The 197-year-old American Bible Society is engaging in a project seeking to take Jesus' parables as found in the Bible to audiences across the world by filming a set of movies that will present modern takes on these timeless stories.
"While the message of the Bible is unchanging, how it is told is constantly changing. 'The Bible' miniseries on History channel earlier this year showed that many desire to learn more by way of video or film," said Jason Malec, executive producer for the series who has also launched New Denver Church, ExploreGod.com and the Explore God Citywide Initiative in Austin, Texas, in an email to The Christian Post on Friday.
"I think many today need to know and understand the unconditional love, forgiveness and welcoming grace of a father's open arms. So, American Bible Society is giving Christians an opportunity to help in re-telling a corporate-America version of the parable of the prodigal son," he added.
A trailer is already available for the first project in the series, called "The Return," a short film which presents a corporate America version of the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). The two-and-a-half-minute preview shows a son seeking to sell his share in the family's company, going against his father and indulging in a new life, before starting down the road to forgiveness.
"The parables of Jesus don't demand; they inspire. They inspire us toward the greatest heights of human potential: generosity, patience, love, forgiveness, wisdom, eternal hope and so much more. We'd like to bring these parables to life through the powerful medium of film," the Kickstarter page for the "Parables Film Series" says.
The filmmakers explain they need some help bringing these stories to the screen and sharing them with people around the world, and ask for $200,000 in support.
"Not only will this single film change lives, inspiring forgiveness and restoring relationships, but it will also open the door for us to create many more 'Parables' films in this series. The more of these stories we can tell, the more lives we can touch with these powerful, eternal themes," the webpage states, offering that anyone can relate to "The Return" as a parable.
"Maybe you've been the son. Maybe you've been the older brother or the father. No matter where you fit into the story, it has the ability to offer truth, hope and forgiveness. And now, by supporting the 'Parables Film Series,' you have the opportunity to share that with the world," it adds.
"The Return" is written and directed by Santino Stoner, who has worked on over 50 short films in his career and with some popular Christian pastors, including Rob Bell and Francis Chan.
The Kickstarter page also offers details of the filmmakers' plan for the series, explaining the areas they need help in with financing a large-scale production, including bringing in A-list talent, and coordinating locations and schedules for a film crew.
As for its involvement, the American Bible Society noted that that it is dedicated toward helping people "experience the life-changing message of God's Word," whether through the Bible translation projects it undertakers, or through sharing the message of Scripture in new ways, such as the "Parables Film Series."