Ralph Winter is one of the biggest names in Hollywood. He’s produced many of the Star Trek films, the X-Men trilogy, Wolverine, the Fantastic Four movies, the updated version of Planet of the Apes – the list keeps going (about 25 big budget films in all). Ralph’s films have earned over $2 billion dollars for Twentieth Century Fox in the past few years making him one of the top producers in the world. In addition, many tell me Ralph is a devoted Christian – something I didn’t know until just recently.
I got to meet Ralph and several other filmmakers at the Windrider Film Forum yesterday – a film festival sponsored by my school. Fuller faculty have made nurturing the conversation between theology and art a goal of theirs, and Windrider is one of the many ways they hope to achieve it.
The festival kicked off with a discussion between Mr. Winter and Fuller’s own Chap Clark that focused largely on the intersection between faith and art as well as contemporary films and the Christian themes found therein. After their discussion ended, the floor was opened for questions from the audience. One questioner asked Ralph (who is a voting member of the Academy) if he thought The Hurt Locker should have won best picture this year. Ralph flatly said that he’d voted for Avatar and thought it should have won, but politics were involved and that’s what gave Hurt Locker the dubya (don’t worry James Cameron – everyone knows Avatar was the real winner).
After the Q & A session with Ralph and Chap we screened this movie (which is good) and met a few of the creative minds behind it after the credits rolled.
Today marks the second day of Windrider, tomorrow its conclusion. I won’t be able to go back today, but am hoping to tomorrow (and would also like to take a few members of the college group with me).
In addition to last night being a lot of fun, it was quite the educational experience. I’m already looking forward to January when I’ll be able to have similar experiences at The Sundance Film Festival.
Why would I go to Sundance? Because it’s part of a class I’m planning to take on Theology & Film. Fuller is the largest buyer of block tickets for that festival – a little known fact that I find pretty cool!
In other news, Airiel and I are hanging out with the college group tonight celebrating April’s birthday party. Looking forward to good food and even better company! 🙂