Releasing a movie in the middle of a pandemic wasn’t Jon Erwin’s preference.
But even he can see the irony in releasing a film about faith in the middle of trials – I Still Believe – in the midst of such a trial.
“Life is full of things that you can't control and things that don’t go according to plan,” Erwin, the film’s co-director, told Christian Headlines. “The whole theme of the movie is ‘I Still Believe even when I can't see.’ It's sort of fitting.”
I Still Believe – now on DVD, Blu-ray and digital home video – released in theaters March 13 just as the spread of the coronavirus was accelerating. It finished No. 1 on opening night and No. 3 for the weekend, but one week later, theaters were closed. By comparison, Erwin’s 2018 hit I Can Only Imagine was in theaters 17 weeks.
Still, I Still Believe has had a major impact in the middle of the pandemic, as families and individuals search for entertainment during a lockdown.
“We keep hearing stories of people coming to faith in Christ or being encouraged by the movie or finding hope while watching the movie,” Erwin said. “I'm glad we got the movie out.”
I Still Believe tells the story of Christian singer Jeremy Camp’s marriage to his first wife, Melissa, who died of ovarian cancer. Camp then penned the song, I Still Believe.
Erwin hopes churches and families take advantage of the movie’s home video release and study its major themes: faith, prayer and sacrificial love. LifeWay released companion books and study guides.
He compares him and his fellow filmmakers to a volleyball player setting a ball for others to spike – “moms and dads, pastors, coaches and families.”
“The film is designed to give people hope and give people a glimpse of the power of the gospel and the change that it can have in your life,” he said. “It is meant to create discussions at the local level. People need hope, people need the gospel. That's why we do what we do.”
Photo courtesy: ©Lionsgate
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.