Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity spoke this week about how he has joined the faith-based film movement, funding a movie to be released in theaters in the Christmas season.
He put up the money for Let There Be Light, starring Kevin Sorbo, because he is fed up with the offerings of mainstream movie-makers, he said during a flying visit to Proclaim 17, the NRB International Christian Media Convention, in Orlando, Feb. 27-March 2.
“Hollywood sucks, that’s my message,” he said to applause at an early Monday morning reception. Referencing the Oscar ceremony the previous evening, which he called “a red America-bashing-fest,” he said, “We need to build a new Hollywood that caters to the values of the American people, that will inform us, enlighten us, entertain us, and also make a movie once in a while that has a message, right?”
His opportunity to be part of that came through his friendship with Sorbo, star of the inspirational hit drama, God’s Not Dead. Sorbo stars in the new film, co-written by his wife, Sam, who also appears onscreen, and screenwriter Dan Gordon, whose credits include Passenger 17 and The Hurricane. Set around Christmas, Let There Be Light centers on a successful atheist author whose personal life is in mess, and who undergoes a transformation.
Hannity, who makes a cameo appearance, agreed to be the film’s executive producer because he wanted to expand his media role to help create movies “that will touch people’s hearts and souls,” he said. “I didn’t do it for the money—I will probably lose my shirt,” he said, “but I did it as a statement in the hopes that we might be able to build a new media for those of us where we are not insulted, our values are not insulted, we are not mocked, we are not made fun of, and I can actually move and touch people’s hearts.”
Though Let There Be Light—which is scheduled for a special NRB preview screening tonight (Weds)—has a clear faith element, with a baptism scene and mention of Jesus, it was not proselytizing or preachy, he said.
Hannity spoke about the kind of films that have touched and inspired him: Gladiator, Braveheart, and The Passion of The Christ, which “brought me to tears.” He mentioned films touching on the afterlife like 90 Minutes in Heaven and Heaven is So Real. “Is that our future?” he asked. “That is pretty exciting to me.”
Referring back to the Oscars, Hannity added, “It is time, and especially after last night, that we begin to realize we’re giving money to people that don’t like us, have contempt for us and our values, and don’t want to deliver that which we want.”