Chris Dowling, co-writer and director of “Run the Race,” is not a fan of the faith-based film formula. If you look at the top faith-based films in the past decade, each seems to follow a similar story line: a protagonist, a crisis, a spiritual awakening, a renewed sense of hope and purpose [cue inspirational music] and a neat wrap-up of all the story’s loose ends. “But that’s not real life,” Chris Dowling said.
In an interview about the new faith film “Run the Race,” Dowling used the words “real” and “authentic” more than a dozen times. It’s no secret that he considers the film, co-produced with star athlete and Connect Faith 2019 keynote speaker Tim Tebow, unique from those other predictable faith films.
The movie follows two brothers—Zach and Dave—coping with the loss of their mother and the abandonment of their grieving father. Zach hopes that a football scholarship and Dave hopes that a track scholarship will be their ticket to a better life. Though Dave struggles with an ongoing illness, he has a deep faith in God and encourages Zach to attend church with him and forgive their father. Zach, however, is struggling with bitterness, unforgiveness and an injury that puts him at risk of losing his chances at a scholarship.
While the film does have a lighthearted and hopeful tone, not everything wraps up as neatly as you might expect. And that’s closer to authenticity, Dowling might say. Connect spoke with Dowling about how “Run the Race” stands out in its category and the effect it has already had on viewers.