Special Premiere: “God’s Land” on Fandor This Weekend

Fandor is pleased to announce the exclusive online premiere of God’s Land, the second feature film by Preston Miller (writer-director of Jones). God’s Land won the Audience Award for Best Dramatic Feature at the 2010 Buffalo Film Festival, and also screened at the STARZ Denver Film Festival and Soho International Film Festival.

God’s Land will stream on Fandor from Friday October 28 through Sunday October 30. Viewers can access the film with a free seven-day pass to Fandor.

In God’s Land, religious leader Teacher Chen and his followers are beckoned from Taiwan to Texas by God to deliver a message of eternal love, space travel and the end of the world. There they also await the return of Jesus. While they wait they do their best to blend in: they buy land, dress in large white cowboy hats and jumpsuits and shop for what they need at malls, just like real Texans. One young mother struggles to keep her family together in this strange land even as she awaits the redemption of the end times.

Inspired by the true story of the `God Saves the Earth Flying Saucer Foundation, God’s Land is a dramatic comecdy of cultural dislocation; a bittersweet story about searching for faith in strange places.

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Keyframe will feature God’s Land-related content all week, including excerpts from the God’s Land production diaries (co-published with The House Next Door) and a new article from director Preston Miller.

Questions for Preston? We’re hosting a web-wide Q&A with filmmaker Preston Miller and YOU are the interviewer. Through Sunday, October 30, you can question him about anything, then he’ll attempt to answer everything on camera! Post your question.


Here are highlights from a few online reviews of God’s Land:

“Imagine if you were the only one you knew who dreamed when you sleep. How could you explain to others what you saw? Would people think you were mad if you told them? Would you yourself think that you were cursed or insane?” This opening statement and the questions that follow come from the press material on Preston Miller’s new film GOD’S LAND — a movie about faith (and how to under-stand it) — and they seem to me the per-fect way to approach this beautiful, comical, kind and sad new film, my favorite of the year so far. …God’s Land is one of the most enjoyable, moving, thought-provoking films of the year — about a subject rarely handled with the intelligence, love and finesse found here.

James Van Maanen, TrustMovies

God’s Land is a moving piece of work, disturbing at times, very funny at times, but always rooted in what really matters to all of us: our personal connections to one another. What will we take with us on that great spaceship that comes to take us away? That we loved our family members well, that we tried to do right by them, that we made the tough choices necessary to keep it all together.

God’s Land was made with real heart and true grit, and the result is a coherent, emotional, and poetic film.

Sheila O’Malley

This film is described as a comedy-drama, yet there is very much a documentary feel at work here when the Hou family or the cult are in public. The scene with the Hou family in a store eerily similar to Target makes the film seem more real. And there is much humor to be had in the film, although much of it is subtle. A scene where the cult members try to figure out the means of their exodus was riddled with references to Star Trek, Boba Fett, Carbonite, and Cryogenics. Portions of the movie I found most interesting included shots of people watching the press conferences held by the cult. In the scene, the press are so used to fanatically-aggressive groups that when a harmonious group comes though, they panic. A scene where Xiu and Ollie are in a hotel has the hotel owner panicking over whether the mother and son will commit suicide in the room, and whether the hotel will be of worth if they try to sell it in the event of the feared suicide.

Mackenzie Lambert

The basic facts would seem ripe for condescending treatment of the people involved here. And some of the confusing and contradictory statements made by the group leader, Teacher Chen, in God’s Land will no doubt raise eyebrows. And while the film does have its comic moments, it is a tribute to Preston Miller that he essentially respects all of his characters, no matter how wrong headed they may seem… This is both a good, and good looking, film.

– Peter Nellhaus

Read an interview with Miller and cast members on Asia Xpress

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