What do Adventist students around the world think mission is? That’s what Adventist Mission wanted to find out in 2017 when it launched its first-ever student film contest.
Student filmmakers from the United States to the Middle East, from the Philippines to Mexico, sent in their short films, hoping for a chance at the grand prize: an international trip to assist with filming a story for Mission Spotlight!
The “Mission is . . .” film contest launched on April 7, 2017, at the Sonscreen film festival in California. Students from all over the world were encouraged to submit 30-second films that expressed what they think mission is, and why it’s still important today. The top 10 entries were then selected by a judging panel. These 10 films were posted on the Adventist Mission website, where the public voted for their favorite films. Adventist Mission believes that films showing mission work and how God is changing lives, are important tools for evangelism and building faith. That’s why Adventist Mission produces the Mission Spotlight and Mission 360˚ short films that church members across the world watch each Sabbath.
The Judges’ Choice Award is given to the film that was rated highest overall by the judging panel in areas such as creativity, quality, originality, and effective communication of the message. This year’s recipient, Madelyn Rogers, is a student at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee. Mission 360˚ interviewed her about her project.
Judges’ Choice | Madelyn Rogers
Mission 360°: Where do you attend college?
Madelyn: I attend college at Southern Adventist University studying film production.
M360°: What attracted you to filmmaking?
Madelyn: I chose to pursue filmmaking because I’ve always loved to tell stories. I think film is one of the most powerful ways we can communicate and make an impact on others, and I love the endless possibilities it holds.
M360°: What motivated you to enter the contest?
Madelyn: I decided to enter at the last minute. I didn’t really think I could do it, but finally I realized that if I didn’t try, I wouldn’t learn anything, and I wanted to learn. I knew learning by experimentation always leaves the longest impression on me, so I took the dive, pulled together a crew, found an idea, and entered it.
M360°: What does your film mean to you? How did you choose to answer the prompt “Mission is…?”
Madelyn: My film to me is a mile marker for when I began to take my education into my own hands a little more, and something I can look back on that shows I can work with others to tell a story. I collaborated with one of my crew members on the idea. We expounded a bit on an old one he’d had that he was willing for us to use, and I was excited to find a way to jump outside the lines of what most people expected from a missions video.
M360°: What message do you hope people will take from your film?
Madelyn: Through my film, I hope others will be reminded that they don’t necessarily have to wait until they have an opportunity to go overseas — they can spread light right at home, maybe even next door. Mission starts with you.
M360°: How has your film or other films you may have seen that were submitted to the contest impacted your perspective of mission?
Madelyn: I think overall these films showed me that most people do think of faraway places when they think of mission, which is understandable and also not a bad thing. My perspective wasn’t enormously affected coming out of the contest, but I was glad that we were able to approach the idea from the angle of those who perhaps aren’t called to go overseas.
Southern Union | August 2018