Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mission Rise

They say there are over 5,000 Christians working in the entertainment industry today in Hollywood. Whether they are making a difference or living a missional lifestyle is a matter of debate. However, from my own personal experiences, I have met several people who are the real deal. One of those is Kurt Tuffensam, who has been working professionally in the industry for over seven years. He may not be a household name, but Kurt has worked on numerous film and television projects in the roles of producer, editor, post-production supervisor and line producer. One of his recent films was the stylistic and film noir interpretation of The Job, which was shot in Detroit, Michigan.

Tuffensam is very good at what he does. But what he excels at is embracing a lifestyle and a missions approach to his work. He is passionate about sharing Christ with the world and believes filmmaking is the universal language which can impact people throughout the world. That’s why he founded Rise, a nonprofit missions organization made up of Hollywood filmmakers who are using their skills, resources and expertise to bring compelling stories of Gospel transformations to the Body of Christ worldwide through filmmaking and social media.

Next month will be a first for Rise as a group of filmmakers from all over the world will ascend on Tijuana, Baja, Mexico to produce their first motion picture under the Rise label. The film, Los Traficantes, retells the story of Esteban Mendoza Cruz, who was the former chief of drug trafficking for the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico. Cruz committed his life to Christ while serving time in one of Mexico’s most violent and corrupt Federal prisons and has since led thousands of men to Christ and to freedom from drug addiction and their former lives of crime. He has planted more than 40 churches and mentored hundreds of leaders and pastors. It is an amazing story and, needless to say, life changing. The film will be primarily aimed at a Latino audience and will be shot in Spanish.

Kurt Tuffensam and Adam Watson wrote the screenplay. Kurt will be on hand to serve in the role of producer, and Adam Watson will direct the film. It is an enormous undertaking as the film will be shot on some of the rough and tough streets of Tijuana. It will require the cooperation of government officials as well as enormous resources which have to be assembled in Los Angeles and brought to Mexico. The filmmakers can certainly use your prayers and support.

Kurt Tuffensam and his crew are the type of people who put their faith in action. We can all talk about making a difference and perhaps speculate what that would actually look like, but here’s a group of filmmakers who are determined to live the Gospel and put their faith in action in spite of not having an abundance of resources at their disposal. All that is required is a willingness to trust God and see what he will do.

If you want to help, you can contact Kurt at or go to their website,

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