Once a year, filmmakers, actors, producers and other entertainment professionals travel to Orlando to participate in the International Christian Film and Music Festival. Known as one of the largest Christian film festivals in the world, the goal is to help filmmakers and musicians get to the next level of their careers.
“When we started seven years ago, we had about 60 attendees,” Sue Crampton, executive director of operations for the festival, says. “This year we’re expecting over 1,000.”
The next festival will be held May 1-4, 2019 at Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive. While organizers are working to finalize all of the details, submissions are being accepted in 10 categories, including feature film, documentary, music video, script, animation and music. The submission deadline is Jan. 31, 2019.
During the festival, film submissions will be reviewed by a group of 10 judges. There will be five industry professionals who have the experience to provide input on a technical level and five everyday people who just love to watch movies. This allows each submission to be judged from a variety of perspectives.
“There’s a sense of balance,” Marty Jean-Louis, the executive festival director, says. “The people that are in the industry will look for more of the technical stuff, and the people that are not, they look more for the story that relates to them.”
Additionally, musicians will have the opportunity to present their submissions live in front of a group of judges for those specific categories.
There are two aspects to this family friendly festival. Not only do filmmakers present their films to an audience of movie-goers and judges in the hopes that their submission will take home the big prize but there is also an educational element.
“For these people, it’s a learning process to basically learn more and to sharpen their skills,” Marty says.
This is done through seminars as well as networking events where industry professionals can connect on multiple levels. While winning awards is extremely gratifying for participating artists, the additional opportunity to meet with distributors and pitch their films is an added bonus.
Past celebrity guests and speakers at the International Christian Film and Music Festival have included Kevin Sorbo, Kirk Cameron and the Newsboys. Stay up to date with announcements regarding the 2019 festival and submit your work for consideration at www.internationalcff.org.
Top 10 Reasons to Submit in the International Christian Film and Music Festival
1. Win up to $100,000 in prizes
2. Participate in an Oscar-style award ceremony
3. Screen movies to distributors
4. Screen movies in France at the Cannes Film Festival
5. Get a distribution deal during the festival
6. Walk the red carpet and do interviews with the media
7. Meet industry/like-minded professionals
8. Learn from the best in the industry
9. Meet some of the best actors
10. Be a part of what’s known as the friendliest festival