A Filmmaker’s Approach to Promoting The Urantia Book

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Janelle Mazza speaking about The Urantia Book
Janelle Mazza speaking about The Urantia Book

By Richard Jernigan, Plano, Texas, United States

For my entire adult life, I have been a filmmaker and a reader of The Urantia Book, and over the past few years, I have been combining these two interests to promote this remarkable text. My first effort was A Feast of Uncertainty, a 106-minute documentary that retraces the places in Israel and the Palestinian Territories where Jesus lived and taught according to The Urantia Book.

With my second effort, I aimed for short and sweet. Urantia Book readers speak directly to the camera against a white background answering basic questions: What is it you love about this book? What convinced you that this book is what it purports to be? What sections or passages do you return to over and over? What trait of Jesus appeals most to you? How have these teachings changed your relationships?

In an effort to appeal to the non-reader, I encouraged interviewees to describe the ideas and concepts in the book in their own words. Some interviewees answered very simply, others went into great depth.

Initially, I intended to create one short video about three minutes long, but because the testimonies from readers were so rich and thoughtful, multiple videos will be coming. Some of them will focus on an individual reader; others will be topical, such as readers talking about Jesus, the inner presence of God, and life after death.

It has always struck me how The Urantia Book, as a religious text, is always so fresh and modern; it transcends time and space. I wanted to reflect this same appeal in my videos, and by filming everyone against a white background, the effect was non-spatial, and each testimonial appears as if it were shot at the same time. 

My goals for these videos are to reach out to non-readers, to inspire the Urantia community, and to exhibit a diverse cross-section of the readership. It has been my experience that one cannot stereotype the typical Urantia Book reader: socioeconomically, politically, nationally, racially, religiously, or educationally. What a pleasurable and continuous surprise!

These videos have been made available to Urantia Foundation, the Urantia Book Fellowship, Truthbook.org, and other groups that faithfully disseminate the book and its teachings.

My two shoots so far are interviews from participants at the Fellowship’s 2013 Summer Study Session and the Youth and Young Adult Conference in Boulder City, Nevada, this past October.  I plan to film more testimonials at the 2014 conference in Berlin, Germany, and to shoot at one of the U.S. conferences next summer.

The videos can be accessed at https://www.urantia.org/urantia-book-video, and each can be linked to any website. Many people have posted these videos on Facebook, which I encourage. It is my hope that this medium is another way to help others find the supernal teachings of The Urantia Book.

Foundation Info

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