The Distant Boat – trailer

The Distant Boat is a feature-length movie drama with an aim to stir the heart of the African church toward greater involvement in missions. The Distant Boat tells the fictional story of Max, a young urban Kenyan who has it all: a dream job, a best friend, and a girl he hopes to marry. In the midst of a crisis, Max is befriended by a poor Muslim fisherman named Yousef— an encounter that radically changes his life and perspective. After taking time off work to visit his family, Max shares with a wise old uncle his heart for Yousef’s people who have no church and no Christian witness. In the process Max realizes that God may be calling him to be a missionary, but the journey is fraught with obstacles. Max must be willing to risk everything: his future, his reputation, and even the love of his life, as he pursues this call. There’s ridicule from his friends, rebuke from his potential in-laws, and disappointment from his family. His church has never known a Kenyan missionary before. His pastor hardly knows where to begin. For Max, his family, friends, and church, it is a perilous journey of discovery and trust in what it means to be and send a missionary, and why it is worth the...

On directing

I used to do a fair amount of mountain climbing. When Robbie was born, Lesa and I lived in Denver, which is a good place to live for that kind of thing. By the time we moved from Colorado, I’d bagged 12 of the 14,000 ft peaks (called “fourteeners”… Colorado has 53 of them). And last year, about the time that the seeds of an idea to make our first feature-length movie were taking root, I hiked 16,000 ft Mt Kenya with Robbie. It was about 3 months later that the OFM team, and Ted Rurup (producer) in particular, tasked me with directing it. And we were about to leave on furlough for 2 months. While being up for the challenge, I realized I was woefully unprepared for what lay ahead. I wasn’t even sure what it was that lay ahead, but only that it was big. Too big to wrap my mind around. Like standing on the Colorado plains, looking west toward the mountains, it’s very hard to judge scale. I’ve done it enough times to know that something that looks from a distance like a quick scurry up a hill is actually an arduous, strenuous, lengthy climb up a huge pile of rocks. It takes preparation and forethought, planning and training. Once you start climbing, you realize how slowly the peak seems to grow, and often disappears behind smaller peaks in the foreground. You feel light headed as you pass the tree-line. A headache, or nausea might follow. Half-way up the final stretch of mountain you wonder if this will really be worth it. From the top,...

Blessed

We have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas season. Maybe more than any other Christmas our family has had since moving to Africa over 5 years ago. But most of all, we are thankful for a loving and merciful Savior, who left the comforts of heaven to humble himself and live as one of the poorest among us. Not just to be a good teacher or moral role-model, but to live the life we couldn’t live, to pay the debt we couldn’t pay, to die the death we should have had, and to reconcile us to God! We are also thankful to our God for surviving the perfect storm this semester, including: The movie: A week ago we wrapped (finished filming) the biggest film project Andy’s team has ever undertaken. 47 days of shooting: many early mornings, many very late nights, including 2 weeks on location in a remote coastal village. Andy, as director of “The Distant Boat“, was in charge of it all on set, rehearsing and directing the cast of 20 actors, working with Ted (Director of Photography) on lenses and lighting, with Taylor (Production Manager) on locations and contracts and logistics, with Bess (Art Director) on wardrobe and props, with Mike (Script supervisor) on continuity and shot logs and data management, and the rest of the crew of about a dozen. It’s been an exhausting 3 months of work, one that Andy’s glad to see wrapped, and that has taught the OFM team a lot about the movie production process. And has shown them how God is in control, and could use a bunch...
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