CEVMA is a community of committed Christians in film, television, graphic arts, and new media from all across Europe, sharing experiences and encouraging one another. Some of the people involved in CEVMA work strictly in the secular world as writers, producers, directors, cameramen, web designers, composers, set designers, actors, photographers, scriptwriters, bloggers, distributors, and others are serving in the religious field. CEVMA is also very open to welcoming students!
CEVMA was founded in 1981 by Christian media professionals. Since then, CEVMA has held annual conferences in a different European country each mid-September to exchange thoughts and ideas to sharpen the Christian vision for media. Although CEVMA is Europe-based, it often welcomes people from North America, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, and Africa at the conferences.
CEVMA sees it as its mission to bring together a body of committed Christians from across Europe who are actively involved in the visual media, networking, teaching, and encouraging each other to be more like Christ and communicate Him effectively.
The Christian European Visual Media Association (CEVMA) was born in 1980 as a response to the particular needs of Christians already working in visual media and who felt God was calling them to work in Christian film and television.
Many of them had nowhere to turn to for guidance. At the same time, those already in the business often felt isolated and discouraged, working alone or in small organizations and receiving very little encouragement or support from their Churches. Thirty years ago, the church hadn’t quite grasped the medium’s potential as a means of effective communication of the Gospel – a situation which, to some extent, prevails today.
CEVMA’s co-founders were Nigel Cooke – Founder of International Films in the UK – and Kurt Sprenger, head of the newly set up Television Unit of ERF in Germany.
Both men were experienced producers and also Bible teachers. They set the agenda for CEVMA, which was, and still is, to provide European Christians working in the media with an opportunity to get together and share their dreams and visions and meet with God. Both Nigel and Kurt believed the spiritual life of the communicator was more important than the equipment they used.
What made CEVMA so distinctive from other ‘business-oriented’ conferences was this emphasis on personal growth in the Christian faith. Status was never important – there was never a ‘top table.’ Instead, there was fellowship in the true sense of the word, where people felt free to share their joys and frustrations, to laugh together and cry together, sharing the load. CEVMA was about friendship with Christ as the unseen but not unfelt guest. But it was also about becoming better at what we do and sharing our expertise. As well as the worship, there were seminars on every subject related to programme-making and distribution. And yes, business was accomplished and partnerships formed, but as between friends and fellow believers.
Thirty years on, those values characterise the annual CEVMA conferences held each September in one of a number of European countries at ‘easy to reach’ locations. Germany, England, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and France were the mainstays in those early days. Latterly, conferences have been held in Guernsey, Italy, Scotland, and Romania (which enjoyed one of CEVMA’s highest attendances). It’s from some of these countries that members of the board of CEVMA come. The first board members were from the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, and the UK. Some of today’s board members come from Turkey, Italy, and Australia, reflecting CEVMA’s growing international reach while maintaining its European bias. CEVMA is always looking for new locations, where the annual conference will also bring encouragement to local Christians working in media.
CEVMA began in a world of change, meeting needs that never change. Today it continues to do so in a world of increasing change, a world that increasingly needs to hear of God’s Redemption story through Christ.