A former Queensland Government senior bureaucrat, Bill Parr, knows his way around the various systems of government and secured a $1000 grant from NSW for the Film Festival and got support from the State's Seniors Week Committee and film distributors. Eleven full length features were hired for the week.
Last year Bill organised for a large CinemaScope screen to be incorporated in the church auditorium, which has proved to have been a great bonus for numerous outreach functions and has provided the ideal backdrop for the film festival.
Although having the potential for great community outreach, this is not an inexpensive activity, and should not be taken lightly. Costs which would normally be involved include Public Performance licenses for both music and film, hire of equipment that will provide a screen result equal to normal cinema presentation and payment for auditorium use. Grant conditions by the NSW government requires a return in which all costs are accounted for.
As the church does not, as yet, have a suitable digital projector, one of the latest models was secured from one of the major manufacturers and provided, for demonstration purposes, at no cost for the Film Festival. It was all set and ready for the first daytime screening on Tuesday 20 March. This also gave the opportunity to evaluate the advantages and shortcomings of the projector and determine what will be required if the Baptist Community Centre becomes a home of Christian Cinema.
The films were as follows:
Tuesday March 20
When Love is not enough
Courageous Heart (WWII Warsaw Ghetto)
The Lion the witch and the Wardrobe
Wednesday March 21
Faith Like Potatoes (South Africa)
One Night with the King
Thursday 22 March
Friday 23 March
Saturday 24 March
The Blind Side
The Secrets of Jonathon Sperry
Sunday 25 March
KJV – the Book that changed the World
A wider context
As the Banora Point Baptist Church runs a day cafe, morning and afternoon teas and lunch was on offer. The cafe menu also provided meals for the Friday and Saturday evening theatre restaurant. The minister, the Reverend Ian Aylward sees any such creative outreach as a plus for both his congregation and the wider ministry of the Christian Churches.
Bill Parr said of the Film Festival's promotions: "Getting the Film festival publicised in the local print media, even as part of Seniors' Week, was difficult, as the local media does not readily accept church information for free publication. However, the shire council provided the addresses of all of the nursing homes, retirement villages, and supported living organisations so that we could send the programme material directly to them. There was a steady flow of viewers who graciously made donations, as it was not permitted to charge admission for the shows."
Well-Being Australia chairman Mark Tronson who worships at the church said he was greatly moved by the film "Courageous Heart" about a Warsaw nurse who, at risk to herself, saved 2500 Jewish babies and little children from the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html