The independent Christian film industry has been receiving a big boost since the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival (SAICFF) began in 2004. Combined with the Christian Filmmakers Academy that is conducted for three days before the film festival, SAICFF has grown to be the largest independent Christian film festival in the world, and awards the largest prize for any independent film festival – the $101,000 Best of Festival Jubilee Award.
Students at the Christian Filmmakers Academy were treated this year to talks by film industry veterans like Kirk Cameron, Stephen Kendrick, Geoff Botkin, Tryg Jacobsen and others. This year’s CFA placed more emphasis than in past years on the business side of filmmaking – film promotion and distribution. This is one of the five parts of the SAICFF mission statement, which is “To facilitate the development of alternative and independent vehicles for producing and distributing films outside the Hollywood machine, which will build, bless, and benefit the American family.”
The Film Festival featured a full-packed lineup – six semi-finalists for Feature Film, 25 semi-finalists for documentary, seven semi-finalists each for Creation and Great Commission categories, 16 semi-finalists for short film, nine semi-finalists for Young Filmmaker, and five semi-finalists each for Promotional Media and Commercial Advertisement. SAICFF Jubilee Award Winners included:
- Commercial Advertisement – Liberty Day by Matt Blick of Cellar Media
- Promotional Media – The Promise of Sheboygan County by the Leclerc Brothers
- Young Filmmakers – The Forgotten Martyr: Lady Jane Grey by J and J Productions
- Film Short – The Jester by SkyGate Studios
- Great Commission – Two Hats by Second Mile Films
- Creation – Crying Wolf by Jeff King
- Documentary – IndoctriNation by Colin Gunn and Joaquin Fernandez
- Audience Choice – Seasons of Gray by Watermark Films
- Feature Film and Best of Festival – Courageous by Sherwood Pictures
Three of these Jubilee award winners are currently scheduled to be screened nationwide in the coming months through National Movie Night, a project of Freedom Film Distributors designed to enable grassroots promotion of independently produced films.
The nationwide premiere of the SAICFF Best Documentary winner IndoctriNation is scheduled for March 16-18th. IndoctriNation takes a hard look at the true state of public education in America, its humanistic origins, and whether Christians should be giving their children over to the state education system.
The nationwide premiere of the SAICFF Best Great Commission film winner Two Hats is scheduled for March 30th – April 1st. This moving documentary about Brad and Deborah Wells and their 7 children leaving Idaho to go to the missions field in Papau New Guinea follows them through both setbacks and accomplishments as they share God’s Word, raise a family, and establish the country’s first Christian radio station.
The winner of the SAICFF Best Creation film Crying Wolf will be screened nationwide for “Earth Day” weekend April 20-22. Crying Wolf is about exposing the lies and proclaiming the truth about what the movement to bring back wolves to Yellowstone – and the rest of America – was, and is, really about, examined through the lens of biblical stewardship and conservation.
You can be a part of these nationwide screenings in your community by signing up to host a movie night in your home, church, or other venue. National Movie Night provides Movie Night Hosts with planning and promotional tools to set up and promote their movie night, and with discounts for the DVD. Please consider being a part of helping promote these award-winning independent films in your area.
Jason Matyas is the Co-Founder of Freedom Film Distributors, which promotes independently produced films and videos that uphold the values of Faith, Family, and Freedom, and he is the creator of the National Movie Night project, which provides a vehicle for grassroots promotions of these films in communities across the country.