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."

  • Sara Shereen Bakhshian is a regular contributor to Beliefnet, is a reporter, writer and editor with experience covering entertainment, religion, the environment, local news, politics, current affairs and other topical issues at major dailies, community newspapers and online publications. Her website is

  • 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.

  • Peter T. Chattaway is the film columnist for BC Christian News in Vancouver, BC and a film critic for, among others. He blogs about film at

  • Craig Detweiler directs the Reel Spirituality Institute at Fuller Theological Seminary. His feature documentary, "Purple State of Mind," is touring the country in 2008. Screening schedule at

  • Brandon Fibbs is a film critic for The Colorado Springs Gazette, Christianity Today Movies, and Cinemattraction. He has a BA in English Literature from the University of Colorado and an MA in Cinema Studies from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. His work can be read at

  • Jenny Halper is the film editor of Spare Change News, a Cambridge bi-monthly dedicated to empowering the homeless. Her writing has appeared in the Boston Phoenix,, BostonNow, amNewYork, 24/7, Beliefnet, and Park Slope Reader, among other outlets.

  • Todd Havens, a writer living in Los Angeles, is the Studio Liaison for and a frequent contributor to Beliefnet's Idol Chatter blog. He also blogs about modern spirituality at

  • Gareth Higgins is a writer and speaker based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is the author of "How Movies Helped Save My Soul: Finding Spiritual Fingerprints in Culturally Significant Films" and blogs at

  • 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. 

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

  • Mark Moring is editor of Christianity Today Movies and the pop culture editor for Christianity Today Magazine.

  • Nell Minow is Beliefnet's "Movie Mom" and reviews movies each week on radio stations across the country.
  • 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).

  • 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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