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The Epoch Times Makes Another Push Into Film Industry With 'Firing Squad'

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The conservative news company The Epoch Times has once again shown an interest in film industry-style entertainment with, not just a streaming service (read about Epoch TV here), but now with an Epoch Studios branding along with a release of a faith-based genre film in theaters. The Firing Squad will be showing in 2,500+ theaters on August 2nd, 2024 and will be coming to their streaming service Epoch TV afterwards.

Let me issue a caution. We have been seeing faith-based genre films for a good twenty years. The well established formula includes: redemption tales, crying people, speeches about God, and less-than-stellar cinematography and acting. This seems to be ticking all those virtue boxes, complete with "Amazing Grace" song with saccharine tears in tow.

This isn't to say that faith-based genre films and TV can't be meaningful or of better quality. Quite the opposite. As we've seen with Angel Studios more recently, and with The Chosen, there will always be a contingent within the conservative and Christian influencer-world that resists artistic change within the genre, even resorting to calling names, which is what we're seeing now. But, this means we need to take ground, and move the needle closer to media dominance and artistic vibrancy, not to cede ground again to a decades-long slump in genre and market exploration.

And sure. To be fair, I don't know about all the factors in the film yet. The acting may be good, and many things may improve in the film before the August 2nd release. Since it is too hard to make a definitive determination on the acting from the trailer, I give it some grace and, to be honest, I expect that these film industry veterans, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Kevin Sorbo, have some acting chops left over before they gave themselves over fully to this genre formula. Because, goodness gracious, if all they had done was some color grading of this trailer it would look less terrible.

Watch the trailer here.

A consistency of visual beauty, this film is not. In fact, to some degree it looks trite and contrived. And yes, it looks to me that they were ticking boxes.

You can go to their effort to raise funds for this film too, as they've started a full-on Pay-it-Forward campaign just like The Chosen did on Angel Studios, complete with a million-person goal, where The Chosen has a billion-person goal.

This kind of formula-mimickry has been moderately successful in the faith-based and Christian media world. This is because doing the same formula is comforting and back-patting. It helps you feel like nothing changes, and life remains static, and motionless.


These kinds of films can at least make their money back and bring them into a world of glamour and red carpets eventually. Quite heavenly, really. It exists without challenges or offended feelings- anywhere.

What do you think of this film coming out? Do you think it is good for Christian films to never deviate from their faith-based formula, so they can have a safe bet? Let us know down below (with subscription) or on our social media.