What In God's Name?

Created by Hatty Haines, The Pitch 2023

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Marc is a celebrity pastor whose central London megachurch has been chosen to feature in a major broadcast series: "What In God's Name?" This is the perfect opportunity for Marc to establish himself and his church on the world map. The church is already an all-encompassing brand with millions of online followers. Church merchandise flies off the shelves, celebrities make periodic appearances, and they have best selling books and worship albums to their name. Marc is at the centre of it all; known to many for his charisma, way with words and penchant for luxury brands, to a select few he's known for his image-consciousness, tendency to fly off the handle and exacting standards. The church did a perfect run through last week, all they need to do is replicate that, but Marc couldn't have anticipated one particular visitor showing up on the biggest day of his life... What will happen when 21st century Jesus walks into this perfectly crafted service? We're going to find out because it'll all be caught on camera... In this comedic mockumentary, we enter the story from the camera crew's point of view, and the pitch video is a teaser trailer for the "full episode".

Biblical Connection

The theme of this film is present throughout all scripture: religious leaders misunderstanding the heart of faith and leading people away from God. Most specifically, it's inspired by Jesus turning money lenders out of the temple, and the woes declared on the Pharisees in the Gospels: "You Pharisees clean the outside of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness." - Luke 11:39. This film is about a modern day pastor who, like the Pharisees, strives to look perfect from the outside, but on the inside things are a mess. He nurses the wounds of an absent father, which have led him to desire success and fame over practicing the love of God. Jesus enters the scene as a normal 21st century bloke who challenges the status quo and disrupts the proceedings. He causes a power cut in the building and watches on as Marc loses control. Jesus sees through Marc's abusive behaviour to his hurt and brokenness, and justice is mingled with mercy as Jesus confronts Marc. In a powerful moment, the wayward pastor is given an opportunity he doesn't deserve to repent and change his ways. Will Marc accept it?