First established in 2021, Excelsia Productions seeks to contribute to creating cultural arts that benefit the world through exploration and representation of the beauty and brokenness of life in God’s creation. Excelsia Productions chose one of the oldest and most read books in history, the book of Job, from the Bible, as its first feature length film, which will be approximately 90 minutes in length. Tim Lim, 2021 Bachelor of Dramatic Art graduate, will star as Elihu, a comforter of Job and his three friends and defender of God. We talked to Tim about this exciting experience as filming prepares to get underway in early July!
Tell us a bit about your character Elihu.
Elihu is one very unique character in the sense that the only one he sides with is God himself. The name Elihu means ‘My God is He.’ He takes a stance against Job’s three friends and calls out against Job’s rebukes calling Job’s remarks against God unjust. However, he does not threaten Job with aggression like Job’s other three friends. In many ways God uses Elihu to speak with Job and he is the only one of Job’s friends who God doesn’t rebuke at the end of the story.
How did your studies at Excelsia help you prepare to act in 18. The Book of Job?
This script is word for word from the Bible and Elihu has a behemoth of a monologue. Even in my first year of my course here, I performed in one play with 30 to 40 pages of dialogue split between two characters. I had to learn the harsh way of the importance of learning lines early, accurately, and quickly. However, this is both a script and Scripture, thus leading me to learn the meaning underneath the lines as well. This has brought me to reading different versions of the same verses such as New International Version and King James Version to find implications that our WEB Version may not explicitly reveal.
What are you most looking forward to about this experience?
Before I even knew about this production, I was reading the book of Job in my daily devotions, and I acted out all the characters as I was reading them. I loved the idea of bringing this piece of biblical literature to a format more easily consumed such as screen or theatre, where characters can be seen living and breathing not just talking in biblical verses. God has already used this role to develop my growth as an actor and person and I’m very keen to see what else He has in store.
Why do you think the book of Job is such an important book in the Bible that should be adapted to the screen?
The book of Job deals with some of the hardest topics and questions that life and Christianity has to offer. When I struggled with faith, this book was always recommended to me. I think it’s important to ask God why He allows suffering because that’s a question even many Christians still face. Plus, it’s a lot easier to get people to watch something on screen than to read pages and pages of dialogue.
The book of Job is very meaningful to me. I wrote a play (Rapture, 2021) in third year based on Job’s story, about a pastor who lost his family and cried out against God. I’m also a big superhero fan so naturally this pastor finds sci-fi technology and becomes a super villain which is obviously where he and Job diverge. We had to cut out the three friends. I played the pastor in this play and had another student as the equivalent of Elihu where he’d rebuke me. This play came out of a fragmentation of my faith that held resentment toward God but now, as I study the words of Elihu, it’s not just God speaking through me but God speaking to me as well.
We can’t wait to see Tim take to the screen and be a part of a film that will educate the world, especially as we navigate times in a post pandemic world.