A group of media professionals from Seventh-day Adventist Church divisions around the world met on July 9-10, 2019, to work on an international cross-media project that will focus on bring hope to anyone facing uncertainty in their lives. The select group from different Adventist media centers spent time brainstorming, praying, and shaping the creative project during two days of meetings at the Inter-American Division (IAD) headquarters in Miami, Florida.
“Uncertainty is an existential theme that is present in any person’s life today, regardless of reason or religion, so we have an opportunity to help, guide and inspire audiences, showing them the importance of the message of hope in which we live,” said Adrian Dure, overall coordinator of the cross-media project and documentary film director from Stimme der Hoffnung in Germany — the Adventist Church’s European Media Center.
The international cross-media project will point out how uncertainty plays a part in the life of several individuals, ways of dealing with uncertainty and the growth that it can bring as a result, said Dure. It will also include several types of media projects including an intercultural documentary film composed of stories from different regions, a book, a short-clips campaign for social media, and two special and exclusive productions from the North American Division (NAD) and the South American Division, all with intertwined with biblical principles, said Dure.
“Living one day at a time is based on biblical values and principles,” said Dure. "Knowing that ‘we are not alone’ in this world is another biblical principle that the project will highlight.”
The new network project follows the cross-media project called Fathers — an international Adventist film media collaboration project that highlights the role of fathers, which premiered earlier this year in Amman Jordan, during the church’s Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN) Conference. Previous to Fathers, the media network followed the same model of collaboration among Adventist media centers called REST — a documentary about the Sabbath.
Dure said that this year’s Uncertainty network project grew out of a brainstorming session during the GAiN Europe meeting in Jordan that brought out 100 topics for this year’s media collaboration. “We discussed the topics in group sessions and meetings and agreed to address the issue of uncertainties as our next main target,” he said.
The eight-month international cross-media project uses a “Potluck-style” collaboration, where several media centers will produce stories enriching the storytelling film, said Dure. The project is expected to be completed in March 2020, in time for the next GAiN Europe Conference in April next year.
“Although we come from different divisions, we are representing media in doing this cross-media project,” said Klaus Popa director of Stimme der Hoffnung Media Center, also coordinating the execution of the Uncertainty cross-media project.
“You are a core team leading in the path of service, working together to show that uncertainty is a part of life, that we can have faith through uncertainty, that God transforms certain uncertainties into certainties and that every moment of uncertainty is a way to grow,” pointed out Popa as he led a few group sessions during the two-day meetings.
Part of the network project will include stories; a short film produced by the South American Division; a short documentary film about the uncertainty students face by the North American Division; a book on facing uncertainty coordinated by Norel lacob, chief editor of Signs of the Times magazine of Romania; and a series of campaign spots for television and social media platforms by the Inter-American Division.
“I like to see this team spirit,” said Dure. “We come from different cultures and regions and we think different[ly], but through this project, we are connected, all of us workers for God, as one team, aspiring to become better persons in the future.”
During the Florida meetings, project team members created a timeline for the project, as well as marketing and distribution strategies and ways of increasing communication among the collaborators to make the project a reality.
“This is incredibly exciting that we can come together as partners to accomplish something that individually we could not do, using the medium of film and print to connect with an audience that has neglected us in the past,” said Julio Muñoz, associate communication director for the NAD. “We are so accustomed to working in our individual units, cities, and territories that we miss out on working with talented people [in other places],” he said. Muñoz is coordinating the documentary film with production coordinator Rachel Scribner and several Adventist university media centers in North America.
For Abel Márquez, communication director for the Inter-American Division, collaborating together on such a film project through several media centers around the world and have it available on so many platforms is very exciting. “We are thrilled to see how the technical and creative side will come together in this project and, what’s more, that the message in the film will be more accessible and far reaching for many people,” he said. Márquez is coordinating the global clips campaign with Jorge Diaz Rincon of Montemorelos University and the many production centers across the IAD.
In the weeks ahead, researchers, writers, interviewers, and storytellers will take part in the cross-media project, said Dure.
The project resources will be available for use by the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s media entities, media ministries, and Hope Channel stations around the world.
— Libna Stevens is assistant director for Communication for the Inter-American Division; the original version of this article appeared on the Inter-American Division's website on July 23, 2019.