Sikh Captain America stars in “Red, White, and Beard” documentary

Red, White, and BeardThe Sikh Captain America Vishavjit Singh stars in a new documentary, Red, White, and Beard, to help educate the America about the Sikhs & cultural diversity.

Sikh Captain America was birthed following the 9/11 attacks by the cartoonist, Vishavjit Singh. He is a superhero that fights hate crime in a red, white, and blue spandex outfit topped with a bright blue turban. His cartoons can be found onSikhtoons, a political cartoon website.

The documentary covers two and a half days during Sikh Captain America’s walkabouts in New York, and is produced by Ben Fischinger, Matthew Rogers and Ryan Westra.

Movies explore religious extremes at Sundance

Prophet's PreyIf one word could sum up many of the religion-themed films at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, it could be “conversion.”

In director Justin Kelly’s “I Am Michael,” journalist Michael Glatze morphs from a sure-footed gay man to a straight conservative Christian attending Bible school.

Director Amy Berg’s documentary “Prophet’s Prey” looks into the workings of the FLDS Church where adherents of the faith leave behind multimillion-dollar homes and successful businesses to follow Warren Jeffs, who claimed to be a prophet of God to cover a multitude of sex crimes.

Vernon, Florida: The Stories We Tell

vernon-florida[…] the film has a secondary theme that I detected through its focus on the importance of religion for this small community. Indeed, we get to hear a sermon in the middle of the film about the significance of the word “therefore” in the Bible. We might extrapolate from this that the film is partially about consequences and belief systems, and specifically what compels a person in life. While religion is certainly prominent (one man describes how it was God’s will that he found the van that he wanted at a price he was willing to pay), other characters in the film talk about the significance of luck for them (like the sherif who luckily avoided a gun shot wound). But more amusingly, the film’s most important character, the turkey hunter, seems to be driven passionately by the hunt itself.

American Sniper, Blue Bible

 American SniperFirst, American Sniper raises questions about the thinness of American Civil religion, a religion in which the film version of Kyle participates.  In one of the opening scenes, a young Chris Kyle slips a small, blue Bible from the church pew into his pocket as the pastor preaches.  The Bible accompanies Chris through his childhood and into the military, making conspicuous appearances throughout the remainder of the film.  Along with his rough-and-tumble Texas personality, his martial training, his shooting acumen, and his warm loyalty towards those for whom he cares, the Bible is a part of what defines Kyle.

Religion story: the darker themes behind Pixar’s Toy Story

Toy StoryA religion is a teaching tool to help you wake up, much like Buddhism, where the actually point is to let go of the religion once you’ve woken up to the understanding that you are God, and that everything around you is God. Because once you understand that you are God, you realize that there’s nothing left you have to believe in except yourself. That’s what’s missing from Buzz Lightyear’s story. He doesn’t realize his own purpose in life.

Round up of Going Clear, Scientology and Tom Cruise

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief Church of Scientology combats Alex Gibney documentary with online campaign

Church accuses Gibney of using discredited sources in his film Going Clear, and launches new Twitter account to drum up viral support

Read more at The Guardian

Among the film’s allegations:

The church abuses its members. In the film, Spanky Taylor, an ex-Scientologist and John Travolta’s former publicist, said she was forced to do hard labor while pregnant, and that her baby was taken away from her by the church for a time. Punishments for those who doubted included sleep deprivation. “You’re so thoroughly indoctrinated, deluded and not questioning anything because [Hubbard] had all the answers,” said Taylor, as USA Today reported. “So you continue to believe all the nonsense.”

Read more at The Washington Post

Scientology’s Alleged Controversial Practices Under Fire in New Film

Watch ABC’s coverage

Film aims to start conversation on race

‘Black or White’ film‘Black or White’ film espouses faith-based values and behaviors.

It is not an overtly “religious” film. Other than a brief funeral scene inside of a church early in the film, there is no mention of God, or of a particular faith or religion.

And yet, “Black or White” is, according to its makers and stars, clearly a film that addresses what might be called “faith-based” values and behaviors —- the importance of family, the need for compassion and forgiveness, the power of love, and the call to respect and value one another.

Angelina Jolie screens ‘Unbroken’ in Vatican, meets pope

Jolie and PopeAngelina Jolie has met with rock stars, refugees and royalty.

The actress, director and U.N. special envoy added pontiff to the list on Thursday, meeting with Pope Francis briefly after screening her film “Unbroken” to some Vatican officials and ambassadors.

The Vatican said Jolie and two of her children were on hand at the Pontifical Academy for Sciences to screen the film, which tells the story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic track star whose B-24 bomber crashed in the Pacific during World War II. He and two crewmates survived on a raft for 47 days, only to be captured by the Japanese…


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Spike Lee’s Kickstarter Film, Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus, Gets New Trailer

Last summer, Spike Lee started a Kickstarter campaign in order to have his fans fund his next film. He went on to raise $1.4 million in the campaign and started filming. The Kickstarter campaign drew some controversy, as Lee clearly did not need his fans to raise money for his movie. Lee defended his decision by pointing to his modest beginnings as a filmmaker, directing movies that no studio would touch and scraping together funding on his own.

“Dr. Hess Green (Stephen Tyrone Williams) becomes cursed by a mysterious ancient Afrian artifact and is overwhelmed with a newfound thirst for blood.”


Religious leaders unite to plead to ABC board

American Broadcasting CompanyAlmost 30 religious leaders have united to plead with the ABC board to refrain from planned cuts to the national broadcaster’s coverage of religion, which they say is “crucial in the life of our nation” and its identity.

Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Hindu leaders sent an an open letter addressed to ABC Managing Director Mark Scott and Chairman James Spigelman late on Tuesday, on the eve of a board meeting on Wednesday, saying they were “especially concerned” that the proposed cuts would include:

Abolishing the position of executive producer of TV religion, leaving ABC television without a specialist head of the topic;

Full article at The Sydney Morning Herald