The rise of faith-based media in 2023 has been nothing short of remarkable, as the industry witnesses a surge in the production of Gospel-centered, uplifting content. Two industry insiders, Jon Erwin and Kelly Merryman Hoogstraten, have joined forces to create the Wonder Project, a production company that aims to elevate the quality of faith-based movies and TV shows.
With over $75 million in seed and Series A funding raised to date, the Wonder Project has garnered support from industry giants such as Lionsgate, Jason Blum and United Talent Agency. Dallas Jenkins, the creator of the successful series "The Chosen," will serve as a special adviser to the company.
"We need to create a scaled solution for the heartland, for the audience that goes to school with my kids," Hoogstraten told Variety in an interview. "I love the idea of doing so many great stories that are values-based. We just want to flood the world with hope right now."
One of the standout projects of the year was "Jesus Revolution," a film Erwin directed that surprised the industry with its impressive $52 million box office haul. This sleeper hit not only showcased the talent of the Wonder Project team but also highlighted the growing demand for faith-based content.
"The Wonder Project is tapping into a massive, global need. The faith and values audience is global, and the quality shows being developed will meet the long-standing and growing consumer demand," said Ian Doody, managing partner at Powerhouse Capital.
The Bible reminds us of the importance of being a light unto the world. In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus said: "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a basket, but on a candlestick. And it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven." This verse serves as a powerful reminder of the impact that faith-based media can have on our society.
"We're going to dream bigger because the audience wants more," Erwin says. "The content that we make can be infused with values and the things that pull us back together as a family and as Americans."
As the Wonder Project continues to expand and produce high-quality, values-based content, the future of faith-based media looks bright. With a focus on storytelling that is both engaging and uplifting, the company is poised to make a lasting impact on the entertainment industry.
James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.
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