I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: 
the night cometh, when no man can work.

John 9:4

As of this writing, nearly 90% of the U.S. population is “sheltering in place,” and with my dear wife’s guidance I am toeing the line. But my thoughts do not naturally incline toward withdrawal from anything. I don’t mean to sound insensitive or dismissive of a worldwide health crisis, but Covid-19 is for me, first and foremost, one more reminder that time is always running out—for all of us.
Beginning with my first film Ropa Nueva para Felipe, which came out in 1990, I have consistently made two prayers when starting a film production:
One, that the movie I am making will carry the anointing of the Holy Spirit;
Two, that I will live to see the movie to completion.

I’m not being dramatic about point #2; it has always been a very real concern of mine. When I take on a film project that I believe comes from God, I take on a commission to create a work of art for my patron, and I don’t want to let him down. Death or incapacity to finish the job would be nothing less than disastrous. Thus, while in the midst of making a film, I am determined to make each day count because no one knows what the future holds (Proverbs 27:1 and James 4:13-15). 

Insofar as our current production—The Puzzle Factory—is concerned, we had long planned to take the four months following completion of our March Mexico shoot to prepare for a continuation of shooting in September. This plan was made months in advance of the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Now, of course, as you well know, major film production hubs around the world are shuttered and production across the board has come to a standstill.

Yet we are moving ahead—on schedule and according to plan!

I don’t often use this forum to discuss money, but I will make our need plain: we are endeavoring to raise an additional $750K through charitable contributions to Messenger Films to finish The Puzzle Factory. We have already completed (and paid for) approximately 20% of the film—made possible by ordinary people contributing what they can.
I was talking with a potential supporter last week and when he heard the amount that remains to be raised for The Puzzle Factory, his first comment was, “That’s not a lot of money for a movie.” He’s right, of course. A precise figure is hard to come by, but the median cost per feature film these days is in the neighborhood of $20 million (with wide variance based on genre).
And The Puzzle Factory will cost 5% of that? How is that possible?
With respect, the question is not How do you do it? You do it through blood, sweat and tears. The more important question is why you do it. And the answer to that is as sure and unforgiving as a ticking clock:
The night is coming when no one can work.
May God strengthen each of us in our lives and work. May He grant us peace and safety. And may He give each of us a fresh baptism of His love and mercy.

Faithfully yours,

P.S. Beginning this month, we are pleased to begin streaming Cristóbal’s films on the Messenger Films website, free of charge.

The first film we bring to you is Ropa Nueva para Felipe, made on a shoe-string budget in Mexico and first released in 1990. The film is only 40 minutes long and the quality is poor by today’s standards. But we trust that if you allow yourself to be drawn into the story, you will not be disappointed. Ropa Nueva para Felipe is still being shown around the world, having been viewed by tens of millions of people and dubbed into multiple languages.

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Cristóbal Krusen is a filmmaker and author. He founded Messenger Films in 1988.

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