CHRISTIAN MOVIE MADNESS: AND THE WINNER IS…
Pure Flix’s “God’s Not Dead”, starring Kevin Sorbo and Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson
SAN ANTONIO, TX – From March 5 to April 1, ChristianCinema.com’s First Annual CHRISTIAN MOVIE MADNESS TOURNAMENT drew audiences online to vote for their favorite films in a tournament competition similar to basketball’s March Madness. The response was overwhelming as both filmmakers and fans responded to the competition. Pure Flix’s God’s Not Dead received the most votes, advancing across six rounds and sixty-four competitors to take home the championship. ChristianCinema.com is part of the FrontGate Web Network.
Christian Movie Madness included more than 100,000 votes cast by fans online. “We are thrilled by the number of fans who logged in, round after round, to push their films forward,” says Bobby Downes, President and co-founder of ChristianCinema.com. “The response was amazing, and proves that the Christian audience cares about what they are watching.”
Filmmakers, production companies, and distributors who took advantage of the Facebook memes provided by ChristianCinema.com saw clear, undeniable advancement by their fans. Several ‘underdog’ titles beat out box office hits, such as Hell & Mr. Fudge’s first-round upset over Heaven is For Real, Old Fashioned’s victory over the highly marketed Christian Mingle, and Alone Yet Not Alone’s defeat of Disney’s life story, As Dreamers Do.
For curious voters, the completed bracket can be downloaded at www.ChristianMovieMadness.com. Fans and filmmakers can see how God’s Not Dead advanced to the championship match, beating out other favorites such as Passion of the Christ, What If…, and the bracket finalist, Sandra Bullock’s The Blind Side. Several franchise-based favorites held on through three rounds of elimination, including Love Comes Softly, Chronicles of Narnia, and Kirk Cameron’s Monumental, proving audience loyalty to franchises and filmmakers they support.
For the first few rounds of voting, movies were divided into “conferences” based on theme: Faith and Theology, Bible Stories and Epics, Love and Romance, Comedy, Sports, Action/Adventure, Hot Social Topics, and True Stories. However, as the competition ramped up, it was anyone’s game. That game will change slightly in 2016.
“Next year’s tournament is already in the works,” says Jared Geesey, Senior Vice President of ChristianCinema.com. “Movies from 2015 through March 2016 will qualify. We hope that the promotion of newer films will bring them to an even broader audience than ever before.”
From the outset, ChristianCinema.com sought to connect viewers with filmmakers, create a buzz in the Christian film community about top titles, and promote awareness of lesser-known Christian films. “We feel we have accomplished exactly what we set out to do,” says Geesey, “and we are grateful for the audiences who support Christian films in their own unique ways every week.”
For more information about the tournament, visit Christian Movie Madness or ChristianCinema.com.
Connect with Christian Cinema:
Founded in 1999, when video stores rarely carried faith films, Bobby Downes co-founded ChristianCinema.com to connect independent Christian filmmakers to their audiences. The site is now the world’s largest selection of faith-affirming and family-approved films on the Internet, hosting over 4,000 movie titles in its database. What began with the sale of just one movie grew to include a DVD rental subscription program as well as digital video streaming on demand. Consumers could finally have a reliable source for faith-based films that are pre-screened to ensure a Biblical worldview.
To further the goal of connecting filmmakers and audiences, ChristianCinema.com also added movie reviews, news articles, a daily and weekly radio program featuring interviews with filmmakers, and a weekly newsletter that serves a variety of industry leaders. Bobby Downes and Senior Vice President Jared Geesey spent a decade and a half developing relationships with filmmakers, retailers, and distributors, whom they now serve with up-to-date movie news, an industry release calendar, a barometer for gauging each week’s most popular movies, and the promotion of films.
ABOUT FRONTGATE MEDIA
Award-winning FrontGate (http://FrontGateMedia.com) is the largest internet and events group, and marketing service, reaching the faith and family values audience. Serving as “Your Gateway To The Christian Audience,” FrontGate’s Web Network provides reach to more than 10 million people and 5 million email subscribers. The firm also provides Faith-based market Strategy Development, Media Buying, Public Relations, and Social Marketing. Founded in 2001, FrontGate received the Best Marketing Website and Best Faith-based Website Awards in the 2014 Internet Advertising Competition, and Standard of Excellence Awards in the Marketing and Faith-based categories in the 2014 WebAwards. The company plays a key role in the success of for-profit and non-profit organizations seeking the faith-based and faith-friendly audiences.
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To discuss the Christian Movie Madness Tournament or for interviews with ChristianCinema.com Founder Bobby Downes, or to discuss the faith-based marketplace and FrontGate Media, please contact Lori Heiselman at 714-553-5181 or Lori@FrontGateMedia.com.