The makers of "The Genesis Code" are hoping that their movie about the convergence of science and faith set against the backdrop of a college community will draw from the increasing popularity of Christian-based productions during a limited release in Midwest cities.
"The Genesis Code," which premieres at theaters in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri on Friday, has a somewhat autobiographical story line similar to the writer of the film, said pastor and film producer Jerry Zandstra.
Film writer Michael W. Leighton also co-produced the movie with Zandstra.
“Michael was somebody who rejected faith early in his life because he thought that science disproved Scripture, and that faith and science were absolutely incompatible,” Zandstra told The Christian Post. “Later in life, through the study of science he became a Christian, realizing that faith and science don’t necessarily have to be these horrible enemies. He wrote it as a bit of autobiography.”
The movie’s premier is an exciting but difficult time for those involved in its production because Leighton died from a heart attack less than two months ago, Zandstra said.
“We got the movie produced and then on Aug. 12 he died unexpectedly in his sleep,” he said. “This has been an emotional week.”
Zandstra said that he also recognizes that the success of films such as “Courageous” is producing a “very exciting time to be a Christian who loves movies.”
“There is clearly a real want and need for high quality faith-based films like 'The Genesis Code' and 'Courageous,'" he said.
The faith-based film “Courageous” grossed an estimated $8.8 million during one weekend in October, and had Hollywood insiders paying attention.
“The Genesis Code” has already been previewed by thousands of people and drawn encouraging responses, Zandstra said.
“When I hear from people that say they were a huge skeptic and had rejected faith, and they came away from the movie open to faith, that’s great to hear,” he said. “Also, when I hear those stories about people using it as an evangelistic tool or people writing and saying they have struggled with this faith-science thing their entire life and now they are at least open to thinking about it, that’s great.”
Producers of the film say the movie is about people confronting the age-old conflict regarding the beginning of the universe. Also, the story reveals the discrimination Christians often feel on college campuses and issues surrounding death are brought to the forefront.
The makers of “The Genesis Code” say the film carries a message that the biblical and scientific explanations for life are totally consistent, but it is told from different perspectives.
Actors Logan Bartholomew and Kelsey Sanders star as college students who fall in love and begin a spiritual journey of discovery. Oscar winners Louise Fletcher and Ernest Borgnine make up the supporting cast, along with former presidential candidate Fred Thompson.
Zandstra said of the film’s topic: “This is a live wire. Anytime you touch science and Scripture you always get an interesting reaction.”