Despite the fact that Rick Santorum’s movie, “The Christmas Candle,” made just $2.3 million, well short of its $7 million budget, he nonetheless claims that it was an “authentic” film that was much more successful than Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah.”
“One of the reasons that Noah had such a great splash and then died like a rock, it sank, was that it wasn’t true, wasn’t authentic,” the former senator and presidential candidate said of the movie that grossed well over $300 million.
The former senator told Christian Today that his company, EchoLight Studios, can help “reclaim the public square” and make the church “the centre of culture.”
"Popular culture has an impact on the government, on culture and the direction that policies take. As a moviegoer who appreciates good quality art and entertainment, it's always been an interest of mine to see that impact," he says.
He took up the opportunity to lead the team at EchoLight after being approached by a friend in the business who wanted to make movies "consistent with the guiding principles of our country - in particular, portraying faith in an authentic way to movie-going audiences".
"That had a really great appeal to me, to make movies based on universal truths and that deal with faith in a way that is more representative of how it actually affects people and their lives, as opposed to the contrivance born of other, Hollywood, films," Santorum says.
Santorum is certain that popular culture is the means to effect change. "I use this phrase all the time: that politics is downstream from culture," he insists.
"If we want to impact the political system and shape the country, then we have to reclaim the public square and make an impact in popular culture."
The focus of EchoLights, which will debut one of its first movies, Hoovey, next year, is to "turn the industry on its head" and use churches to premiere films, rather than leave them as an afterthought. Santorum explains: "We want the Church to be the centre of culture, which it has been missing...We're about enabling the Church to do what it was designed to do – to be salt and light.
"One of the reasons that Noah had such a great splash and then died like a rock, it sank, was that it wasn't true, wasn't authentic," he says.