This past weekend we traveled across five states to attend The Narrow Way Film Festival in Philadelphia. Last year we were honored to have The Good Book win Staff Choice, and this year we wanted to show our appreciation and support by attending the festival. Venitia Baldwin and her husband Grant work so hard to provide an uplifting experience for filmmakers and the Philadelphia community, and I was honored to be a part of this year’s festival, teaching a workshop and screening Providence.
As we get ready for GloryReelz Christian Film Festival this weekend, I can’t help but think back to the GloryReelz festival two years ago. It was the first festival that we attended and won. What a special moment that was, to be recognized as “Best Female Director” and then “Best Film”. Since then, we’ve won many awards, but we’re always surprised anytime the emcee calls our name, and it never gets old. In the past two years we’ve been accepted and rejected, attended and not attended, won and lost many festivals. Along the way, we’ve learned a few secrets for film festival success.
I’m excited to share that Christian Retailing Magazine has announced finalists for Christian Retailing’s Best Awards 2016 and THE GOOD BOOK is one of those finalists. According to their website, new products are judged on their impact, including their ability to speak to people’s hearts and evoke emotion, open people’s minds to new ways of thinking, and encourage and affirm Christlike living. Winners will be announced in June at the International Christian Retail Show in Cincinnati.
I was first introduced to THE RECORD KEEPER last year when it was a selection in the UK Christian Film Festival. THE GOOD BOOK was also a selection and as I checked out the other films, I found myself intrigued by the concept and the obvious high production level of THE RECORD KEEPER. It was no shock to me when it won “Best Feature Drama”. Now it’s going to be in the International Christian Film Festival along with our newest movie PROVIDENCE and I can’t wait to check it out. Here’s my interview with writer/director Jason Satterlund.
I had the privilege of meeting Jayla when she played a homeless teen in The Good Book. I had never met her prior to meeting her on set, but from the moment she arrived, I was impressed with her professionalism and talent. She gave her character a depth and vulnerability that totally caught me by surprised and amazed me with how electric she was on camera. I can’t wait to see her in Remember the Goal where she has a chance to really showcase her acting skills.
Emily Knapp had a small role in The Good Book, but she blew us away with her portrayal of a young girl reaching out to a homeless woman. In Providence she plays the youngest version of the main character and does a fabulous job showing a range of emotion from happy-go-lucky innocence to devestated loss and loneliness. She’s a talented young lady with a great future ahead.
Last week I shared screenwriting advice. Today I’m excited to share acting advice from actors whose abilities have been confirmed by their film festival awards. Learn camera tricks from Jenn Gotzon, tips for newbies with Courtney Lee Simpson, Venus Monique, and Patricia Binkley, focus techniques from Rhonda Oliver, and finding your identity with Garry Nation.
Participating in film festivals is a fun part of filmmaking. Just as each filmmaker has their own mission, their own style, their own reason for making movies, so does each festivals. Some are designed to provide entertainment for their local community. Some are designed to recognize filmmakers. Some do both. Some are big. Some are small. Most are somewhere in between.
I particularly appreciate the ones with a big vision, reaching beyond the basics and providing a truly special event both for the community and the filmmakers. UK Christian Film Festival is one of those. In its fourth year, the festival includes four days of short films, feature films, documentaries, and children’s films chosen from the top films around the world. I particularly like the way they partner with Bible Society’s Christian Resources Expo. We are honored to have The Good Book as one of the four short list feature films screening at the CRE at the ExCel popup cinema . I’m excited to hear from Executive Director Ray Horowitz as he shares about the festival.
What led you to get involved with the festival?
Because I have worked in the TV and film world for approx 15 years in the USA, UK and elsewhere, I have known many talented filmmakers that deserve to be recognised and given a platform. It is a particularly difficult industry for Christians to do so. We created UKCFF to find the best in Christian filmmaking from around the world, acknowledge and honour it and provide the platform that filmmakers need. We are committed to building a community of extremely talented, creative people whose talent is dedicated to the Lord and who have many stories to tell but share one vision.
How has the festival changed since it was first begun four years ago?
The quality of submitted films – and sometimes the budgets – has increased exponentially
What makes UKCFF unique?
Because of the UKs political and cultural history, we have ready access to Christian filmmakers from around the globe, including Bollywood (India) and Nollywood (Nigeria). These filmmakers and indigenous talent add unique pairs of eyes to the filmmaking landscape
How do you determine which films to screen?
We do follow a strict judging protocol, similar to that used by other film festivals. However, we also look for the Christian message told in the most creative ways.
What can people expect if they attend the festival?
To be entertained and challenged by some amazingly creative storytelling.
What are you most excited about this year’s festival?
The range, depth and creativity of film submissions is greater than ever. It is a genuine privilege to view what the Lord is doing through film worldwide.
All are welcome.
If you’d like to attend this exciting event, it takes place May 19-22 at the Oz Arena in London, UK.
For more information, visit the website.
This weekend we were honored to attend the first annual AFA Truth Awards held in Knoxville, Tennessee. Fellow filmmaker Daryl Hall (Fat Boys, The Lion) coordinated the event in order to provide encouragement to Christian filmmakers. The Good Book was up for a number of awards so we took a break from filming Providence in order to attend.
We honestly had no idea what to expect. We figured with it being the first year, that it would be small since it always takes awhile for these kinds of events to catch on. We knew that we would see a few familiar faces and that there would be food afterwards. What we didn’t expect was how beautifully run the event was nor what a warm and friendly environment it turned out to be. Trophies and awards took a back seat as old friends reunited and new friendships formed. Throughout the evening filmmakers and actors fellowshipped together, encouraging each other, and sharing stories and advice. We also swapped dvds so that everyone could go home and watch each other’s movies. Now I can’t wait until we have time to watch all these movies!
Here’s the complete list of award winners for this year.