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Christian Filmmakers to Compete for Largest Cash Prize

Independent Christian filmmakers have the opportunity to receive the largest cash prize ever awarded at a film festival.

One lucky and talented Christian filmmaker will receive $101,000 and a "Best of Festival" Jubilee Award next year from the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.

The winner will be announced during a ceremony at the festival, which is slated for Jan. 2009. The amount is more than 10 times what the festival awarded to past "Best of Film" winners, who received $10,000.

Doug Phillips, the festival's founder, who recently announced the unprecedented prize amount at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, said the award will be presented to the filmmaker who best communicates a Christian worldview with artistic excellence through their work.

"Our goal is to light a candle – to show that there is hope outside Hollywood by rewarding culture changers who are recapturing film for Christ's glory," Phillips said in a statement.

The decision to award the hefty prize, according to festival organizers, comes during an optimistic time for independent Christian films. "Facing the Giants" was a low-budget, indy film produced by a local church that made it big among mainstream audiences. The 2006 film had a production budget of $100,000 but pulled in over $10 million at the box office.

"Purse strings of liberal filmmakers have financed anti-Christian values and moral decadence through film for decades," commented Phillips. "They have had their day, and now is the time for a Christian reformation in filmmaking."

Other prizes and awards will also be given to the best trailers, commercial advertisement, and family films, among others, bringing the total value of awards to over $200,000.

There are no restrictions on who may submit an entry and contestants can submit multiple entries, according to the festival's website.

The festival is a project of Vision Forum Ministries, which seeks equip and strengthen families with biblical values and messages.

On the Web: www.independentchristianfilms.com

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