2019 in Amman, Jordan, during the church’s Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN) Conference. Before the Fathers production, the Adventist media network had used the same model of collaboration among church media centers to make a film called REST — a documentary about the Sabbath.
Dure said that this year’s Uncertainty network project grew out of a brainstorming session at a GAiN Europe meeting in Jordan that brought out 100 topics for this year’s media collaboration. “We discussed the topics in group sessions and meetings and agreed to address the issue of uncertainties as our main target next,” he said.
The eight-month international cross-media project uses a potluck-style collaboration, in which several media centers will produce stories enriching the storytelling film, Dure said. The project is expected to be completed by March 2020, in time for the next GAiN Europe Conference to be held in April.
“Although we come from different divisions, we are representing media in doing this cross-media project,” said Klaus Popa, director of Stimme der Hoffnung, who is also coordinating the production of the Uncertainty cross-media project.
“You are a core team leading in the path of service, working together to show that uncertainty is a part of life, that we can have faith through uncertainty, that God transforms certain uncertainties into certainties, and that every moment of uncertainty is a way to grow,” Popa pointed out to attendeees as he led group sessions during the two-day meetings.
Part of the network project will include stories for a short film put together by the South American Division; a short documentary film about the uncertainty students face, produced by the North American Division; a book on facing uncertainty, coordinated by Norel Iacob, chief editor of Signs of the Times magazine in Romania; and a series of campaign spots for television and social media platforms by the Inter-American Division.
“I like to see this team spirit,” Dure said. “We come from different cultures and regions, and we think different[ly], but through this project, we are connected, all of us workers for God, as one team, aspiring to become better persons in the future.”
Across Media Centers
Project team members created a timeline for the project, as well as marketing and distribution strategies and ways of increasing communication among the collaborators to make the project a reality.
“This is incredibly exciting that we can come together as partners to accomplish something that individually we could not do, using the medium of film and print to connect with an audience that has neglected us in the past,” said Julio Muñoz, associate communication director for the North American Division. “We are so accustomed to working in our units, cities, and territories that we miss out on working with talented people,” he said. Muñoz is coordinating the documentary film with production coordinator Rachel Scribner and several Adventist university media centers in North America.
For Abel Márquez, communication director for the Inter-American Division, collaborating on such a film project through several media centers around the world and having it available on so many platforms is very exciting.
“We are thrilled to see how the technical and creative side will come together in this project and, what’s more, that the message in the film will be more accessible and far-reaching for many people,” he said. Márquez is coordinating the global clips campaign with Jorge Diaz Rincon of Montemorelos University and the many production centers across the territory in Inter-America.
In the coming weeks, researchers, writers, interviewers, and storytellers will take part in the cross-media project, Dure said.