Monday, November 8, 2010

SAICFF Movie Reviews

For those of you interested I wanted to suggest some of the movies that I was able to watch and I think you'd be blessed by them. Some were, as you might expect at a Christian Film Fest, filled with cheese, but others were Hollywood style blockbusters that honored Christ.

These movies are available on or for download at (it may take a few days for some to go up)


Live to Forgive – This is a documentary style feature about a pastor who is trying to forgive the step-father who murdered the pastor's mother years earlier. It has some slow spots, but it is very moving and a reminder that we who have been forgiven much must also forgive.

Standing Firm – This happens to be my pick for the Audience choice Award. I had dinner and a couple of brief conversations with the director. This best way to describe this film is as Fireproof for fathers as it had a very similar feel.

The Penny – This is the film that won the Best Feature Jubilee. The Producer is Nathan Webster, really nice down to earth guy. This movie focuses on the providence of God in all things.

Agenda: Grinding Down America – This feature documentary took Best of Festival award an $101,000 grand prize. The documentary shows the moving force of communism throughout history while offering solutions to the distress. The producer is a first time film maker and former state congressman from Iowa.

The Runner from Ravenshead – This film won runner up in the features, runner up in the Best of Festival, and won the Audience Choice Award by a 400% landslide! The film is an allegory of salvation using a prison and the City of Refuge. The film was made the first project by family. The reason that the film did so well is that the producers five children ages nine to two played all 30 roles! When I watched the trailer I thought, wow that is cute, but I don't think I can take it for an hour and a half. I was so wrong because it was not just cute and hilarious, but it was great quality as well. The Prague Orchestra recorded the soundtrack. If you buy nothing else buy this film!

Divided – This is a documentary that explores the American church's idea of youth ministry and how it is a total failure. This is a controversial topic for many, but even if you disagree with the filmmakers I believe you can learn and respect their ideas because they present it in such a gentle way without making caricatures out of their proponents.

Those are the main films that I truly enjoyed. There were some nice shorts as well that I'm sure you can find at at some point.

I was unable to see it, but I hear No Greater Love was also very well made and Christ-exalting.

A few films I'm very excited about sharing with you, but that are not out to the public yet:


Ace Wonder – This is a wonderful child detective story about family. The producer is John Moore who won the festival last year with the “The Widow's Might.” I only watched a rough cut of the film, but I sense a new Christian movie franchise. Though the star, Gator Moore (yes, that is his real name), is growing like a weed so they better get a sequel out quickly.

IndoctriNation – I have not seen this entire film yet, but the concept and the producer are great. I had a great conversation with Colin Gunn, director/producer one evening. He really impressed me because he is a Scot whose son's name is Knox. I'm sure you'll figure out the reference on your own. The documentary is about how the public school system is taking our children and programming them in their own way of thinking. I think the best quote from Colin was, “Blaspheme is teaching about the creation with absolutely no mention of the creator.” At least I think it was Colin.

Courageous – This is the latest movie from the Kendrick brothers and Sherwood Films. Stephen Kendrick was very passionate about this topic. It is about fathers winning the hearts of the children. Looks like their best work yet. So look for it next summer.

Well that is the movies I have to suggest. I'm partnering up with some other filmmakers to offer a family movie night locally to encourage, not only thoughtful Christian entertainment, but biblical family discussions as well. I'll probably sending out an invite to you guys to join me at my home unless there are some that the elders would like shown at Rockport.

Hollywood has such a grip on our culture, but I was truly impressed to see the work god is doing to raise up a people for Himself to take dominion over that aspect of culture as well. This week was a great reminder that every stronghold will be torn down and that Christ does sovereignly reign that we who love Him and are loved by Him have no reason to hide our heads in the sand.

In Christ, our Hope,

Jason Vaughn

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