Act One is a Christian community of entertainment industry professionals who train and equip storytellers to create works of truth, goodness and beauty.


As an educational and professional collective, Act One trains, supports and provides opportunity for creative development to both emerging and established writers and producers.

During the initial, intensive writing and producing programs, Christian content creators are provided the tools necessary to create works of beauty for worldwide audiences.

World-class, award-winning writers and producers guide our high-end, leading-edge programs and events and serve to support the life and careers of our professional alums.

In giving back to the entertainment industry, Act One offers creative services that further promote our core values of truth, goodness and beauty.


James Duke

Executive Director

James Duke is an accomplished filmmaker, pastor, educator, and communicator. As an independent filmmaker, James has almost twenty years experience in film, television, and video production. His credits include writing, producing and directing over a hundred award-winning short films, documentaries, and theatrical productions. He has produced several feature films including The Least of These starring Isaiah Washington and Robert Loggia, and Ragamuffin about the life of Christian singer/songwriter Rich Mullins. James’ passion for developing filmmakers led him to found the Inspiration Film Fest as well as serve as the executive director of the Damah Film Festival.

Recently, he served as the president and CEO of Updog Studios, a production company in Florida that seeks to create provocative, thought-provoking entertainment and commercial cinema. James is a successful team builder with strong leadership skills and who enjoys collaborating with other creatives.

As a pastor, James served on staff at his church, Mosaic LA, for 10 years where he oversaw several ministries including film, live production, and family ministries. He’s also served as pastor in communities of faith in Tennessee and Florida.

As an educator, James’ passion for investing in and mentoring the next generation of filmmakers and storytellers has led him to create high school and collegiate-level curriculum taught and fully accredited in schools both in California and Florida.

As a communicator, James has been privileged to speak to thousands of people around the world on the topics of film, faith and culture.

James received his B.A. in Communications from Union University in Jackson, TN. He is also a graduate of the Los Angeles Film Studies Center, and the Act One writing program.

He is madly in love with his wife, Samantha, and their two young children. To schedule James for a speaking event, please contact him at james@actoneprogram.com.


Madeline L’Engle said, “Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.” The art we create can help people see the Truth that lies behind it all.

Goodness is infused in all that we create. Are you being called to do that? Come join us!

Act One seeks to create stories of truth, goodness, and beauty. But what is beauty? Where do we find it?