Objectives and Guidelines
Contests require parameters and guidelines. Ours flow from the following principles: First, we want to encourage epistemologically self-conscious films films that reflect a distinctively and presuppositionally biblical worldview. We want our applicants to strive to bring into captivity every [frame] to the obedience of Christ. Second, we hope to encourage the production of films which inspire the highest ideals, the clearest and most noble biblical values, and which do so with a commitment to holiness. Finally, we aspire to encourage the production of films which will be a delight and encouragement to the entire family.
We are not suggesting that all of the guidelines stated below are universals which should be applied in every context and setting. To the contrary, we recognize the significance of context, subtlety, mission, targeted audience, timing, and a host of other factors. What we are suggesting is that the goal of the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival is intended to be a film festival and contest which is appropriate for the entire family. Furthermore, it is our desire to take the aesthetic high road, and to craft a film festival which will be a blessing to Christian families.
We recognize the controversial nature of many of these subjects, but humbly request that, rather than seeing points of division or strife, our brothers and sisters in Christ who wish to participate in the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival and apply for the Jubilee Awards would honor our desire to please the Lord in the context of the goals of this film festival.
The Ten Commandments of Submitting Films for the Jubilee Awards
You shall have no other philosophical God than the God of the Bible driving the message and methodology of your film. This means that the message and the means of communicating the message need to be distinctively Christian. This does not mean that Bible verses must be thumped in every frame of the film (or any frame), but neither does it mean that the Christianity of your film is so extremely subtle that it is virtually unrecognizable. Rise above the current humanistic philosophies and trends which dominate visual media and make epistemologically self-conscious films!
In our desire to avoid many of the humanistic misrepresentations of the image of our incarnate Lord (i.e., the physically desirable Jesus, the Renaissance Jesus, the superman Jesus) images which often communicate error and which have, on occasion, been stumbling blocks in worship for untold multitudes (especially young children who picture such images in their mind when praying to the Lord) we respectfully request that, for the purpose of this film festival, pictorial representations of our Lord be excluded from submissions.
The name of the Lord and any discussions about him are to be presented with the utmost of honor, and never with vanity. Taking the name of the Lord in vain, including in the form of minced oaths, is inappropriate. Furthermore, we discourage the careless or inappropriate use of super-trendy or crass language. One can be timely without sinking to the lowest common denominator of communication. Music, too, is a form of communication. Avoid incorporating music which is potentially offensive to a conservative, family-oriented audience.
The moral law of God transcends all nations and civilizations because it reflects the eternal, unchanging character of God and is rooted in His creation order. The doctrine of the Sabbath itself is found in Genesis and is based on the fact that God created the world in six literal, 24-hour days and rested on the seventh. Insofar as it may be relevant, submissions are to reflect an appreciation and support for both Gods revealed law and His creation revelation. Favorable implicit or explicit portrayals of evolutionary philosophy are contrary to the goals of this film festival.
We are looking for films which actively extol the virtues of honor and multi-generational faithfulness. Disrespectful language or attitudes to parents is never to be presented in a positive light. Films which seek to be relevant by glorifying the spirit of individualism which dominates the modern youth culture are discouraged. Honor, covenant-keeping, multi-generational faithfulness, gratitude, and appreciation for parents are encouraged as themes and motifs to be presented within the film submissions.
Do not glorify unbiblical and wicked violence. Of course, not all violence is bad or inappropriate. Some is actually Christ-honoring. In the context of the SAICFF, however, we exhort you to submit films that avoid gratuitous behavior and demonstrate restraint and respect for the diverse age groups represented by the people attending the film festival. More mature films will not necessarily be excluded, but may be subject to heightened scrutiny.
Jesus said if you think adulterous thoughts, you are guilty of committing adultery. Intimacy is intended for the marriage bed, not the silver screen. Physical, romantic intimacy is meant for husbands and wives, not actors. Even a man or womans lips belong to their true spouse or future spouse, not to another actor or actress. Do not facilitate inappropriate or immoral behavior by having individuals (i.e., actors) not married to each other performing acts which are rightly reserved only to a married man and woman.
Dont steal other peoples work. We expect all submissions, including the soundtracks, to be consistent with the laws of intellectual property.
Truth is essential to Christian films. Do not use the medium of film to slander other individuals. Film is an especially powerful medium for communication and should be handled with integrity.
Do not create eye trap temptations or visual stumbling blocks for film viewers that lead to coveting something which is sacred and does not belong to them. Specifically, we want to strongly discourage the portrayal of all forms of immodest or inappropriate dress. Moreover, in a day and age of rampant immorality in which sensuality is paraded before the American people in every imaginable medium of communication, the Christian filmmaker should seek to honor Christ by maintaining the highest standards for the Lord.
Good Faith Affirmation Requirement
Filmmaker acknowledges the importance of bringing glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ and keeping His law at every step of the film production process (e.g., script-writing, casting, direction, production, marketing, etc.). With this in mind, the filmmaker warrants that, to the best of his knowledge, primary actors and senior associates of the film submitted are persons of good moral character. He further warrants that, to the best of his knowledge, he is not knowingly casting or hiring individuals for key acting roles or as senior staff who could reasonably be expected to compromise the message and worldview of the film through their interactions with the press or comments in the media.
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