2014 Declared “The Year of Christian Film”
Four-time Primetime Emmy Winner Michael Learned has joined the presenter line-up for the “168 Film Festival,” a red carpet awards show designed as an international celebration of faith in film. The event takes place Saturday, September 13, at the Aratani Japanese Theater in Downtown L.A., located at 244 S. San Pedro Street. (Red Carpet, 5:30pm-7pm; Awards Show: 7:30pm-9pm.)
In the 1970s, Learned starred as the beloved “Olivia Walton” on The Waltons television show, garnering three Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She later earned a fourth Emmy for her starring role as “Nurse Mary Benjamin” in the drama series Nurse in 1982. (The Waltons can currently be seen on INSP.)
Highlighting the power of story to change culture, the “168 Film Festival” showcases the work of worldwide filmmakers competing for top honors and more than $25,000 in cash and prizes. The event is presented annually by 168 Film, an organization founded in 2003 to train and equip filmmakers in the how-to’s of making God-honoring films.
This year’s festival takes on additional importance as the press declared 2014 as “The Year of Christian Film” following a host of box-office hits that grossed record numbers while dealing with faith-based themes (God’s Not Dead, Heaven Is For Real, Son of God, Noah).
According to 168 Film Founder and Executive Director John David Ware, “We in the media are in the culture-changing business. If we had ten amazing scripts to sell, I believe we could sell them all in the current climate.”
Learned joins an already all-star line-up; including Nathan Kress (Chicken Little); this year’s Host, comedian Kerri Pomarolli (The Tonight Show, Comedy Central); Vincent Irizarry (All My Children); twice Emmy nominated actor Max Gail (Barney Miller); Writer, Director Sean McNamara (Soul Surfer); Melissa Biggs (Baywatch); Allie McCulloch (Homeland); Kim Estes (NCIS, How I Met Your Mother); Melissa Disney (Superman: Unbound); and Bryan E. Miller (American Idol, Dancing With the Stars.)
Learned holds double distinction at this year’s festival. In addition to being a presenter, she is up for two Best Supporting Actress awards. Both comedies, the films are Unplugged, produced by James Runcorn; directed by Craig Anderson; and The Parcel, produced by April Manor and directed by Liz Hewes.
“I’m excited to participate on so many levels of this powerful storytelling project,” says Learned. “It’s an honor.”
The “168 Film Festival” is a two-day affair, Sept. 12-13. Special programming for Saturday, September 13, includes “168KIDS!,” where kids ages 5-15 are invited to walk the red carpet and mingle with celebrities including Nathan Kress (iCarly), Carmina Garay (React To That), Nay Nay Kirby (Who’s Watching the Kids), Noah Dahl (Mr. & Mrs. Smith), Mandalynn Carlson (Machine Gun Preacher), Kiana Lyz Rivera (Immigrant) and Tara-Nicole Azarian (It’s Supernatural). The “Pastors & Producers Media Forum,” will bring Southern California pastors together with Hollywood leaders to discuss “Capitalizing On The Year of Christian Film,” from 3pm-4pm.
To find out more about this amazing film festival, visit their Official Website
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