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The San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival (SAICFF) has announced the feature finalists and semi-finalists for its fifth annual film competition to be held January 8-10 in San Antonio, Texas. Each of the selected films will compete for one or more of the SAICFF’s Jubilee Awards, for the Audience Choice Award, and for the largest single film festival grand prize of its kind in America—the $101,000 Best of Festival Jubilee Award. Founder Doug Phillips noted,

“After an intense period of judging, we are delighted to select our fifty finalists and semi-finalists for this year’s competition. These fifty films were narrowed down from a field of 250 entries we received—nearly double the number of film submissions of any previous year. All told, the collective production budgets for these films are in the tens of millions of dollars.”

“Careful analysis was brought to bear during the decision-making process. Each of the films was evaluated in terms of its biblical worldview, holiness in presentation, production values, wise and creative use of available technological resources, and consistency with our film festival objectives and guidelines.”

The SAICFF has selected eight finalists to compete for the feature film award—a new award category that was introduced for the 2009 festival. The feature film finalists, chosen from a pool of fifty full-length film entries, include several widely-distributed independent Christian films such as “Fireproof” and “Expelled.”

Other feature finalists include:

  • “Pendragon, Sword of His Father” an epic historical adventure that communicates the message of biblical honor in the context of an Arthurian legend
  • “The Widow’s Might,” a comedic drama that reveals the importance of the biblical family, care for widows, and the problem with statism
  • “Throw a Few Things on the Ground,” a foreign film from Togo, is a feature finalist that will expose American audiences to the stark antithesis between Christianity and fetishism in the context of one boy’s journey from idolatry to Christ.
  • “The Sound of a Dirt Road,” a tale of love, honor, and generational faithfulness
  • “Pilgrim’s Progress,” a modern retelling of the classic story of true commitment to Christ

Forty-two semi-finalist films, spanning multiple award categories, have also been chosen. 

The Best Documentary semi-finalists include such offerings as:

  • “An American Adventure,” a high-definition film tracing the life of 82-year-old Jimmy Gentry through the Great Depression, his service in WWII, and his experiences liberating the Dachau concentration camp
  • “Binding Faith,” a film about Christian persecution taking place in India
  • along with ten other documentary films

The Best Dramatic Film Short competition will feature eighteen films in all including, “Hidden Treasure,” “The Other Son,” and “The Widow and Judge”—three modern day parables that bring the Bible stories to life in a new way. Other dramatic film short semi-finalists include “Coppelius” and “Dialtone,” two films that force questions of faith in the context of a life-altering decision.

Eleven semi-finalists have also been chosen to compete for the Young Filmmaker’s Award—a prize given to filmmakers who are eighteen years of age or younger. Phillips remarked,

“The films that will be competing for 2009 Jubilee Awards are, overall, a notch above any past year’s selections. We are honored to be showcasing the best fruit of a maturing independent Christian movement at the 2009 festival. And we look forward to our Jubilee Awards when we can further demonstrate our appreciation to those filmmakers who have, over the last year, done the best job of using their creative gifts to honor Christ through this critical medium of the arts.”

For more information, see the official site: