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11th Annual 168 Film Festival Nominees Announced


168 Film Project Founder and Director, John David Ware announced the nominations today for the 11th Annual 168 Film Festival, to be held August 8 – 10, at the Performing Arts Center in Glendale, CA.

For the contest, filmmakers got seven days (168 hours) to shoot and edit a 10-minute-or-less short, based on scripture.

The field was reduced from 152 entries to the remaining seven (7) ‘Best Film’ Nominees eligible for a filmmaker’s dream, the Grand Prize is a feature film production budget up to $1 Million from Presenting Sponsor – EchoLight Studios.

“This year, our filmmakers brought more passion and heart than I thought possible.  These films will leave audiences inspired and believing that we can all achieve great things in a very short time.” said Ware.

Eighty short films will premiere followed by red carpet and awards show. Click here to purchase Festival Tickets (tickets range from $15 to $59 for a VIP Pass). Parental discretion suggested for children 12 and under.

Best Film

Ferre - Directed by Chris Wiegand, Dallas Texas.

Ferre Nominations for the 168 Film Festival: Best Film, Best Actor (Logan Imbler), Best Scriptural Integration (Chris Wiegand), Best Cinematography (Chris Wiegand), Best Editor (Chris Wiegand), Best Sound Design (Chris Wiegand), Best Original Score (Jordan Critz)

Fin Del Año – Directed by Joshua Porter, Columbus Ohio.

Fin Del Año Nominations for the 168 Film Festival: Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Kenny Santiago Marrero), Best Supporting Actress (Annette Reyes), Best Screenplay – Drama (Nathan Weidner and Joshua Porter), Best Scriptural Integration (Nathan Weidner & Joshua Porter), Best Cinematography (Dan Parsons), Best Production Design (Joshua Porter)

Freedom Road - Directed by Shane Vermooten, Cape Town South Africa.

Freedom Road Nominations for the 168 Film Festival: Best Film, Best International Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Matthew Dylan Roberts), Best Actress (Sylvia Ncediwe Mdunyelwa-Kobus), Best Supporting Actor (Anele Matoti), Best Screenplay – Drama (Diane Vermooten), Best Scriptural Integration (Diane Vermooten), Best Cinematography (Chris van der Burgh), Best Editor (Chris van der Burgh), Best Sound Design (Chris van der Burgh), Best Original Score (Bruce Retief), Best Production Design (Diane Vermooten), Best “Making Of” Film (Making of 116 “Freedom Road” – Diane Vermooten)

Heartfall - Directed by Joth Riggs, Westlake Village California.

Heartfall Nominations for the 168 Film Festival: Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Gunnar Sizemore), Best Actress (Reagan Kilpatrick), Best Supporting Actor (Kevin Sizemore), Best Screenplay – Drama (Joth Riggs and Joel Kilpatrick), Best Scriptural Integration (Joth Riggs & Joel Kilpatrick), Best Cinematography (Abraham Martinez), Best Sound Design (Ben Bruce), Best Original Score (Fred Emory Smith), Best Production Design (Karen Harper), Best Make-Up and Hair (Nicole Grisanti & Brenda Rippee)


Sonoma Christian Home had a chance to catch up with Festival Founder John David Ware, and filmmaker Joth Riggs to talk about what is happening at this year’s festival.

SCH:  Tell us how this year’s 168 Film Festival is different from other years?

John David Ware:

All I can say is WOW. This years crop of 168 Films is breathtaking. It is exciting to be in the middle of a changing of the guard in Christian Worldview Filmmaking. As these new artists come of age in their artistry, we are there to cheer them on. The trajectory from my point of view is straight up. Expect miracles!

Joth Riggs:

Our team was indeed blessed to receive 12 nominations for our 168 Film, Heartfall, including a nomination for Best Film, which comes with a feature film deal for up to $1 million with EchoLight Studios in Dallas, Texas.

I was also fortunate to work with some extremely talented people like Jenn Gotzon, whom you know, as well as actor Kevin Sizemore and his son Gunnar Sizemore, both of whom were nominated along with a fresh young actress, Reagan Kilpatrick.

The 168 Film competition, now in it’s 11th year, has been a real proving ground for Christian filmmakers with it’s challenging limitation of filming an entire 10 minute film, including shooting, editing, scoring, sound mixing, color grading and final delivery, all in only 168 hours (exactly 7 days)!

SCH: Joth, please tell our readers a little bit about your experience over the years with the 168 Film Project

With only ten days to write a script based on a randomly chosen Bible verse having to do with the theme (this year’s theme was atonement), as well as cast and scout locations, the 168 Film competition rewards the diligent, hard-working, organized, talented, faithful, and also lucky filmmakers with the ultimate test.

It’s a rewarding experience for sure, but it also takes a toll. After working in the film industry for over 20 years, I was excited to hear about the 168 Film Festival and the type of projects it involved.

I was eager to get some distance from the type of films I had been doing with the Hollywood studios and do films that I could be proud of.  This year was my third year directing a 168 Film and I’ve been fortunate to have many of the same people back working with me.

In my first year with the short film, PUSH, we received four nominations, then last year with the film, SHAKEN, we received 9 nominations including Best Film and Best Director and ultimately won for Best Sound Design, to this year’s film, HEARTFALL, taking 12 nominations including Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography, to name a few.

Each year the competition gets stiffer as the net gets cast wider. This year we have teams competing from all over the world. It’s wonderful to see films from all over the world compete to produce God-honoring movies, pushing the boundaries of artistry and craftsmanship while giving Him all the glory.

It’s a privilege to compete and even to be nominated among such talented peers, most of all it’s an honor for us filmmakers to be used by God through our art to help bring the message of this year’s theme of atonement to our audience.

Lost in the Dark - Directed by Christophe W. Bailey, Lillyfield Australia.

Lost in the Dark Nominations for the 168 Film Festival: Best Film, Best International Film, Best Supporting Actress (Sarah Walton), Best Cinematography (Ty Tuin), Best Sound Design (Christophe W. Bailey), Best Original Score (Daniel Saban), Best Make-up and Hair (April Carson), Best “Making Of” Film (Making of 73 “Lost in the Dark” – Dana Newell)

LU - Directed by Korstiaan Vandiver, Los Angeles California.

LU Nominations for the 168 Film Festival: Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay (Drama), Best Actor (Nate Parker), Best Actress (Emayatzy Corinealdi), Best Supporting Actress (Saye Yabandeh), Best Cinematography (Kay Madsen), Best Editor(s), Best Original Score (Kevin MaCloued & Gregory C. Brown), Best Sound Design, & Best Production Design

(re)moved - Directed by Nathanael Matanick, Carpentaria, California.

(Re)moved Nominations for the 168 Film Festival: Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress (Abby White), Best Supporting Actress (Kyra Locke and Sabrina Culver), Best Screenplay – Drama (Nathanael Matanick), Best Scriptural Integration (Christina Matanick), Best Cinematography (Tony Cruz), Best Editor (Nathanael Matanick), Best Sound Design (Nathanael Matanick), Best Original Score (Daniel Jon Klaver), Best Production Design (Nathanael Matanick), Best Make-up and Hair (Nathanael Matanick)


Click here to see the other nominee’s for the 168 Film Project

Visit the 168 Film Project website for Festival Tickets (tickets range from $15 to $59 for a VIP Pass). Parental discretion suggested for children 12 and under.


As a womens magazine, created for Christian Women, Sonoma Christian Home offers articles by bestselling authors on a variety of topics including: daily devotions, Christian reviews of movies, family movie ratings, celebrity interviews, relationship advice, interior design ideas, everyday gourmet recipes and so much more! Sign up now to get the best articles of the week delivered right to your inbox – Click Here to Subscribe – it’s free!


Sue Detweiler Doesn’t Bottle Healing Rain – She Pours It

Sue-Detweiler headshot SCH v

People on radio and television are quite the diverse assortment and most media personalities fiercely guard their privacy… that is, until they are ready to share a well crafted, public relations spun story about some special prism in their lives.

Then, it becomes “prudent” to disclose a very personal detail about themselves to their audience. Having hosted local television programming myself, I’ve often pondered what drives them to go public about some issue or challenge they are currently facing. Sometimes I find their moments of vulnerability deeply rooted in compassion for others. At other times, I simply see a promotional opportunity being cultivated and exploited and, sadly, that is how the business typically works. When your career is in media, you cannot remain naïve. That said, in the middle of the sea, I encountered a hidden pearl.

When I met Healing Rain producer and host, Sue Detweiler, I had seen her video and learned about her life as a mother, wife, and pastor with a calling for a ministry in media. Given my background, I was readily intrigued by her quest. The moment she began speaking with me, I was struck by her effusive transparency. Utterly refreshed by how real Sue got with me – in less than 60 seconds – she broke it down to the nitty-gritty fast. I love it when people surprise me!


Detweiler Family


Which leads to another question that I would ask anyone reaching out to the masses with the intention of deep diving into weighty topics like life, healing, God, and all the meaty variables that go with that territory. Why would I listen to you?

Knowing what is usually coming, I don’t want to be sold anything. And maybe they have nice credentials but what does that really mean to someone who is steeped in challenging waters? Pastor Sue Detweiler isn’t about her Masters degree from Vanderbilt or selling you a Caribbean Cruise. She is about living a life of giving and receiving compassion, pouring God’s love into the next generation, and embracing our role as spiritual parents (not exclusively for our own kids) at levels that our world desperately needs – yet most people are afraid to touch.

Sue has not allowed fear stop her. “I have two adopted boys from Brazil, plus my four biological kids… and counting,” she says playfully. Throughout the years, Sue and her family have welcomed five other young women, from all kinds of backgrounds and needs, to live in their home for periods lasting up to 2-5 years. Each of these girls received the benefits of spiritual parenting, new siblings, and healthy personal development until they were ready to build better lives on their own. An outcome that wasn’t available to them before being loved by the Detweilers.

“In the 3 years I lived with the Detweilers, Sue became a momma in my life who spoke truth, called out gifts God had placed in me, and released me to walk in them. Living life with this family was a pivotal time of growth, healing, and redemption.” – Sarah

The Detweiler family understands the risks of opening their hearts to abandoned children. They did not look for babies to adopt as most people would prefer to do. “We are so against abortion and most orphans in this world are older. Not many people put their faith in action that way because it’s so inconvenient… it doesn’t always feel pretty. [Orphaned] children will build walls of protection that keeps out love. They were rejected so they will reject you too,” Sue clarified.


Their consistent response to this type of calling to spiritual parenting often came at great personal cost to the Detweilers. Sometimes physical health was on the line; they also sold a big house in Brentwood. They downsized square footage but increased in family size. “The body of Christ needs to be a family and a place of restoration and we need to make room in our homes. We have a nice, packed home and this is part of what God has called us to do.” Part of? You mean there is more?


Sue is what I call a FaithDoer. She has dedicated her life to pastoral ministry, as an associate pastor, serving as Principal of New Song Christian Academy and overseeing LIFE School of Ministry, an award-winning Bible teaching institute for pastors, leaders, and members of New Song Christian Fellowship.


Today, her media ministry is growing. Certainly the demand from mom’s, families, and young adults continues to escalate. She is the host of ChristianMomTalk, a weekly podcast. Her program, Healing Rain, is now on 47 radio stations and the Detweilers continue to expand their reach in both in radio and television.

God primed Sue’s heart for a life of courage, to raise her own and adopted children, and to be fruitful in bringing abandoned youth into her home. Sue candidly recounted how she grew up with her parents, her three older brothers, and, at one point, 21 people living in their house. As I listened, I found myself either laughing or silently captivated as she described certain details.

When Sue was in Kindergarten, they took in Mary, a high school girl who came from a very abusive situation. Sue and Mary bonded. When she was in 4th grade, Sue moved into a closet and slept on the floor for a family of five. It didn’t bother her to give up her bedroom. “The hardest one was taking in an anorexic. Having a restorative home and a safe place to be healed, you don’t have to be perfect. It was never planned. It was simply about being willing to be inconvenienced and obedient to God.” Her parents set a powerful example full of life-altering lessons for their little girl and they were not even ministers. Her Father was a successful businessman who was providing work, shelter, and hope for these people.

Sue’s family legacy is rich in God’s “healing rain” and has effectively touched the next generation of Detweilers. You can get more compelling details by listening to Sue’s radio programs. She more than answered my Why would I listen to you question. Her journey is fascinating and convicting so now I can’t resist.


Click here to Watch Sue’s Personal Video Testimony

To learn more about Sue and how to support and participate in their Life-Bridges media ministry visit


Our Nation’s Heritage Through The Eyes of Historian William Federer

William Federer on Capitol steps Featured Image

William J. Federer is a nationally known speaker, best-selling author of 20 books and president of Amerisearch, Inc., a publishing company dedicated to researching America’s Christian heritage. He is a brilliant man who is able to assimilate both the big picture and historical details of what America once was, and where she is headed.

As a former U.



Rick Santorum Is New CEO of EchoLight Studios

Rick Santorum Headshot

Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator and GOP presidential candidate, is now CEO of EchoLight Studios, the first movie company to produce, finance, market and distribute faith-based, family films across all releasing platforms. Santorum announced his new venture Saturday, June 22, on FNC’s “The Huckabee Show.”

EchoLight’s upcoming first theatrical, THE REDEMPTION OF HENRY MYERS, is slated for a fall 2013 release.



Nancy Stafford – Impacting the Entertainment Industry

Nancy Profile black shirt

It was a joy to meet Nancy Stafford who I knew from the Andy Griffith show, Matlock and her Christian books and films.  An actress for thirty years, Nancy has starred in numerous movies and TV series, including five years as Andy Griffith's law partner, Michelle, on Matlock, A tv series airing from 1986-1995.

Matlock was Nominated for multiple awards including the Golden Globes.