Just last week, we had over 50 screenings of The Gate: Dawn of the Baha’i Faith throughout the United States to help honor the Declaration of The Bab.

I made this film for many reasons. Today, we live in a world divided by nation, race, gender and religion. Many people have lost hope that we can ever achieve peace on Earth. However, Baha’is have hope—because the Baha’i teachings promise that peace will happen. Many people today are so horrified by conflicts and strife in the name of religion that they have disavowed religion altogether.

The Baha’i teachings say “… if religion becomes the source of antagonism and strife, the absence of religion is to be preferred.”Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 117.

However, the teachings go on to say that true religion is a unifying force and is never divisive:

… the divine teachings are intended to create a bond of unity in the human world and establish the foundations of love and fellowship among mankind. … Therefore, in this day the divine teachings must be sought, for they are the remedies for the present conditions of the world of humanity. – Ibid.


To learn more about The Gate: Dawn of the Baha’i Faith or find out how you can see it, please visit thegatefilm.com


One of the first things that attracted me to the Baha’i Faith was the idea that one religion didn’t need to be wrong for another religion to be right. Instead, the cornerstone of the Baha’i Faith is the idea of progressive revelation, where a single God has sent divine messengers in every era and to every culture to progressively reveal God’s word to us and uplift humanity.

Baha’i actor, author and philanthropist Rainn Wilson, as featured in The Gate: Dawn of the Baha’i Faith.

Baha’i actor, author and philanthropist Rainn Wilson, as featured in The Gate: Dawn of the Baha’i Faith.

This means that instead of believing in a single prophet, Baha’is believe in the divine messengers who founded all of the great world religions. The Baha’i teachings say that we find the love of God and the love of humanity at the heart of all Faiths. What separates religions are the outer forms of religion and misunderstandings about the unifying message put forth by all God’s messengers. The differences in religions can also be explained by the differences in social laws and teachings that address the differing needs of humanity in their respective ages.

Since I became a Baha’i in 2015, I have dedicated much of my time to teaching the Baha’i Faith and spreading its message of the oneness of humanity. Only three days after I became a Baha’i, I told a Baha’i friend that I wanted to retire in a few years and dedicate my life more fully to teaching the Baha’i Faith. He suggested that I consider making a movie about the Faith in order to reach a larger audience. His hope was that a movie could help us reach millions of people with Baha’u’llah’s message of hope and peace.

Within an hour, I received an introductory e-mail from Peter Samuelson about helping fund a foster kids program. Peter also happened to be an experienced movie producer whose most successful movie was a comedy called Revenge of the Nerds.  Peter and I had a wonderful conversation and began a strong friendship as well as a partnership in helping foster children. As an aside, I asked him about making a Baha’i movie, and he invited me to Los Angeles to discuss it. As it turned out, I was already scheduled to fly there the following week.


Listen to our Cloud9 podcast interview with Steve Sarowitz here.


Peter and I were eating lunch at the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica when a man at the next table asked a question about Christianity. I answered it and he and his companion joined our conversation. Amazingly, he had also been approached about making a Baha’i film.

Filmmaker Bob Hercules on the set of The Gate: Dawn of the Baha’i Faith

Filmmaker Bob Hercules on the set of The Gate: Dawn of the Baha’i Faith

Peter told me that making my movie would be a good idea, and I set about building my team. An unrelated source introduced me to the writer of Revenge of the Nerds, who, in turn, introduced me to Bob Hercules, an experienced documentarian (Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise) who became our producer and director. His business partner, Keith Walker, became our director of photography. Ed Price, a Baha’i author who I respected for his deep knowledge of the Faith, joined our team next.  Ed suggested that we approach Dr. Nader Saiedi, one of the world’s leading Baha’i scholars, and he agreed to join us as well. Later, we added Adam Mondschein, a Baha’i actor, as an actor and co-producer. Over the last three years, we have traversed three continents and worked together to produce what we hope will be an important contribution as one of the earliest documentaries of the history of the Baha’i Faith.

Plans are in the works to make additional documentaries about the origins of the Baha’i Faith, as well as short form content about the unifying Baha’i principles such as the elimination of sexism, racism, nationalism and religious prejudice, harmony between religion and science and the elimination of the extremes of wealth and poverty.  To see this content follow The Gate Film on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

To learn more about The Gate: Dawn of the Baha’i Faith or find out how you can see it, please visit thegatefilm.com

All images courtesy of Spring Green Films

The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BahaiTeachings.org or any institution of the Baha’i Faith.

3 Comments

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  • Jill Johnston
    4 days ago
    What, if any, role did the National Spiritual Assembly play in the making of this film?
  • rodney Richards
    Jun 10, 2018
    Mr. Sarowitz, Thank you so much for the film The Gate, a very inspiring drama, that moves well, is clear, and touches minds and hearts. Very well done indeed. Our community purchased a copy so we could easily have more viewings and disseminate it widely.
  • charles cooper
    Jun 08, 2018
    Many of us are well familiar with our Beloved Guardian views on the importance of the arts in spreading the message. Exemplified as in, 'the Cause spread like wildfire' when speaking of Baha'i focused art. His statements make extremely clear how vital and timely Baha'i art is. Hearing your story Steven speaks well of the Divine Hand of The Great Friend guiding you along! Was privileged to a premier viewing of 'The Gate: The Dawn of the Baha'i Faith' in Chicago. With enthused appreciation, to any who have not yet seen this film do your Baha'i heart ...a favor and go see it. It is a noble effort in a proclamation, education, and inspiration. This film offers a further belief in a new cycle of growth. Thank you Steve... chuck cooper
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