Abel Márquez, executive director of Hope Channel Inter-America, speaks to media center producers from throughout the Inter-American Division Nov. 4, 2019, during day one of special production advisory to grow the channels. The two-day training event took place in Miami, Florida, United States. Photo: Keila Trejo/IAD

November 20, 2019 | Miami, Florida, United States | Libna Stevens/IAD

Ever since Hope Channel Inter-America was launched in 2015, the goal has been to feed its three television channels with homegrown content. In order to continue reaching that goal, two days of training recently took place at the Inter-American Division (IAD) headquarter office in Miami, Florida, United States, for dozens of content producers from media centers throughout the territory.

The training sessions, held November 4-5, 2019, were designed to bolster television production guidelines and principles, foster closer networking, and promote creative ideas to reach greater audiences throughout the more than 300 million people living in the territory, organizers said.

Pastor Elie Henry, president for the church in Inter-America speaks at the start of the Hope Channel Inter-America  production advisory, Nov. 4, 2019.  Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD

“This was not just about inspiring our television producers and staff in our Hope Channel Inter-America network, but about increasing efforts to work together as a larger team producing more innovative and creative programs to reach the audiences that as a church we are not able to with traditional [evangelism] methods,” said Abel Márquez, executive director of Hope Channel Inter-America. “We are at the level now that we can move forward to collaborate on additional projects together.”

Hands-on, hand-picked professionals who are currently producing television content and/or have the potential to grow in the immediate future in the 18 church-run media centers in the IAD were essential in coming together to be part of expanding the channels, said Márquez. “I remember when Inter-America had one media production center in Montemorelos University, but now is a top contributing center that produces so many programs.”

The growth has been evident in less than five years, said Márquez.

Arnold Kelly of Northern Caribbean University Media center (right) shares with the group a few insights on the English programming produced for Hope Channel Inter-America, while others listen in: L-R Nigel Coke of Jamaica Union, Jeremie Lemec of Haitian Union, Serge Raphael of the French Antilles Guiana Union and Abel Márquez. Photo: Keila Trejo/IAD

“Four years ago, our Spanish channel was filled with 28 percent of our own produced content, but now 82 percent features programs produced by our media centers,” added Márquez. It’s basically the same with the French channel, 100 percent of which is produced in the IAD’s French Antilles Guiana territory. The English channel is what leaders want to grow more, he said.

IAD President Pastor Elie Henry spoke during the training meetings and reminded producers to ensure the message they are sharing is to be clear and far reaching.

“Our television programs are not merely to entertain, but to inspire, to point to Jesus as a Savior and to His soon coming,” said Pastor Henry. “To preach the gospel through different programming, we must be disciples of Christ at all times, whatever we do and wherever we are to give God the honor and glory He deserves.”

Hector Belvedere, production director for Hope Channel International speaks on the components and design of a television set. Photo: Keila Trejo/IAD

The work is to reach the external audiences with creative programming that will reach the hearts of millions of people, reminded Márquez.

Media producers learned about productions with strategy, producing with limited equipment, designing efficient sets with color, shapes, textures in available spaces, storytelling not only to feature actions but to move with emotion and feeling, increasing networking collaboration, better integration among centers with special projects, better ways of promoting and distributing the channel, and others.

There were several sessions during the meetings that brought out additional collaboration projects such as programming with a cinematography language, more social media productions, creating forums to help support initiatives and projects, producing tutorials to share production tips, technical support and problem-solving solutions, organizing brainstorming sessions, increasing creative content, and more.

Lizbeth Elejalde, programming and production assistant for Hope Channel Inter-America, reminds producers to create storytelling to move with emotion and feeling in their programming. Photo: Keila Trejo/IAD

Several media producers shared their current and future programming projects to be added to the channel in the coming weeks and months.

The group voted to designate every Monday as a special day of prayer for Hope Channel Inter-America, praying for spiritual commitment of all staff members and for the viewing audience. In addition, a vote was taken on a resolution of gratitude for God’s blessings on Hope Channel Inter-America during the past year.

“When we see the past, how Adventist television has grown exponentially, we are amazed by what the Lord has done in the past and that gets us excited to move forward together reaching more people for Christ,” said Márquez.

Fabricio Rivera, communication director for the church in El Salvador, explains how he and his team were able to produce a running 13-episode program on lives transformed, with one camera and limited equipment.  Photo: Keila Trejo/IAD

“There are still many challenges to reach the vast population in Inter-America throughout the 42 countries and islands comprising our territory,” said Marquez. “We will continue to work together, be creative with innovative programs, continue to collaborate and network more and not stop sharing hope every day.”

Future plans for Hope Channel Inter-America include improving its online presence with a brand new web page, which will feature on-demand programs and social media networks. In addition, seven new collaborative projects are scheduled to be completed in the coming months and year, Márquez said.

To learn more about Hope Channel Inter-America, visit interamerica.tv

Group photo of the Hope Channel Inter-America production advisory attendees and leaders. Photo: Wilmer Barboza/IAD

To view a photo gallery of the advisory meetings, Click HERE

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