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Between Hollywood and Godlywood

The Case of Walden Media

Nathalie Dupont

This book sheds new light on the relationship between conservative Christianity and Hollywood through a case study of Walden Media, which produced The Chronicles of Narnia franchise. Financed by a conservative Christian, Walden Media is a unique American company producing educational and family-friendly films with inspiring, moral, redemptive and uplifting stories. However, there is more to Walden than meets the eye and the company reflects wider trends within contemporary American society. Drawing on film industry data, film study guides and marketing campaigns targeting mainstream and conservative Christian audiences in the United States and abroad, this book reflects on Walden Media’s first ten years of activity as well as on the relationship between Hollywood and conservative Christians, notably evangelicals, at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Though both worlds are still wary of one another, this study shows that Walden Media films, and particularly The Chronicles of Narnia franchise, have tread a workable path between Hollywood and «Godlywood», albeit within the constraints of the now global film business.
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NATHALIE DUPONT is Associate Professor in American Studies at the Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale, France. Her research focuses on the relationship between cinema and society in the United States. She has published articles on the Hollywood film industry and co-edited an issue of InMedia titled ‘Cinema and Marketing’ (April 2013). She co-founded the research group CinEcoSA , which brings together academics working on the cinema and television industries in English-speaking countries.

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