Beliefnet is proud to recognize the films and filmmakers whose work is of the highest quality while also being imbued with significant spiritual and inspirational themes.

The Panel of Judges

  • Saul Austerlitz, a writer and film critic living in New York City, is a frequent contributor to Beliefnet. He is the author of "Money for Nothing: A History of the Music Video from the Beatles to the White Stripes."

  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat are the directors of the multifaith website, where they have a database of more than 3,500 film reviews as well as discussion guides to movies for small groups and other special features. They are the authors of "Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life," now available on DVD.

  • Craig Detweiler is a screenwriter, the co-author of "A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture," and directs the Reel Spirituality Institute at Fuller Seminary.

  • Patton Dodd is Beliefnet’s Christianity Editor and the author of "My Faith So Far: A Story of Conversion and Confusion."

  • Tim Hayne is an editor at Beliefnet with a degree in film from the University of Michigan and a contributor to Beliefnet's Idol Chatter blog.

  • Douglas Howe is a writer/speaker and contributor to Beliefnet's Idol Chatter blog, and also the owner of The HOWe Team, which provides leadership development solutions to executives and professionals in Cincinnati, Ohio.

  • Sharon Linnéa writes the Reel Inspirational column, in which she reviews family films for Beliefnet, where she served as the founding Inspiration Producer; she has a background in film history at NYU, and her new thriller, "Chasing Eden" is being released by St. Martin's Press in June. 
  • Frederica Matthewes-Green is a longtime columnist at Beliefnet, a film critic for National Review Online, and author of several books about icons, prayer, and the spiritual disciplines of ancient Eastern Christianity (most recently "First Fruits of Prayer: A Forty-Day Journey Through the Canon of St. Andrew.")

  • Ellen Leventry is a longtime Beliefnet writer/editor and contributor to Idol Chatter.

  • Nell Minow is's "Movie Mom."
  • Sister Rose Pacatte, FSP, MEd in Media Studies, is the film/TV columnist for St. Anthony Messenger and has been a member of ecumenical and Catholic juries at Berlin, Venice, and Locarno, as well as the Newport Film Festival (short films).

  • Gerri Pare headed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Office for Film & Broadcasting, has published more than 2,000 movie reviews, and is currently the film critic for Liguorian magazine.

  • Kris Rasmussen is a contributor to Beliefnet's Idol Chatter blog and the author of "WonkaMania," and has been a contributing editor to the Christian music magazine CCM and a feature writer for Relevant magazine.
  • The Process
    For each category, we will be naming two winners: The Judges' Award, named by vote of our panelists, and The People's Award, named by vote of the Beliefnet community. 

    How the Judges' Award works: For each category, judges cast votes for first, second, and third place. To tally the votes, five points are assigned to first-place votes, three points to second-place votes, and one point for third-place votes. A single winner in each category, the nominee with the highest total points, is then named.

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