Around 800 pastors, youth workers, ministry leaders and missionaries were last night treated to a special preview of the next Chronicles of Narnia move, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
An hour of never-before-seen footage from the film was showcased on day four of the Cape Town 2010 congress on world evangelisation. It was met by rapturous applause from the Christian leaders, who expressed an interest in using the film for outreach when it arrives in cinemas on December 10.
The WEA has been working closely with the film’s makers, Walden Media, and distributors, Twentieth Century Fox, to make sure that it stays true to the spirit of C S Lewis’ book.
WEA Secretary General Dr Geoff Tunnicliffe says the film is a great resource for the worldwide church.
“This is a great opportunity for the church to engage with culture. It’s a wonderful story that’s not often witnessed in the cinema today,” he told delegates.
Churches are being encouraged to book whole theatres to see the film in the opening weekend and make the most of special resources to help their congregations reach friends and neighbours with the film.
At a time when the cinema is more popular than the church, Nick Pollard of Damaris Trust believes the film will help people think more about spiritual and moral issues.
He says: “People don’t go to see films because they are exploring spiritual and moral issues but because the films have an exciting story. This film raises spiritual and moral issues but it’s also exciting and engaging and people will see it on that basis.”
It is crucial that Christians make an effort to see the film in the opening weekend rather than delaying it until a later time.
Nick explains: “The first weekend is so important because producers plan ahead of time what screens they will show their film in, or whether they will drop it or move it to smaller screens. These decisions are all based on a film’s performance in the opening weekend.
“We want The Voyage of the Dawn Treader to be playing in the big screens so that as many people will see it as possible. That’s why we need people to get out and see it on the opening weekend.”
Bob Beltz said that the Chronicles of Narnia was on the right track again after the disappointment many Christians had felt with the last instalment, Prince Caspian.“The Voyage of the Dawn Treader recaptures the magic of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This time everyone’s onboard and we’re excited about seeing it used it in the life of the church to invite friends and neighbours who would never usually step foot in a church,” he said.
For resources and ideas about how to use the film, visit www.narniafaith.com