This past weekend we had the opportunity to have The Good Book movie screened at the International Christian Film Festival held in Orlando, Florida. The festival received around 200 submissions and screened twenty something features, documentaries, shorts, and music videos. We didn’t get to see all the films, but every one we did see, was top notch. The faith-based film bar has definitely been raised. Each and every movie included solid writing, acting, and cinematography.
When I arrived Saturday morning, the first group of films I saw were music videos. My favorite was, of all things, a lone gentleman playing accordion. Not only was he incredibly talented, but the video itself was a beautiful work of art.
Following the music videos, Lisa Arnold provided a wealth of helpful advice to filmmakers at all levels. She also provided an insider’s look at the filming of God’s Not Dead and This Is Our Time.
The first feature of the day was Seven Deadly Words. I’ve been following this movie for awhile and I was anxious to see it for myself. It’s a message for church members that reminds us to keep our focus on God rather than the church. I liked the characters and felt that the story was very believable.
Next came Street Urchins. I had never heard of this film and knew nothing about it. Honestly, for the first thirty minutes I kept wondering if it was even a Christian movie. It was very edgy and gritty. then the message came in loud and clear. Street Urchins is a very original movie. It feels much more indie and less faith-based. However, once the spiritual message was introduced, it was a little heavy handed. The acting was good, the cinematography well done, dramatic storyline. All in all, an unexpected treat.
Following Street Urchins was Stand Your Ground. I knew it would be strong and I wasn’t disappointed. I love stories based on a true story and this one was particularly riveting. I also found so many quotable lines that I scribbled down in the dark. My favorite was, “Just because you don’t know where you are doesn’t mean you’re lost.”
The last movie we watched on Saturday was our movie The Good Book. This was our first opportunity to watch the movie with an unbiased audience and it was interesting to watch their reactions. I was glad to see that despite the fact that the day had been long and people were getting tired, the audience sat attentive and the movie kept their attention. The people we talked to afterwards all said they enjoyed it.
Sunday morning we began with a documentary called What Men Really Want. I’m not normally a documentary kind of person, and I didn’t expect to have the least bit interest in this particular one, but I was surprised by the amount of insight in human nature that it provided. Over 300 men and women were interviewed and shared their thoughts on what is truly important in life. My favorite quote was “Men feel loved when they’re respected. Women feel respected when they’re loved.”
The last film of the festival was The Current. This was a wonderful coming-of-age story that reminded me of Wonder Years. It’s a timeless story of a young boy growing up.
The International Christian Film Festival will be hosting a viewing of some of the selections at the Cannes Festival in France. Looking forward to seeing which films they feature.