Larry Charles takes a break from the Traverse City Film Festival to talk about the screening of his latest film, Religulous. In this exclusive interview, Charles, the director of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Borat starring Sacha Baron Cohen, talks about the motivations for making the movie and the role comedy plays in addressing a topic like religion.

Religulous follows American comedian Bill Maher, host of Real Time With Bill Maher on HBO, as he travels around the globe interviewing people from Jerusalem to the Vatican to Salt Lake City about God and their beliefs. Maher’s approach is characteristically irreverent, regardless of whether he’s interviewing Jews for Jesus, Muslims, polygamists, Satanists, Hasidic scholars and even Rael of the Raelian Movement.

Here, Charles talks about why he approached this topic with humor and why, for him, there was no other choice to be made. The film screened to a sell-out crowd of people in Traverse City, over half of whom raised their hands when director and TCFF founder Michael Moore asked how many in the audience considered themselves religious.

“I was really heartened that people who are religious saw the humor,” says Charles, whose credits as a writer include Entourage, Seinfeld and Mad About You. While at TCFF, Charles participated in the“All-Star Comedy Panel” which included Sabina Guzzanti and John Lyons.