In his overlapping roles as a filmmaker and as an associate pastor with Sherwood Baptist Church, Alex Kendrick has been, since 2003, one of the most visible figures in the growing field of faith-based American movies. Working outside the traditional infrastructure of the studio system, but with the support of the Baptist community, the multi-tasking Kendrick has made four features in eight years, as director, writer, and actor. He's also produced (or executive produced) three of the four, and taken up editing duties, as well. Setting his stories in varied but readily identifiable environments such as a high school football team ("Facing the Giants"), an urban fire station ("Fireproof"), or a used car dealership ("Flywheel"), Kendrick's stories tend to illustrate Baptist cultural values of honesty, piety, as well as unity in a workplace, family, or town. His films also tend not to express spirituality in genre terms (by contrast, Cloud Ten's immensely popular "Left Behind" adaptations weave science fiction elements into their "end times" stories), but in a grounded, "realistic" framework, introducing only the kinds of dramatic elements that viewers might encounter in their own day-to-day lives. His most recent film,2011's "Courageous," is set in an Albany, Georgia police station, and deals with family and fatherhood crises, which are resolved or addressed via spiritual means.
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