Last night at the Lila Cockrell Theater in the Gonzalez Convention Center, Doug Phillips, said, “We’ve come to the most popular Jubilee award. Stephen, you have been on this podium a few time for Fireproof and Courageous. How do you feel about giving this award?”
Kendrick said, “I’m thrilled to pieces about this. Making feature films costs more, requires more planning. There’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears in production. It’s so exciting to see the diligence of these young filmmakers. They are getting better and better.”
The finalists included: Dumo (Keepsake), Indescribable, The Lost Medallion, Remember, Resistance Movement, and Return to the Hiding Place.
Kendrick said, “Because of the high standards of the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, if you are one of the finalists, you are a winner because of your commitment to excellence.
Runner up: The Lost Medallion
Winner: Return to the Hiding Place
In Holland during World War II, Corrie ten Boom’s army of untrained teenagers including Hans Poley, Piet Hartog, and their friends navigate a deadly labyrinth of challenges to rescue the Jewish people in their panicked exodus from death.
All the while, they embark on a nonstop, action-packed hunt with the Underground involving Gestapo hijacks, daring rescues, codes in windswept old windmills, and stunning miracles in one of history’s most famous dramas.
Climaxing in the true, breath-taking rescue of an entire orphanage of Jewish children marked for mass execution by Hitler’s assassins, audiences will both cheer and weep at this exciting, sobering true tale of Hans and the youth resistance movement that dared to resist one of History’s cruelest tyrants.
Last night, when she accepted the award, Petra Spencer, the producer of Return to the Hiding Place, asked, “Can you hear my heart beating?” when she got to the podium.
“Thank you Jesus! Thank you guys so much. This was a project 17 years in the making, a family project. By the grace of God we did it. I want to thank my brother Josiah Spencer. He was the editor of the film. He’s in the blizzards of New York City. Also thanks to my sister Rachel who played Aty van Woerden, my mom who did wardrobe and my daughter Megan who followed me around the set for three to four months in Michigan. I want to thank our fabulous cast and crew as well as the investors who saw our heart, came forward and supported us.”
Peter Spencer, the director and Petra’s father, said, “When Stephen Kendrick said ‘these young filmmakers’, my heart paused. I’m not exactly young!
“God has been so gracious to us. I thank my master Jesus Christ. I love Him and adore him as virtually all of you do as well.
“I want to thank Hans Poley. We spent many days together and organized a few hundred people to shut down an abortion mill here in San Antonio once.
Spencer said that during the Nazi Holocaust, the moral litmus test was what would you do for the Jews. Today a different question faces us. “What would you do for the children to rescue them from abortion?
“Hans is with the Lord. I’m not sure whether he is watching us from heaven. I don’t want to get into the hermeneutic of end times.
“Poley said, ‘Never, never forget that with religion there are tens of thousands of them. Never forget the truth that the Christian faith is not a religion. It is a revolution against the kingdom of darkness.’
Spencer concluded, “May the glory go to Christ the King. Amen?”
Read all of the blog posts about the Film Festival and the Christian Filmmakers Academy here.