An Interview with Brian Ide

Director/Producer for A Case For Love

By Laurel Way
Director of Communications
Episcopal Diocese of Arizona

Brian Ide, Director/Producer for A” Case For Love”

Last week, I had the immense pleasure of meeting the Producer/director of the upcoming documentary, A Case for Love. This film tells the story of 14 ordinary people and examines the question of whether or not love, specifically—unselfish—love, is the solution to the extreme societal and political divide facing the world. This concept was originally inspired by Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding and his message of the Way of Love

Now, A Case for Love will be screening for ONE NIGHT ONLY across America on January 23rd. You can purchase tickets through Fathom Events, and here in Arizona, there are screenings at most AMC Theaters and Cinemarks. Currently, there is no distribution plan in place for future screenings of this film, and the more people see it on January 23rd, the more likely it will be picked up by major theaters or streaming services.  

Brian and his team are currently on a road trip across the country promoting this film. I had a chance to sit down with him to answer a few questions about the film.

Laurel: Brian, thank you so much for sitting down with me today. So in the film, there are fourteen different stories from real people. How did you settle on telling these particular stories?

Brian: A mixture of ways. When we first started dreaming it up, we knew there were certain themes we hopefully would find a story within. One of those was the intersection of military, war and conflict, and love, and we knew that would be impactful. So Canon Chuck (Robertson) reached out to some of the National chaplains and so two of the stories came from a retired Marine and a current Navy Commander. We knew a refugee story would be impactful because it’s top of mind right now and there were two others that we settled on ahead of time.

Lt. Cmdr. Krystin A. Landry Interview

Brian: But the other nine, the Spirit guided us. We got in the car, and we were at the first one in Minneapolis, and we wanted to do a test run to see how the equipment would sound, and our sound guy said “Well my brother and his wife just adopted some kids, we can interview them.” And it’s one of the most beautiful stories in the film, and you would never know that it was just a test run. So it was a mixture of planning and let’s just step into the unknown.

Laurel: When did the initial idea for this film come about? What sparked it? 

Brian: It started at CEEP (now known as EPN) in 2020, and we were all there just coming up with what we thought was going to be our next film. And Canon Chuck Roberston, who is a producer on the film and an amazing partner on all of this, said {“have you thought about making a documentary instead of a film?” At the same time, Bishop Curry was in the process of producing his book, and the thought process was, okay, it’s great to write a book, it’s great to preach sermons, but how do we then get outside of church walls and how do we get outside of our own bubble of people, and film can do that. The idea was always how do we create something from faith but that isn’t limited to people in the sanctuary.

Laurel: What would you say was the most surprising thing that you experienced during the film process?

Brian: A lot of things. I think it’s a terrifying thing to roll out with a crew and large camera gear and hope that people would be interested in talking with you. Some of my favorite interviews were the “Man on the Street” interviews and we did a couple of hundred of them, we were on the Brooklyn Bridge, we were downtown Minneapolis, or a small farm in Pennsylvania, we would just pull over everywhere and ask people. And at first, there was a sense of skepticism, people thought “Oh you’re going to make me look stupid, and I don’t want any part of that.” But as soon as there was trust and they believed why we were doing what we were doing, there was this beautiful lifting up of spirit and the look on their faces when they realized “You want to know what I think? Nobody has ever asked me what I think.” And once that dawned on them they said beautiful things because there was trust and vulnerability. And I think that surprised me, that once people believe your intentions and they trust you, how quickly we can connect with human beings again in a time that feels like we are not connected with each other. 

Woman interviewed on the street discusses love

Laurel: How do you feel storytelling fits into the Episcopal Church and the Episcopal faith?

Brian: Storys are everything. We hear beautiful stories from the pulpit and writing and stories of songs in church. Stories allow us to edge up to topics or trigger points in a gentler way than real life does sometimes. It forces us to tiptoe into trigger things that we would avoid otherwise. And I think that at the end of the day, whether it’s a sexual identity story, or a racial justice story, or a refugee story, or a volunteerism story, this film is not just those stories. It’s Bradley’s story, it’s Susan’s story, it’s Rose’s story and I think that people will walk away wrestling with things differently than if we had just said “Here’s what you need to believe” 

When you partner story with film and media now you are going to where the people are, instead of them having to come to us. It’s on their phones, laptops, iPads, TVs, and movie screens. It’s a very powerful tool. 

Laurel: One of the things you discuss in other interviews is the authenticity and realness of these stories. Why do you think authenticity in sharing stories is so important?

Brian: We live in a world where so much is being manufactured to steer us in very particular directions. And I think the powers that are doing that have such enormous resources and that we are becoming products of that. There’s a hunger in people to believe in each other, you don’t have to agree with me, but at least tell me your truth. And if you tell me your truth, maybe I’ll tell you my truth. A lot of us feel manipulated and I think we are exhausted by it. So authenticity and honesty trigger emotions more than facts, and emotions drive a lot of our decision-making. But there is a desperate hunger to grab a hold of something that we can be anchored by something that is true to them. 

Laurel: Would you say that these stories are what connect us and that’s the hunger that people are really looking for, is that connection?

Brian: I totally agree with that. For thousands of years, there have been stories, it’s always been stories that connect us to our past and our present and I think this (film) is just a continuation of that. This was never built to be a dissertation, I’m not a teacher or theologian, this is being together with people in a time where COVID and everything else pulled us away from each other. 

Laurel: What are some ways that this diocese and congregations can help nurture these types of stories?

Brian: (Filmmaking) is a hard business and it’s driven by business. We think it’s a creative medium and it is for those making films but for those showing films, it’s business and numbers. So historically in the faith-based arena, films have been driven by stories of faith that, if your faith is strong enough, you will overcome. And I’ve always felt that if your faith is strong enough and you win, that’s great, but I want to show that there’s value in telling messier versions of faith. That way, people who feel they are on a messy journey, don’t feel like they are flawed.

Laurel: “Messy faith” That’s my my faith right there! And I think a lot of people will connect with that. 

Brian: These (churches) are human institutions run by humans and so it gives us another perspective on messiness too.

But answer your question, Hollywood as a business will create opportunities for stories that will sell tickets, so for us, in the progressive denominations, we haven’t been given the spotlight and the megaphone in ways that other kinds of churches like magechurches have. So the way dioceses and parishes can help is to spread the word that this is a one-night-only event. There is a 4 pm and a 7 pm screening at each theater, on Tuesday, January 23rd. So first, rally people to go. It’s more than just a movie, it’s changing the view of an industry that impacts a lot of the way we see the world. We want them to see that there is value in these kinds of stories. So spreading the word within and outside of their parish would really help us. 

On the website, there are all kinds of press releases and downloadable movie posters and cards that are built not just for churches but for parishioners outside of the church walls who want to be a part of bringing people back together. The story, while born from our faith is not church propaganda and is not a thing you would feel weird about posting in your bar or coffee shop, because it is about themes or reconnecting with human beings. So if you want to spread the word on social media, or donate to help promote the film, that would be great. But most of all, go see it. 

Laurel: What is the biggest thing you want people to take away from this film?

Brian: Hope. What I found being on the road with thousands of people now is that we are way more connected than the headlines want us to believe. I think there’s hope in that. There’s a lot of work in that, but when you really sit down with people from across the country, most of us are just trying to take care of our family and loved ones, and most of us are trying to figure out our purpose on this planet. 

A huge thank you to Brian Ide for sitting down with me to answer these questions. If you are in the Phoenix area, Brian also left us some movie booklets and posters. If you would like a few, email me at And again, you can purchase tickets to go see the film on Tuesday, January 23rd at or