HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (Christian Examiner) -- "For Christians, it's about what does the cross really mean and represent to us and what are we going to do about it. For a non-believer, it shows faith in action. They can really see the impact of the cross, what the cross means, and how it can profoundly impact their lives. It really shows how, I believe, God's hand is working behind the scenes. We don't always realize what's going on, but God has bigger plans—little things I do and how my faith is in action—I may never know till I get to heaven."
That is how Pure Flix Entertainment CEO Michael Scott describes "Do You Believe?" - the latest theatrical release from the faith-centered company that produced the 2014 hit film "God's Not Dead." The movie is set to hit theaters March 20.
"Do You Believe?" is not a sequel to "God's Not Dead" but the logical next step Scott explained to Christian Examiner.
'"God's Not Dead' dealt with existence of God. If there is a God, who is He? You get to see in this movie who He is and what He's done. It's the next stage of the message," Scott stated. The film follows individuals from various walks of life whose paths intersect and are impacted by the message of the cross.
Although all of the characters in the movie are fictional, their storylines are based on real-life issues people face. Pastors and ministry leaders provided filmmakers with information about trends they observe while writers did extensive research of their own through other avenues.
In an unexpected "life imitates art" twist, one of the movie's storylines about a first-responder who is sued by the victim's wife for praying at the scene of an accident loosely parallels the real-life drama of Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran, a public servant who was suspended then subsequently fired due to statements he wrote about marriage based on his Christian faith. Production of "Do You Believe?" with this first-responder storyline was completed several weeks before Chief Cochran's situation became headline news.
"Do You Believe?" was inspired in Brazil during filming of another Pure Flix project about the cross. Scott said that a lot of prayer went into determining what the follow-up to "God's Not Dead" should be. "I called the writers from Brazil and talked to them about taking it from multiple people's lives as they're all intersected with a pastor who gives a message about the cross and how that changes their lives. That's where it started," Scott told Christian Examiner. He believes the multi-storyline approach will allow every viewer to relate to the movie. "Each person's path in the movie is different. It will definitely impact you whether you're a Christian or don't believe" he commented noting that the film contains an action sequence as well as relationship plots.
Scott sees "Do You Believe?" and other Pure Flix projects as a means to impact culture. "People are consuming on average four to five hours a day of TV and movies. I think we've lost our voice in this world a little bit. Support of projects like this can show the Gospel and show things we don't get on TV anymore. If we want to see our culture turn around, there's no more powerful force than media, and it starts here with this film and others."
When asked how he would personally define success for this latest project, Scott replied in terms of box office numbers.
"We get asked this a lot," he said. "People think it's all about the money, but it's not. I think success is driven by the box office. The larger the box office, the more impact we have, and those funds allow us to make the next two or three films. I'd love to see this thing do at least $25-30 million at the box office. That means at least five million would have seen this at the theatrical level."
Scott stated that "Do You Believe?" is a ministry tool. "It's an awesome opportunity for Christians for outreach—to invite non-believers. It's probably one of the best evangelistic tools the church could use to reach non-believers and encourage people to put their faith in action."
Founded in 2005 by Michael Scott, David A.R. White, Russell Wolfe, and Elizabeth Travis, Pure Flix has become the largest independent faith and family studio in the world. With offices in Los Angeles and Scottsdale, Arizona, Pure Flix has produced, acquired, marketed, and distributed nearly 100 faith and family-friendly properties with a mission to transform the human spirit through values-based entertainment.