February 13-20, 2020

We Believe in Dinosaurs

See All Screenings


Built to demonstrate the truth of the Bible story and to disprove evolution, the enormous “life-size” wooden ark takes shape in rural Williamstown. Doug Henderson and his talented sculpture team labor for months, sometimes around the clock, creating lifelike animals for the exhibit. Among their creations are dinosaurs, which they believe sailed with Noah and his family. “They probably took juveniles,” he says, explaining how the enormous animals would have fit on the boat. “A young Stegosaurus was only about … this big.” To Doug it doesn’t matter that mainstream science puts the age of the Earth at 4.5 billion years. “Creation scientists” at the museum (several with Ph.Ds) maintain that the Bible is the inerrant word of God and that evolution is the work of atheists. Doug believes them. The creationists’ vision disturbs Dan Phelps, a Kentucky state geologist. For years, Dan has fought against the Creation Museum’s “non-science” through op-eds and letters to the editor. When he discovers the Ark Encounter will receive tax incentives despite discriminatory hiring practices, he ramps up his fight. A local Baptist minister also protests the incentives, intensifying the struggle over the American principle of the separation of church and state. David MacMillan, a 26-year old former creationist, has a different perspective on the Ark Encounter. A charter member of the Creation Museum in his youth, he now writes articles and blog posts that explain the creationist mindset. He hopes to help creationists hear a different message: evolution is not the work of the devil. Creationism is not the only way to understand the world. Shot over the course of four years, We Believe in Dinosaurs follows the Ark Encounter from its groundbreaking to its opening day; from the designing and building of the Ark, to growing protests from scientists, Freethinkers, and even a Kentucky pastor. By telling the fascinating story of the Ark Encounter, We Believe in Dinosaurs also tells the story of the unsettling and uniquely American battle between science and religion.

Filmmaker Biography

Clayton Brown (Director) is a Senior Lecturer in the department of Radio/TV/Film at Northwestern University. He is a documentary and narrative filmmaker interested in exploring the hidden stories and compelling characters that emerge when people pursue their passions. With filmmaker and playwright Monica Long Ross, he co-founded 137 Films, a Chicago-based award-winning documentary production company committed to telling stories about America’s complicated relationship with science. In addition to We Believe in Dinosaurs, with Clayton Brown Ross co-directed and co-produced the award-winning documentaries The Atom Smashers and The Believers.

Monica Long Ross (Director) is a filmmaker and playwright. She is a co-founder of 137 Films, a Chicago-based documentary production company. In addition We Believe In Dinosaurs, Ross co-directed and co-produced the award-winning documentaries The Atom Smashers (PBS Independent Lens), and The Believers (Chicago International Film Festival’s  Gold Hugo for Best Documentary, Maryland International Film Festival Best Documentary). Monica’s documentaries have been screened at festivals around the world, as have her short films including Dinner, a finalist at the Rose d’Or Montreux in Switzerland. She was a founding member and playwright for Childsplay Inc in Tempe AZ (Mythic ProportionsClarissa’s Closet, Montana Molly and the Peppermint Kid, Phoebe Joins the Circus) and founding member/playwright/ Associate Director of the Arizona Women’s Theatre Company (Complications, Crazy Sexy). Her plays have been produced nationally and are published by Dramatic Publishing.


  • Wingate University, Wingate, NC. Thursday 2/13/2020
  • Fuquay-Varina Arts Center, Fuquay-Varina, NC. Saturday 2/15/2020
  • Union College, Barbourville, KY. Monday 2/17/2020
  • Gateway Regional Arts Center, Mt. Sterling, KY. Tuesday 2/18/2020
  • University of Pikeville, Pikeville, KY. Wednesday 2/19/2020
  • Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL. Thursday 2/20/2020