The Christian Film Database (CFDb) is a collection of Christian films that are listed along with their cover image, trailer, directors, actors, MPAA rating, etc. It can be described as the "Christian" version of the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). There are over 1,000 films in the database, and it is virtually all founded and administrated by one man: Roger Rudlaff. I recently had an opportunity to interview him.
When, and why, was CFDb founded?
I started CFDb sometime in 2008, but it had a very slow start. I tried hosting on a few cheap hosting sites that gave you very little to work with in making a good website. CFDb was not a very good site for quite some time. I had some people telling me it needed to be better, so I started looking into making it better with as little money as possible, but I'm not entirely sure that can be done.
At the same time my uncle, who knows something about making websites, helped me out with CFDb. Though you can't tell a lot of money was put into CFDb, I think it's much better that it was. I started CFDb because I'm a big fan of Christian movies and have been collecting them for years.
I had a hard time finding new and old films because there was no site that just listed Christian films. The only places I could find were the places that sold them, and they only listed the ones they had for sale. So I wanted a place that would list all Christian films, not just the ones that website sold.
Approximately how many films are listed at CFDb?
CFDb has around 1,250 listings right now. I'm adding more films every week. I have been focusing on films in the dramatic genre, but in the last few weeks [end of 2009], I have started adding other types of Christian films. I'm now adding genres like documentaries, exercise, music, and educational. Many types of films will now be added, as I find the time to do so.
Do you have any planned changes to CFDb?
CFDb is constantly going through changes, as any growing website will do. I would like to make CFDb more user-friendly by adding more features like a favorites list, so users can keep a list of their favorite films right on the site.
What do you see as the future of CFDb?
I would like to see CFDb become more like IMDb, with all the cool features that help users learn more about a film and its cast. Being able to see all the films a star has been in, as well as others like directors and producers, would be really helpful. Everything takes quite a bit of time. When I have the time, I work on the site.
If you could personally change an aspect of the Christian film industry, what would that be? Why?
Well, I think the aspect that needs to change the most is how people feel about Christian films. Most people feel they are very poor quality, from the acting to directing, even to the plot. For the most part I agree. I have seen many poorly made films put out by Christians. This has turned many away from the industry altogether. This is very sad because there are good films being made, they are just not getting out to the people.
What, in your opinion, makes a film "Christian"?
This is a very hard question. I have to deal with this every week on CFDb, and I still have not been able to find a standard. Every film is different and I have found there is not one rule that can be applied to them all. I try to look at each one differently and judge it by what the point of the film is. What is the film trying to say? I know this is vague, but so is the way I judge a film.