Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at the 'Patriots for Romney-Ryan Reception' on August 29, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.National Journal

Rick Santorum: perennial presidential candidate, conservative culture warrior ... filmmaker?

EchoLight Studios, Santorum's new film venture, deals broadly with the threats Christianity faces, and already has plans to weigh in on the Supreme Court's decision in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby. On Monday, the Court found that some employers can refuse to cover their employees' contraception on religious grounds.

The film, One Generation Away, is set to premiere on Sept. 1. The title is a hat-tip to the famous Ronald Reagan quote: "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." Spliced between clips of Mike Huckabee talking about the perils of government overreach, we see two unidentified men sawing down a wooden cross in the middle of a field. The trailer takes on a Terrence Malick vibe when a young girl wanders through this verdant scene to find the cross splayed on the ground.

Watch:

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EchoLight, which is based in Franklin, Tenn., was founded in 2011. Santorum became the studio's CEO last June. As Kevin Lincoln wrote in National Journal, Christian cinema has gone through a renaissance in recent years, with major studios producing films like Heaven Is For Real and Son of God, both which proved to be surprising hits at the box office.

Santorum isn't the only conservative culture warrior moving into the movie business. Glenn Beck is developing three "major motion pictures," including one taking aim at his archnemesis, Thomas Edison.

So far, EchoLight's films haven't drawn the star power of your typical Hollywood blockbuster — unless you count that one guy from Scandal. But EchoLight's business model isn't to seek the wide audiences of big-time Hollywood productions. Instead, the studio is targeting their main audience — congregations — by hosting screenings at churches. Why try to appeal to a mass audience when you already have a niche of true believers carved out?

It's hard to scoff at that strategy — it's worked pretty well for Rick Santorum's brand so far.

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