At the annual International Christian Visual Media Association Conference, the Crown Awards for 2017 honored Christian films from the last year. Top winners this year included the real-life story of Victor, about a gang member/drug addict-turned-pastor, and Because of Gracia, the upcoming film about teens struggling with their faith.
Ocean Avenue Entertainment’s Victor tells the story of Victor Torres, a Puerto Rican immigrant living in Brooklyn who fell in with a drug-dealing gang but found grace thanks to a preacher who wouldn’t give up. Victor won Gold Crown Awards for the Best Drama Over $250,000, Best Evangelistic Film, and Best Youth Film. (It also finished with the Silver Crown Award for Best Picture.) As the winner of Best Evangelistic Film, Victor received cash awards of $1000 from Christian Film Association, $500 from the Ron Mix Memorial Fund, and an advertising package from Upliftv valued at $3000.
ServOthers Media Group saw their film, Because of Gracia, win Best Picture, moving past Victor and Ii Films’ Miles Between Us. Because of Gracia shares an entertaining narrative about teenagers exploring faith, sex, friendship, and a host of other pressing issues in a film debuting this fall in theaters. The cast includes Moriah Peters, wife of Joel Smallbone (lead actor in Priceless). Joel and his brother Luke Smallbone are frontmen for the music group for King & Country. Other cast includes Chris Massoglia, John Schneider and Ben Davies. As winner for Best Picture, the film received cash awards of $2500 from Christian Video Licensing International, $1000 from Christian Film Association, and an advertising package from Upliftv valued at $5000.
Additional Gold Crown winners included Miles Between Us for best drama under $250,000 Miles Between Us, I am N for best documentary under $50,000 and curriculum, This Changed Everything: 500 Years of Reformation for best documentary over $50,000, Black Mountain: In Remembrance of the Times Past for best international film, The Passion for best television format, Once We Were Slaves 2 for best series/short film/best church, The Adventures of Ryan Defrates (Episode 3) for best, Going Back for best student production, and The Resurrection of Gavin Stone for best comedy. Christian Cinema’s own The National Bible Bee Game Show won the Silver Crown for both Best Series and Best Television Format.
Christian filmmakers from the U.S. and around the world come together annually at the ICVM Conference to worship God, network, encourage one another, and honor the excellent work of their colleagues. ICVM's mission is to be a supportive Christian community for those involved in the production and distribution of visual media: encouraging and networking to communicate Christ to the world.
Other winners at the 2017 Crown Awards were Benjamin Geiser, winner of the Best New Christian Filmmaker and recipient of a $1000 cash award from Christian Film Foundation, and Barbara Sundstrom of Cross Wind Productions (Houston, TX), the winner of the 2017 President's Award for Outstanding Service to ICVM.