Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 02/08/21

2021 Filmmaker Awards

And the winners are...The Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival hosted its 2nd annual event in the Central Texas town over the weekend. As noted here last week, your humble blogger was honored to a serve as a judge which holds as its mission the celebration of empowering, heartfelt, diverse and creative cinema.  A total of 65 films that were screened – at four pop-up drive-in movie experiences throughout Waco in church parking lots, as well as online.

Obviously pleased with how things went, Festival Founder Dr. Tyrha M. Lindsey-Warren said “We are ecstatic with the tremendous support we have received from the Waco community and our filmmakers…With the backdrop of Covid-19, this year we presented an extremely responsible and socially distanced festival that we hoped would be a fun event for every one of all ages. We definitely achieved this goal to bring the Waco community together and leverage the power of storytelling in film to open hearts and minds.”

The year’s Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival winning films were announced on Saturday. Drum roll please, the list includes:

  1. Grand Jury Prize for Best Animation Film (TIE)
    1. Undone (South Africa) / Directed by Sara Laubscher and Saira George
      Synopsis: Dotty lives alone in her house, finding comfort in her daily knitting routine. When she knits she enters a world where her memories come to life.
    2. Strike (United Kingdom) / Directed by Trevor Hardy
      Synopsis: Mungo Morrison is a young mole who is due to begin work at his proud father’s side in their hometown’s legendary gold mine. While his best friends are excited to be in the mine, Mungo secretly dreams of becoming a professional footballer.

2. Grand Jury Prize for Best Student Film
Jericho (USA) / Directed by Tiffany Joy Taylor
Synopsis: An amateur boxer must overcome her family’s discouragement to seek a career in pro boxing.

3. Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Film
Tree #3 (USA) / Directed by Omer Ben-Shachar
Synopsis: After he’s been cast (again!) as a background tree in his annual middle school play, an ambitious and imaginative immigrant boy leads a revolution on stage that his drama teacher will never forget.

And finally,

4. Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature Film (TIE)

  1. “My Little Sister” (Russian Federation) / Directed by Aleksandr Galibin
    Synopsis: While waiting for his soldier father to return home from war, young Yamil is instructed to take care of a quiet child as if she were his sister.
  2. Miracle in the Valley (USA) / Directed by Don Schroeder
    Synopsis: Western tale of a thirteen year-old Melinda who, born out of wedlock and scorned by many, desperately wants to know what happened to her real father, but no one in town will tell her.

The 2021 Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival also honored its second class of “Champions Award” recipients, an honor dedicated to recognizing individuals and organizations who are exemplars of innovation in the film, TV, performing arts, and entertainment industry. The 2021 “Champions Awards” recipients include Courtney Parker (Founder & CEO, LostNThought Productions), Eric Shepard (Executive Director, Waco Civic Theatre) and Malcolm Goodwin and Victor Hawks (Co-Founders, Vision Vehicle Productions).

Additional events included professional education workshops, the showcase’s first celebrity golf classic and tennis mixer and the debut of the Waco Family & Faith Theater Festival. The latter affair, with sponsors including TFNB Bank and Creative Waco, featured An Adam Experiment at the Waco Civic Theatre. The one-man play written and performed by Michael Chenevert tells the story of the late congressman and civil rights icon Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

A major sponsor of the 2021 Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival include the Magnolia Foundation, founded by TV home renovation superstars and major Waco boosters Chip and Joanna Gaines. Other community-based underwriters include Jeff Hunter Toyota, Greg May Honda, Z’s at the Curry, the Pruit Memorial Symposium at Baylor University, Hat Creek Burger Co., Extraco Banks, Brazos Masonry, AARP Texas, Tru Jamaica, Marie’s and the Hilton Waco.

The 2022 Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival is currently set for February 3-5 of next year.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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