A revival for local Christian filmmaking?

It looks like Chicago’s once-thriving Christian filmmaking sector, which virtually disappeared a few years ago with the much lamented demise of the popular Christian “VeggieTales” series and movies, might undergo a revival.

Successful Christian filmmaker Dallas Jenkins, who recently was named media director of Elgin’s Harvest Bible Chapter, is leading the mega-church in movie production.

“We’re going to make a film every two years or so, using a combination of Hollywood and Chicago talent and crew and interested parties within the church,” said producer/director Jenkins.

Jenkins arrived from California in June to lead production of weekend services and creative videos for Harvest Chapel’s 13,000-member congregation. He has a staff of five full-time employees and approximately 25 volunteers.

Harvest Chapel will announce its first film project by year’s end. Jenkins said the inaugural production will have a modest budget, in keeping with Jenkins’ previous movies. The church will handle all aspects of production and work with on-going ministry partners.

Jenkins said he will seek “the best-of-the-best” film professionals and keep production in Chicago whenever possible. “I thought I had to go to L.A. to produce good work but now I’m going to try to bring it to Chicago.” He will produce and direct most, if not all the movies.