SAN ANTONIO, TX — November 1, 2010 — More than 1,700 participants representing states from coast to coast and such foreign countries as Ireland, Nigeria, and New Zealand were on hand for the presentation of the Jubilee Awards during closing ceremonies at the sixth annual San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, held at the Municipal Auditorium in downtown San Antonio this last weekend.
“Our goal with the Jubilee Awards is to reward the work of Christian filmmakers who have artfully communicated a Christian worldview through their film production,” explained Doug Phillips, founder of the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.
“Thanks to aid of a private foundation, we are pleased to give the single largest cash prize of any film festival in America, as well as to honor the other fine winners at the 2010 festival.”
The ‘Best of Festival’ Jubilee Award — with its $101,000 cash prize — went to Agenda: Grinding America Down, a documentary that traces the alive-and-well socialist agenda from its roots established by Karl Marx and other radical revolutionaries to the present day, demonstrating how that Communist ideals have largely captured America and uprooted the once-great foundation of our nation. The 92-minute film was produced and directed by former Idaho legislator Curtis Bowers.
“It is such an honor to receive the award for ‘Best of Festival,’” Bowers stated.
“I want to thank Vision Forum, and I want to thank Doug Phillips for the vision he has had to not only create Vision Forum that has motivated us and driven us to be better home schoolers, to be better parents, to be bonded with our children, but then the Film Festival,” continued Bowers. “I would never have made a film in my life if I had not come to the ... [Christian] Filmmakers Academy and [San Antonio Independent Christian] Film Festival just last year. I was so motivated and so inspired by what they said and what they taught us.
“They made me realize how important this is: how powerful media can be, and how important it is that we be involved in [this arena].”
Representative Bowers, an alumni of the Christian Filmmakers Academy, was inspired to produce Agenda after a “Letter to the Editor” he penned about the drastic changes in America’s culture became the feature story on the evening news and prompted protests at the Idaho State Capitol.
Bowers dedicated the award to his children, relating a poignant account of how his children have prayed for him since the day he shared with his family his goal to produce this documentary.
“That night when we were going to bed, I remember ... when [my son Christian] prayed, he said, ‘Dear God, help Papa’s film to win the Festival,’” observed Bowers. “Every single Friday since that Festival, my children have voluntarily fasted and prayed that Daddy wins the festival. And that is the only reason I am standing up here. I am not capable of making a movie.
“Kids, I am giving this to you, so you’ll always remember God does answer prayers.”
The top honor in the ‘Best Feature Film’ category was awarded to The Penny, a drama/thriller directed and produced by Nathan Webster of Filmweavers. The 88-minute film follows a series of disconnected strangers whose lives unexpectedly collide in what proves to be more than just a coincidence.
“We are both honored and humbled to have won this award,” stated Webster. “A feature film is no small undertaking, and we were very blessed to have an incredible team of cast and crew, many of whom we met at this festival in previous years. The SAICFF has been a great encouragement to us and a wonderful place to network with other talented filmmakers who share our beliefs. Our prayer is that this will be a springboard to reach many more audiences.”
George Washington Carver: An Uncommon Way, a stimulating documentary that traces the valiant life of Carver, garnered the ‘Best Documentary’ Award at the festival. The film, narrated by Dr. Voddie Baucham, was directed and produced by Ken Carpenter of Franklin Springs Family Media. This marks Carpenter’s third ‘Best Documentary’ Jubilee Award, who took home a Jubilee for The Terry Schiavo Story in 2009 and A Journey Home in 2005.
“Being honored with a Jubilee Award is very gratifying,” Carpenter noted. “The ideals of this festival resonate deeply with me, particularly those that encourage the telling of stories that provide hope and inspiration to audiences.”
The top honor in the ‘Best Dramatic Short’ category was awarded to The Mitt, a ten-minute film produced and directed by 19-year-old Sam Siske of Goodlettsville, Tennessee. “I was totally surprised to win this award,” remarked Siske. “And I give God all the glory.”
The much-anticipated Audience Choice Award went to The Runner from Ravenshead, a delightful film from Little Crew Studios that features an all-child cast played by the Seege children, ages 3 to 11. Their father, Joel Seege wrote, directed, and produced the film. The Runner from Ravenshead also got the runner-up nod in two other award categories: ‘Best of Festival’ and ‘Best Feature’.
“For sometime now it has been our family’s hope to do a business together, and to do something that would point others to Jesus Christ,” Seege remarked. “The Runner from Ravenshead project was the culmination of those ideas, and our first foray into the world of filmmaking. As a family we were truly overwhelmed and humbled by the support of the audience, not only with the audience choice award, but with the many kind words and encouragement from both the attendees and other filmmakers.”
The ‘Best Promotional Media’ Award went to The Cripple Effect, a twenty-four-minute film that highlights the state of Wisconsin’s remarkable heritage with trains which is now being jeopardized by an aging rail system never designed for the weight of modern trains. The promotional piece was produced and directed by Philip and Chris Leclerc of Leclerc Brothers Motion Pictures, who also produced Divided, a documentary on the danger of modern youth ministry which premiered at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival last Thursday night.
Seventeen-year-old Christy Miller received the ‘Young Filmmaker’s’ Award for Small Talents, a fourteen-minute film which she directed and produced. This humorous short film is based on the Parable of the Talents and challenges viewers to decide for themselves how they will dedicate their talents to God.
The ‘Best Treatment’ Award — an honor given for the best three-page written condensation of a proposed film, documentary, or TV dramatic production — went to Elizabeth Rouse for her proposed film, The Legacy. The winner received a $1,000 cash prize, a professional script analysis of the finished script based on the winning treatment, and a free copy of Final Draft screenwriting software.
Jeremiah Warren, who won ‘Best Trailer’ at last year’s festival, took home the ‘Best Commercial Advertisement’ Award for a spot he created to promo the new book, Pajama School. Eighteen-year-old Warren also took the runner-up award in this category for an ad he produced for KeepGoing.Biz.
Other winners included Dispatches from the Front: A Bold Advance, which garnered the runner-up award in the ‘Best Documentary’ category; and Accountable, which took second place for ‘Best Short Film’. Runner-up for ‘Best Young Filmmaker’ went to Legacy of Love, and Clarissa Belbas was tapped for second place in the ‘Best Treatment’ category for her proposed film, The Scattering.
Vision Forum Ministries
Phone: (210) 340-5250, ext. 222