In 2015 Great Lakes Christian Film Festival held its inaugural event. Our film The Good Book was part of the initial film lineup, so it’s been fun to keep up with the festival and watch it grow. Shawn Patrick Greene is the founder and Executive Director. He shares how the festival has evolved and what we have to look forward to at this year’s festival coming up in August.

What inspired you to start the festival?

In 2008, I felt God calling me to host a Christian Film Festival. I lived in Tampa Bay, Florida at the time and thought I was to start one in Orlando that year. It wasn’t until I moved back to Buffalo, NY in 2010 that I heard God calling me to set up camp here. In 2014 I began the planning stages to launch the film fest and hosted our first one in Aug 2015.

How has the festival changed/grown since its inception?

We will be hosting our 4th annual festival this August. We began hosting it out of my home church, The Bread of Life in South Buffalo, for the first two years to develop the event. We moved to the Millennium Hotel in Cheektowaga in 2017 where we host it again this year. The move gave us a more centrally located venue close to the Airport.

What kinds of films are you looking for?

Our event spotlights faith-based films and family friendly projects from Christian Filmmakers, or anyone that wants to tell a faith-based story.

What criteria do you use when judging films?

We judge the films in 10 categories including, Originality/Creativity, Direction, Writing, and Structure with a maximimum score of 10 stars for each.

What can attendees expect from this year’s festival?

We have added another room for workshops and seminars separate from the screening room to avoid delays in programming. We will have some very special guests to add to the value of attending.

What makes the GLCFF different from other festivals?

We have a family-like team, and give special attention to all attendees and guests. Our event makes anyone feel welcomed and appreciated.

What is your vision for the future of the festival?

We want to become a premiere location for the film industry as a whole to attend to get the very best benefit of a faith-based film festival, where networking and project planning becomes the norm during our events. We want people from all over the world to come and attend a gleen from the events we host, as well as, our market’s other activities and vacation desitinations.

Anything else?

We really love our location in Western New York (Buffalo, Rochester, Niagara Falls, Jamestown). We have great cities to visit with rich histories, diverse cultures, and plenty of the best food in the world to enjoy. We want to see filmmakers come to our beautiful part of the country to enjoy the great locations to film.

Social Corner:

Great Lakes Christian Film Festival Website

Great Lakes Christian Film Festival on Facebook

Shawn Patrick Greene on Twitter

Written by Sharon Wilharm

Sharon Wilharm is a female filmmaker, blogger, and speaker with over a decade of industry experience. She and her husband, Fred, just released SUMMER OF '67, their seventh feature film. Their movies have screened in theaters, festivals, and churches around the globe as well as multiple television networks. They've accumulated dozens of festival accolades including many Best of Fest awards and 4 ICVM Crown Awards. Sharon is passionate about visual storytelling, branding, and marketing and would love to speak at your upcoming event.

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