Feature Story

Laura Waters Hinson's new film is a breathtaking exploration of what it means to make a difference in the world.

The arts in general and the film industry in particular are areas that have been mostly abandoned by both conservatives and Christians. Yet if American civilization (and the popular culture that is both an echo and a shaper of it) is to be renewed, the American imagination must be inspired by better stories.

Award-winning director Laura Waters Hinson's new film, Many Beautiful Things, tells the story of Lilias Trotter, one of the world's greatest women artists, and stars Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) and John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones).

In this month's Impact Snapshot, you will catch up with Laura, a John Jay Institute alumna, in the wake of the film's release to talk about her movie and her own story. You will also talk about God and the film industry with three alumni in the industry, meet a current John Jay Fellow aspiring to be a film director, and explore how changes in the arts can powerfully shape American culture and politics.

More on Hollywood and John Jay alumni


We asked three John Jay Institute alumni in the film industry about being Christians in Hollywood. Here’s what they said.

Current Fellow Profile:

Hannah Zarr

This aspiring film director enters the John Jay Fellows Program to gain a better philosophical foundation for creating soul-enriching stories.

Matt Patterson argues that artists and teachers must lead a resurgence on the Right.


Makoto Fujimura: The Future of Artists of Faith


Support our efforts to prepare the next generation of storytellers.

Film, television, novels, songs and other forms of storytelling can affect what people value, and train their imaginations to see the world in one way or another. The best cultures thrive on their stories. The John Jay Fellows Program continues to lay the groundwork for its alumni telling the best stories.