Angela White is the founder of Silver Lining Entertainment, LLC, a family owned Multimedia Entertainment Company based in Los Angeles, CA. She is a filmmaker, entrepreneur, producer motivational speaker, author and industry coach/strategist.
Angela recently made history, by becoming the first African American woman to produce a theatrical faith-based film, entitled “A Question of Faith,” which stars Kim Fields, Richard T. Jones, C. Thomas Howell, GregAlan Williams, Renee O’Connor, Jaci Velasquez and TC Stallings.
CFU: In the film “A Question of Faith” you address many real-life issues such as forgiveness. What are some of the consequences of not dealing with not forgiving?
AW: The process of forgiving is hard for everyone, but we must be like Christ and forgive others. When you harbor on to ill-feelings, the lack of forgiveness can internally eat you up, which will ultimately affect your life.
In the “A Question of Faith” discussion guide, I wrote some teachable concepts regarding forgiveness:
- In order to forgive, you have to free yourself from the hurt; anger, pain and any negative feelings that are holding you back from living out God’s purpose for you.
- Letting go ultimately allows a spiritual transformation in your life.
- Never allow pride to stop you from uniting with God on a spiritual level. In time, God will heal your heart and replace it with a humble spirit to look at situations from a different perspective.
AW: Let’s not forget our Bible verses in Luke 6:35-37 or Roman 12: 17-20, which guides us on the power of letting go. The power of forgiveness was an important element of “A Question of Faith” but necessary to show how we can all be like Christ and you may be surprised on what’s on the other side of letting go.
CFU: The film also depicts a couple who is faced with the decision of whether or not commit to having their loved one’s organs used to save another person’s life. What are some of the common stigmas surrounding organ donation? I’ve heard that there are Christians who believe that a body not intact is a body that won’t enter Heaven.
AW: “A Question of Faith” partnered with “Donate Life of America,” who educated us for about a year on many stigmas and false stereotypes that comes with being an organ donor or recipient. One of the first things that I realized about organ donation, as I was very naive to this subject, was the number of people that receive an organ a year and there are many. Organs donated range from eyes, lungs, hearts, kidneys, blood vessels, liver, tissue, pancreas, etc, so there are many parts of the body that can be in need due to a failing health issue.
Organ Donation Crisis
AW: Also, I did not know the number of people that die per year because they do not receive an organ. Organ donation is a serious life issue and I say that with all sincerity, as I know some people do not agree. I am African American and we have some of the highest diabetes rates in the world. Many African Americans with diabetes or other health complications require an organ at some point due to a failing health issue. Many African Americans with diabetes are subject to needing a kidney transplant at some point if their health fails and we are not donating enough to save people’s lives. I had to learn that giving an organ to someone in need is the most purest form of love for the recipient. And, for the recipient, to receive an organ is God’s grace.
Importance of Organ Donation
AW: Thus, people need to be educated on the importance of signing to up to save someone’s life. The community at large needs more organ donors and I think people would be surprised how many people they already know might have already been a recipient or donor. God gave us his son, Jesus, so he is the first organ donor in my humble opinion. It is not your body that goes into heaven but your spirit. When we are buried, it is said, “dust to dust” and “ashes to ashes” and we were formed from dust. Thus, our physical earthly body will die but our spirit is what moves on to Heaven.
CFU: Texting and driving or operating a vehicle while distracted is another issue raised in the film. Many people feel that this is only an issue with younger drivers such as the character in the film. How do you see “A Question of Faith” helping to raise awareness of this as not just an age issue?
AW: The issue of texting and driving is not a young people issue but a highway and transportation major crisis going on everywhere in this country. I was very proud to highlight this issue in the movie, as there are so many accidents that happen every minute due to someone distracted by their cell phone.
Texting and Driving
AW: The film partnered with many national organizations to highlight this issue and the statistics surrounding the number of people that die per day as a result of a distracted driver were alarming. I hope we shed some light on the seriousness of being a distracted driver and that one minute in time can alter and change not only your life but someone else’s.
CFU: “A Question of Faith” also tackles a character who’s views of race nearly destroyed his livelihood. In a society that often appears to be increasingly more intolerant of each other, how can our nation begin to heal the divide?
AW: We openly wanted to address the issues of race in America for many reasons as we are in a moment in history, where we have the commander and chief dividing our country into two. It is funny how history will repeat itself if we are not careful about our leadership and making sure the next generation understands the past. As we are in 2018, race relations are worse than 1980 to some people.
AW: The statement by itself is shocking and some would argue, it is not that bad, but I disagree. Young people of color are dying every day at the hands of police officer, who are supposed to protect us and hate crimes are on a rise. We need to address race relations before the country can heal. If we ignore the past, it will continue to repeat.
We the People
AW: As a people, we must come together and have an open dialogue about race. If we ignore the race topic, we can never begin healing. Further, we must remove leadership that continues to divide the races. So, this is a tough question as there are a lot of moving parts that must happen prior to healing and one being having an open dialogue from both sides on their perceived feelings, so we can start having some honest conversations.
AW: A lot of race issues are from perceived perceptions that are not factual or accurate. If people would even take the time to sit down and talk, we would realize we are more alike than not. Just pray that our country can start having an open dialogue, so the healing can be possible.
CFU: You are the first African American woman to produce and release a mass-market faith-based movie, did you know when you started to work on the project that you were going to be a pioneer and is the faith-based market friendlier to female producers than the mainstream?
AW: You know when I started to produce, “A Question of Faith” I had no idea of this market or the players that came before me. I was completely uninformed of the fact that not many African-Americans, in general were not in this movie genre. Thus, after producing the movie, a year later, a publicist brought this fact to my attention and I was genuinely surprised with mixed emotions. Of course, I was elated that a milestone could be reached and then I was sad that it took until 2017 for this to happen.
AW: The milestone reminded me of how much work African American filmmakers still have to do in this industry. I am just happy for anything that I can offer and bring to the table and I want to inspire the new generation coming up, so they can continue to break barriers for others.
Paying it Forwarding
AW: We must all pay it forward and I just want to be the best possible example of a female producer and help as many as I can to reach their goals and dreams in this tumultuous industry and it is not easy and the genre does not make a difference. I have learned after producing so many movies that all the genres are the same, as this is show “business” and regardless of your theme, you have to be smart, diligent and prepared to work really hard and sometimes by yourself.
AW: Lastly, faith films are still considered a niche by many, so the workload is even heavier, as you have a particular audience to reach that might not normally go the movie theaters, so you really need to make sure your film not only stands out but has a great message. The faith audience cannot be fooled, so your work and story must be authentic. With all this said, it just raises my work ethic and the bar for excellence in this industry.
A Question of Faith” is available everywhere on DVD and is currently airing on Netflix