Buzz Film Fest

July 11, 2007 by

The Buzz Conference wrapped up in Washington, D.C., a few weeks back and the results of their film festival are now online. You can watch the four top church films to see some examples of cool church videos.

For those who didn’t get to attend (like me), you can also download audio or watch video from the main session speakers (folks like Mark Batterson, Tim Stevens and Craig Groeschel).

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Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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5 Responses to “Buzz Film Fest”

  • Carey
    July 12, 2007

    Great! I’ve been waiting for these!

  • Suz
    July 16, 2007

    I watched all four of the Buzz selections and I think they are my ideal representation of why most church marketing sucks. Four films, only one non-white person in any of them. Everyone who was explcitly identified as a Christian and/or a church member or employee was a white male. I have been going to church all my life and that is only true in some parallel universe. I couldn’t imagine the people in those films ever leaving the cocoon of that fake world. There seemed to be no chink through which light could break through in the form of anyone different. The rest of us literally didn’t exist. Someone like me (black and female) could never feel welcome at any of the churches whose films were honored by the Buzz committee. Those films made me feel as if I could wander through the halls of the church and never be seen much less acknowledged.
    Also, there were no images of anyone who works in a uniform; no waitresses, no hotel maids, no gardeners, no janitors, just affluent suburbanites. Here’s a newsflash; in spite of the poorly concealed wishes of some Christians in some churches the rest of us are here! We exist, even if only on the margins of your world.
    I serve as pastor of a small innercity church. We are male and female, black and white, old and young, professional and blue collar. We’re just folks. Like most small churches we tend to love each other like a family, which is both good and bad. We want to invite more people to join us and we are looking for the best ways to do that. Hence, my interest in this site. But, if the Buzz awards are the sort of marketing this site endorses, I’m not sure how you can help us.

  • dave
    July 16, 2007

    None of those videos amazed me, but Suz, in defense of Buzz, do we know what kind of material they had to pick from for their awards? If the best videos they received came from predominantly white, affluent churches, then it isn’t fair to accuse Buzz of intentionally seeking to marginalize minorities and blue collar workers. Do you know for a fact that Buzz received a number of quality videos representing blue color and/or non-white people, and then threw those out because they only wanted to honor rich white people?
    I also wonder if you aren’t overstating it a bit when you say with certainty that you’d never feel welcome at any of these churches. It could be argued that by putting these videos out there, these churches are inviting people to make snap decisions about them based on their videos. With any form of marketing, that’s a risk. But I find it a bit alarming when someone like yourself, a Christian and a pastor, uses a two-minute video made by fellow believers with, I’m assuming, good intentions, to make the snap-decision that not only do these churches have marketing that sucks, they also have people that suck.
    That seems harsh.

  • Suz
    July 16, 2007

    You could be right. You probably are right about the selections submitted for the Buzz Festival. And I think you are reacting to my angry tone in the first response. I’ve had a moment to cool down now. Let me try again.
    No. I would not feel comfortable at a church that could produce a film like the ones honored by the Buzz festival. I’m quite sure of it. I know because I’ve done it before in the 1990s. I have gone to all white, suburban, churches to worship and been completely ignored by the members. No one spoke to me. No greeter shook my hand. They did pass the collection plate down the pew where I was sitting, but that was it as far as inclusiveness went. The experience was disorienting and scary. And no, this was not in the South.
    But, because I have met plenty of affluent whte people who don’t seem to think they are the only human occupants of the planet, I feel pretty sure that the decision to make the four films I saw, as I saw them, was deliberate. So, maybe the Buzz Festival made the best of a disappointing crop of films this year. I hope they will have selections next year that better reflect God’s people.

  • dave
    July 18, 2007

    Suz, I’m a middle-class white boy, and I’ve been to affluent white suburban churches where I’ve had the same experience you described. I’m not at all trying to discount any racism that you have had to endure (you would think it would be a foregone conclusion that Christians would not tolerate racism, but I know this is sadly not the case in some churches). My experiences, however, would suggest that there are churches that simply suck at welcoming new people, regardless of their race.
    But getting back to the Buzz Festival, since you’re a pastor, maybe you could do something about creating or inspiring people you know to create a video that you would be happy to see receive acknowledgment at the next Buzz Festival.

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