Martin Doblmeier, writer and director of the recent documentary The Adventists opened the 2010 Association of Adventist Forum conference. Doblemeier spoke about his experience working on the documentary, what he called 'the adventist' chapter of his life.
Understanding the importance of the Sabbath to Adventists, Doblemeier, a Christian, reflected on the unique tradition of the church. In his remarks, he spoke about his travels during the production of the film, meeting Adventists all over the country. Opening on the conference theme of film and faith, Doblmeier reflected on how the camera captures faith. Self-identifying as a storyteller that uses film as a medium, rather than a filmmaker, he spoke about how to capture truthfully the stories of a faith. Showing clips from his films Bonhoeffer and The Power of Forgiveness, Doblemeier explored how film can be a powerful tool in spreading stories of faith. He encouraged the filmmakers in the audience to produce films that uplift the good in the human spirit, rather than focus on the dysfunctions of society.
Doblemeier addressed a variety of topics in a question and answer session following his talk. Several attendees asked how to avoid bias while making a film. Doblemeier answered that when making a film about a faith community, one has to get involved. Simply the act of choosing the topic and engaging takes away your impartiality. But it's not necessarily something to be avoided. Taking a stand on issues is an important part of documentary filmmaking. He was also asked how to inspire audiences rather than convince them. The attendee, a pastor, was concerned with the Adventist tendency to use film for explicit evangelistic purposes, rather than using film as a medium to inspire audiences. Though Doblemeier did not have specific suggestions for the church, he did note that filmmaking is most powerful when it is intended to give people a broader vision of the world rather than change their mind.
The evening ended with a screening of his film, The Power of Forgiveness.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/2699