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San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival Announces 2007 Jubilee Award Winners

Contact: Wesley Strackbein, San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, 210-340-5250, ext. 222, wesley@visionforum.com


SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 29 /Christian Newswire/ -- More than eleven hundred participants representing states from Florida to Washington and foreign countries from Scotland to Nigeria were on hand for the presentation of the Jubilee Awards during closing ceremonies at the fourth annual San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, held at the Lila Cockrell Theatre in downtown San Antonio this last weekend.


"Our goal with the Jubilee Awards is to reward the work of Christian filmmakers who have artfully communicated a Christian worldview through their film production," explained Doug Phillips, founder of the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.


"With more than 130 film submissions to this year's festival, selecting the winners was no easy task" noted Phillips, who also served as one of several film competition judges. "Yet we are now delighted to recognize our winners -- all worthy films that give glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."


The "Best of Festival" Jubilee Award -- a $10,000 grand prize -- went to "The Monstrous Regiment of Women," a fifty-four minute documentary directed and produced by the Gunn Brothers. Featuring an all star, all female cast -- including Phyllis Schlafly and F. Carolyn Graglia -- the film demonstrates how feminism has restricted choices for all women, brought heartache to the lives of many, and perpetuated an unprecedented holocaust through legalized abortion.


"We made 'Monstrous Regiment' because we believe that feminism is one of the most detrimental philosophies effecting our church, family, and government," remarked Colin Gunn, whose wife Emily co-wrote and narrated the film. "We want to thank the [San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival] for recognizing the importance of this message. We are privileged and honored to receive this award."


This marked the second Jubilee Award for the Gunn Brothers. In 2004, they won "Best Political" for their film, "Shaky Town." In addition to landing the festivals' top honor in 2007, "The Monstrous Regiment of Women" took runner-up for "Best Documentary."  


The top honor in the "Best Narrative" category was awarded to "Samaritan," a thirteen-minute drama written and directed by Thomas Purifoy. The film portrays the biblical parable of the Good Samaritan in a modern setting.


"'Samaritan' [is] the first in a series of short films on the parables for our Modern Parables project," explained Thomas Purifoy. "It is an honor to be selected for this award. We appreciate the hard work Vision Forum put into this festival and feel very privileged to be a part of it."


"A Cry from Iran," a powerful documentary on modern-day martyrdom, garnered the "Best Documentary" Award. The film tells the true story of Haik Hovsepian, the leader of Evangelical Christians of Iran who was brutally murdered for speaking out against the persecution of another Christian under Iran's Islamist regime. The film was produced by Joseph and Andre Hovsepian -- the sons of the martyred hero -- in honor of their father. The crowd rose to their feet in solemn applause as Joseph and Andre took the stage to receive the award.


"We are grateful that this film could touch the audience in such a deep way and communicate the message of love, courage, and sacrifice," stated Joseph Hovsepian, whose father was killed fourteen years ago. "In reality, the main award goes to the hero and role model of my life -- my father -- who portrayed the best example of a Christian father and a church leader for us in Iran.…We are honored and humbled that we've had a small part in sharing [his] story with the world."


The "Best Biblical Family" Award went to "Joel's Journey," a thirty-three minute documentary that explores the real-life health crisis that Morris family experienced when doctors insisted on removing life support from their ailing son.


"We wanted to make a thought-provoking film that caused people to think hard about life and death issues -- to value the sanctity of life and consider complicated medical questions biblically," noted John-Clay Burnett, the 21-year-old producer and director of Joel's Journey. "In winning this award, our biggest hope is that the message gets out -- that when families face medical emergencies, they will have hope and know how to respond."


Seventeen-year-old John Moore received the "Young Filmmaker's" Award for "Heartstrings," a fifty-three minute film which he wrote, directed, and produced. The father-son adventure-drama follows "Gator" (previously of Bubble Trouble) in a family road trip filled with mystery and a secret treasure hunt that reveals important truths about family relationships. "Heartstrings" also received the "Audience Choice Award," an honor voted by attendees of the festival for their favorite film.


"Many dads don't understand what they are missing in the relationship with their sons," observed John Moore. "We wanted to portray the father-son relationship positively through this film -- to show fathers the beauty of the relationship that they could have with their boys."


"Extinct" -- a claymation film that depicts a future culture where the God-ordained purpose of boyhood had been undermined -- took the top honor in "Best Production Design," a special Jubilee award for the 2007 festival. Set in a museum of natural history in the future, "Extinct" tells the story of a young boy who finds himself caught between the mandates his culture designed and his hidden yearnings to be the boy that God created. "Extinct" also received runner up in "The Biblical Family" category.


The "Best Treatment" Award -- a new Jubilee inaugurated this year for the best three-page written condensation of a proposed film, documentary, or TV dramatic production -- went to Marc Mattos for his proposed film, "Battle Acts." The winner received a $1,000 cash prize, a professional script analysis of the finished script based on the winning treatment, and a free copy of Final Draft screenwriting software. Second and third place awards in the "Best Treatment" category went to Kevin Powers for "Fuchida" and Sarah Cave for "The Lasting Will."


Other winners included: "The Photographers," which garnered the runner-up award in the "Best Narrative" category; and "The Gift," which took second place in the "Young Filmmakers" category.


The "Best Trailer" Award, an honor for the trailer that best promoted the festival, went to Stephen Bowman for "Glorious Sunrise."


To interview Doug Phillips about his vision for the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, contact Wesley Strackbein by e-mail at wesley@visionforum.com or by phone at (210) 340-5250, ext. 222.