It was very exciting to attend the International Christian Film Festival this month, especially since I have attended 4 out of the 5 years since it began! This year was no exception; ICFF keeps getting better and better. Marty Jean-Louis is the founder, and I can say from personal experience that he accomplishes what he sets out to do. I have been blessed to work with him on several projects since I was 12 years old.
This year the number of attendees was between 2000 – 2200 and it was held at the Wyndham Orlando Resort on International Drive. There were volunteers everywhere who were extremely helpful and kind, so this made for a very friendly and organized event. There was so much going on these three days and the festival schedule was like being in a candy store and not knowing what to pick; from film screenings, to seminars on script writing, workshops on acting, budgeting films, sound and lighting, and plenty of opportunities for meeting and talking to producers, directors, actors, writers, casting directors and just people in general who love this industry and faith-based filmmaking. The opening-night party was the most fun yet that I can remember, with a live band playing salsa music, good food, and plenty of opportunities for networking. Oh, and did I mention films, films and more films? It was a film lover paradise!
“The Meanest Man in Texas” won Best Picture and well deserved. But it didn’t stop there. Their lead actor, Mateus Ward won the Best Lead Actor in a Feature Film. It is based on the book by the same name and the true story of Clyde Thompson. The President of Pureflix, David A.R. White, spoke about overcoming the challenges that filmmakers experience. If you ever have the opportunity to hear Mr. White speak in person, you most definitely will be inspired! Hundreds of people attended and you could hear a pin drop as he shared great advice and wisdom. He also was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. Actor and Author TC Stallings (War Room) was also present. The beautiful and talented Jenn Gotzon won the award for Best Lead Actress in a Short Film for “The Sacred Eternal” and received a wonderful surprise when her husband Jim Chandler flew in from New York to surprise her. They actually met in 2014 while making a film. “Unbridled” won Second Place for Best Film, directed by John David Ware. Beverly Holloway was honored with the Outstanding Woman in Film Award For a complete list of the winners, please visit this link:
I hope that you get a chance to view these terrific films very soon.
In the meantime, start planning now for ICFF 2018 to be held on May 3 – 5, 2018 also in Wyndham Orlando. See you there!