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The Christian Worldview Film Festival: Polycarp For The Win!
The Christian Worldview Film Festival: Polycarp For The Win!

The Christian Worldview Film Festival: Polycarp For The Win!

By Melinda Ledman and Jacob Sahms

Crowds packed in for the five-day, Christian Worldview Film Festival in San Antonio, TX this past weekend. Tuesday, Wednesday and part of Thursday were dedicated to sessions, workshops and networking lunches for the four hundred members of the Filmmakers Guild. It was the Biblical model of mentoring as experienced filmmakers (producers, directors, writers, composers, and post-production crew) both networked with one another and shared their insights with a surprising number of young filmmakers in attendance.

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Founded in 2014 by Phillip Telfer (Founder of Media Talk 101 and Director of Documentary Captivated), the festival was given the name Christian Worldview Film Festival. So, not surprisingly, Telfer's festival encourages filmmakers to promote a Christian worldview to Christian audiencesIn an industry where art is more laudable than message, and in a sub-genre where message is accused of being too overt, the speakers and workshop lecturers challenged filmmakers to find the middle ground. Don’t give up the noble ambition of either art or message, since both are needed to create a powerful film. 

Late Thursday, Friday and Saturday included a few workshops, but mostly consisted of film screenings. As supportive audiences flocked to see the latest offerings in Christian movies, filmmakers discussed their stories, their experiences, and upcoming projects in post-screening Q&A sessions. And of course, they waited to find out who would be the winners in fourteen different award categories. On Saturday night, awards and financial prizes were given at the second annual awards presentation. And those films are sure to intrigue Christian film fans.

The big winner at this year’s Christian Worldview Film Festival was Polycarp, a drama based on the life of the second century Christian bishop of Smyrna.  Polycarp won the Audience Choice Award, Best Original Score, Best Feature Film and was runner-up to Torchlighters: The John Wesley Story in Best Gospel Presentation. In Polycarp, director Joe Henline and producer Scott Eash tell the story of a young slave girl, Anna. The slave girl is rescued and adopted by Christians in second century Smyrna and befriended by their aged bishop, Polycarp. As Anna learns about faith from Polycarp, she struggles to reconcile her beliefs with those of the Christians. When the Roman ruler demands that all citizens worship Caesar to show their allegiance to Rome, Polycarp and the Christians must find courage to stand for their faith against the growing threat of persecution. Anna is forced to come to grips with the truth and determine who she would die for.

 

Princess Cut, directed and produced by Paul Munger, was the runner-up to Polycarp in the Audience Choice Award and Best Feature Film. Here, Grace Anderson dreams of the day when the perfect guy will slip a Princess Cut diamond ring on her finger and swear to love her forever. But when dreams of the perfect romance come crashing down, she embarks on a journey, aided by her father, to try and discover the power of true love in their rural Carolina town.

A host of other films competed with those two: A Horse Called Bear, Christmas For A Dollar, Adrenaline, Bound, Love Covers All, In The Name Of God, and The Ride for best feature film. On the documentary front, One Generation Away and Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels finished first and second; others entered included England to Africa: The Life of Missionary Gordon Jones, The Principle, and Sing Over Me. Wanted and Roses tied for Best Short Film, with Bookends as the runner-up; Bound beat out Best Gospel Presentation winner Torchlighters for the Best Animated Film.

Stay on the lookout for these great films on DVD and VOD! And consider a trip to San Antonio, TX, next year for the 2016 Christian Worldview Film Festival. 

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