Christian Director Ricky Borba: ‘God is On Your Side and Fighting For You’
By Cooper Dowd, Staff Writer
Director Ricky Borba believes that movies can be authentic and compelling and still communicate profound biblical truths. For Borba, his newest release, HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS, roots itself in real life.
“I got the script for HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS in May 2017. It’s a story about a woman in her 70s who gets cancer, and her son freaks out, robs a bank, and goes to prison. The rest of the film turns into ‘Will he get out of prison in time to see his mom before she passes away?'” Borba told Movieguide® in a recent interview.
“In July of 2017, my mother calls me–and my mom and I were as close as a mother and son could be. My mom calls me two months [after I got the script] and says ‘I have Stage 4 liver cancer,’ and she passed away seven weeks later.”
Borba then used his experience relying on God to tell a story that honors his mother and points to the ultimate hope we have in God.
“I asked the producer and the writer if I could rewrite every scene that Georgia was in to reflect what my own mother was telling me in real life while she was on her journey of trying to fight cancer and beat it,” Borba said.
“Genesis 50:20 says ‘What the devil intended for harm God will use for good.’ My mom passed away from cancer in seven short weeks, but I was able to put her words from real life into my film, and it made the film feel more authentic.”
Borba continued: “It was an honor for me to write a love letter to my mom in this film. Even the last words Sally says in the film are the same last words my mom said in real life. This was a huge gift from God.”
The director, who is known for other faith-filled movies like MY BROTHER’S CROSSING, wants his projects to feel relatable.
“When I do films I want every film I ever make to feel authentic,” Borba said. “I don’t want them to feel like a sledgehammer, I don’t want them to feel the opposite of subtle. I want them to feel like you’re watching characters and hearing dialogue that you would hear in real life.”
Borba said that his love for God inspires him to create movies that will minister to the heart of a believer and reach audiences who do not yet know the truth of the Gospel.
“I believe that Jesus was a man who exemplified God, who was God, and who, at the same time, was able to have a human relationship aspect to his interactions with people,” Borba said. “He was also able to get deep with people and talk about scripture. And so that’s what I think Christian films should reflect. They should reflect both the humanity side and the Christian side. And they should do it in a way that doesn’t feel forced or heavy-handed on either side of the fence.”
Borba said HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS is a movie about hope and how God uses unexpected means to draw us to Him.
“I want people to know that if they’re going through difficulties right now, whether their mom has cancer, whether life is hard because of the pandemic, it doesn’t matter what the situation is that you’re going through. I want them to know that, like it’s portrayed in the movie, God is on your side and fighting for you,” Borba said.