The second annual Grand Rapids Film Festival starts today and The Genesis Code, a film making its debut tonight, has a strong Acton connection.
One of the executives driving this production is Jerry Zandstra, who also plays the Rev. Jerry Wells in the movie. You’ll see him in the opening shots of the trailer here in the pulpit, which is what is known in Hollywood as typecasting. That’s because Zandstra is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Outside of the film business, he teaches global economics at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids. But many Acton students, supporters and staff remember him as the institute’s former director of programs who was an outstanding lecturer and great friend.
If you’re in the area, check the festival schedule for screenings through the weekend. After its premier, The Genesis Code will have a run in West Michigan theaters. You can get tickets here on the official site. The movie was filmed last year in the Grand Rapids area, and tells the story of a college hockey player and a journalism student looking for common ground between faith and science. It stars Fred Thompson, Louise Fletcher, Ernest Borgnine, Logan Bartholomew and Kelsey Sanders.
Grand Rapids Press religion writer Charley Honey, in a story about The Genesis Code, looked at this faith-versus-science theme:
… it turns out the book of Genesis and the findings of science agree just fine, according to this $5 million movie to be released this week at the Grand Rapids Film Festival … “The core of the story is this faith-versus-science piece,” said Zandstra, an energetic guy with a weight-lifter’s physique. “Those two are not necessarily enemies. As a matter of fact, they ought to be friends.”
The premise is not new, but presenting it as a film drama definitely is. While not likely a blockbuster, Zandstra’s movie might move into the popular square a long-raging debate in Christian academia: Can the Bible’s six-day creation account be squared with the 4.5-billion-year-old scenario of science?
The Dove Foundation gave the film 5 stars. It’s reviewer was thrilled with the story:
This is a fantastic movie! Amazing graphics are used to tell the story of the Creation based on what scientists and theologians refer to as the Genesis Code. The acting is superb and indeed this film features a few veteran actors like Fred Thompson, Ernest Borgnine, Catherine Hicks, Rance Howard, Susan Blakely and Ben Murphy. The story is well told and the younger actors do an awesome job as well. We are pleased to award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to this movie.
Get connected on the Genesis Code Facebook page.
Kerry Wells (Kelsey Sanders), a college journalist and committed Christian with an effervescent personality, has been assigned to do a story on Blake Truman (Logan Bartholomew) the college’s newest and very popular hockey superstar. As a relationship between them begins to develop Kerry finds that Blake, who hides behind a tough and independent façade, is actually struggling through a difficult personal crisis and that he bears the cross of a secret he has kept hidden for years. Blake rebuffs Kerry’s suggestion that prayer might help ease his burden; he is convinced that modern science completely disproves the Bible, especially the opening verses of Genesis. Kerry —- who is herself suddenly confronted with a challenge to her faith on another front —- sets out to prove that science and Genesis are not in conflict and her quest leads to a startling revelation. Could it be that what science teaches us about creation and the Story as told in Genesis are both true and in perfect accord?