How This Film Festival Celebrates Emerging Christian Filmmakers

Photo Courtesy of Ben Davies via Instagram

How This Film Festival Celebrates Emerging Christian Filmmakers

By Tess Farrand, Associate Content Editor

Filmmakers of the 168 Film Festival are tasked with a grueling challenge: create a short film based on a Bible verse in 168 hours. Even with the daunting task, 168 celebrates filmmakers who put edifying content on-screen with this year’s theme: Rebirth.

Rebirth carries plenty of biblical significance as sinners are re-born or born-again with Christ as their Savior (John 3:5-7). During the verse assignment portion of the contest, contestants received verses like Deuteronomy 30:19, 1 Corinthians 5:52 and 1 Peter 1:23, all of which echoed the “rebirth” theme.

Next, the filmmakers have 10 days for pre-production, then 168 hours to shoot their short film.

Actor Kevin Sorbo (GOD’S NOT DEAD, HERCULES) and producer Brian Bird (WHEN CALLS THE HEART) served as jurors for the festival along with other academics and screenwriters.

Christian actors and actresses like Ben Davies (COURAGEOUS), Jennifer Taylor (GOD’S NOT DEAD: A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS) and Ashley Bratcher (UNPLANNED) played a role in encouraging filmmakers.

Each actor shared his and her personal “rebirth” stories on stage at the award’s ceremony on the last day of the festival.

Bratcher recalled her early days in acting when she lived in New York City and wasn’t stepping in line with the Lord until one day she landed a faith-based role in 2012.

Davies thought he would compete as an Olympian in the decathlon until an injury veered him into acting.

Taylor exclaimed, “Every day is a rebirth in this industry–just deciding to stick with it.”

The festival cites Mark 1:4 as one of their “core verses,” which speaks directly to a filmmaker’s hope to story tell, “Jesus taught them many things by parables…”

“The industry CAN be reborn,” said John David Ware (UNBRIDLED), founder and board member of 168.

The 168 Festival gives aspiring Christian filmmakers not only a platform to tell their stories, but also diligently work in excellence.

The 168 website explains their motivation this way: “Our writing and signature speed filmmaking competitions provide positive pressure and practice of craft… The 168 pace, difficulty and community bonding experience shapes individuals in a very short time.”

Movieguide® sponsored for 168 for many years and applauds these filmmakers who, like Movieguide ®, want to make a difference in the industry for Christ!

We’re curious to know, what one of your favorite Hollywood movies that has a “rebirth” theme?

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