The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
Christians are “a very important audience to us”, Cindy Holland, Vice President of original content for Netflix, says.
Netflix has announced its desire to bring more faith and family-based shows to its subscribers.
According to Statista, the audiovisual content company has reached 130.2 million users in the second quarter of 2018.
Netflix continues to grow in the market, especially in the United States, where it has 57.4 million of its registered users; that is why it aims to serve that audience better, which has a very important Christian tradition.
CHRISTIAN AUDIENCE “VERY IMPORTANT” FOR NETFLIX
“It’s a very important audience to us”, Cindy Holland, Vice President of original content for Netflix, told reporters during the 2018 Television Critics Associations’ Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, according to Fox News.
Holland said the religious demographic “represents a significant percentage of the population not only here in the U.S., but around the world”.
“I want to make some great programming for my cousins and their families, too, so it is something that we are focused on really building out a robust slate of family-friendly programming”, she added.
NETFLIX AND RELIGION
Netflix already features a number of films and shows under the title, Faith & Spirituality.
According to Instant Watcher, 73 pictures fall under that genre in the US, including very different choices, such as The Case for Christ, The Bible series, or Prince of Egypt, among others.
The most recent is “Come Sunday”, documenting how Carlton Pearson went from being the pastor of one of Tulsa, Oklahoma's largest churches, Higher Dimensions Evangelistic Center, to being branded a heretic in the early 2000s.
Adapted from an earlier episode of “This American Life”, “Come Sunday” shows how Pearson, distressed after watching TV footage of thousands of children among the dying in the Rwandan genocide, rejected the idea of eternal damnation.
Another example is Wild Wild Country, a documentary about the cult founded in India by the guru Bhagwan Rajneesh, also known as Osho, which shows the darkest side of New Age spirituality.
Additionally, earlier this month, Netflix announced it is working on a series called “American Jesus”, a series that chronicles the life of a 12-year-old boy who learns he is the reincarnated Son of God.
The company plans to spend $8 billion on content this year alone.
“HUNGER FOR FAITH AND FAMILY CONTENT”
Holland's comments mirror what Brian Bird, a producer for "When Calls the Heart" and "The Case For Christ", told Blasting News.
“People are taking notice of the hunger out there for faith and family kind of content”, he said.
Bird is producing a family-friendly series for Netflix called "Big Sky", which is based on an Amish book series by author Tricia Goyer.