Feature: The Reel Deal Are Adventists Ready to Take on Film?
June 2014 Feature: The Reel Deal Are Adventists Ready to Take on Film?
Story by Beth Michaels and Tim Lale
The same day a huge earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, Pacific Union College (Calif.) film student Tim Wolfer wrote a message on Facebook: “Anyone want to help a poor, documentary filmmaker buy a ticket to Haiti?” Twelve hours later, Wolfer had a ticket, and he and a friend flew into the Dominican Republic with backpacks and a video camera.
The two students took a bus to the border and made their way into Haiti. Wolfer spent several days at the Maison Des Enfants de Dieu orphanage, filming a story about how a CNN crew had set up camp there and was reporting on children being flown to the United States and getting adopted out, even though their parents weren’t dead. Wolfer’s striking documentary, Adopting Haiti, is available on hulu.com. Wolfer now owns and runs a filmmaking business in Michigan.
Rejeev Sigamoney (pictured left) grew up in Potomac Conference’s Southern Asian church in Silver Spring, Md., which is where he was asked to write his first play. Then he took his newfound skills to Potomac’s Sligo church in Takoma Park where he started a young adult group. They began putting on comedic sketches, which he says caused him to fall in love with storytelling.
Sigamoney has now been the program coordinator and assistant professor of film at Pacific Union College (Calif.) for the past two years and has one film under his belt, Jesus People, a “mockumentary” that eventually saw a 10-theater release, with more in the works. “I give a lot of my church experience credit for my career choice,” he says.
Wolfer and Sigamoney are a small but growing number of young, creative filmmakers being nurtured by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Does that mean the church is finally becoming a purveyor of messages through film?
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