by Dana Chaffin
March 31, 2011 – April 2, 2011 are dates for the 9th Annual 168 Film Festival in San Fernando and Glendale California. You can purchase tickets to the festival or for more information visit www.168project.com. The festival in 2010 highlighted over 80 films from 6 countries. The film festival and the films produced for the competition are from new film producers as well as veterans in the business. The 168 film project is more than showing films; it inspires faith-based films and draws new filmmakers to explore God’s Word.
The conceptThe 168 film project is the competition part of the process. Here a filmmaking team is required to produce an up to 11 minute short film based on a randomly drawn Scripture in 168 hours (1 week). Each year the project is based on a theme, this year’s theme is "Second Chances". Each team is responsible for raising the funds to shoot their film. They are in charge of the shooting location, cast, crew, script, etc. Once each team has their assigned Scripture they are given a time they are able to start filming and then have only 168 hours before the finished film must be submitted for judging. The judges, or The Jury as 168 calls them, are a group of professional producers, writers, and directors from the industry. The 2011 Jury consists of Christina Lee Storm (producer To Save a Life), Luke Schelhass (writer/producer Law and Order, Touched by an Angel), Ralph Winter (producer X-Men: Wolverine), Howard Kazanjian (producer Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars: Episode IV – Return of the Jedi), and more. There are many different award categories such as Scriptural Integration, Actress/Actor, Animation, Production Design, Cinematography, and many more. 168 Film Festival to be held March 31 – April 2 is the finale where awards are presented and all the finished films are shown to audiences at two theaters in California. The 168 Film Project is growing every year and helping many upcoming Christian filmmakers gain experience and exposure.
He's 13!One of the films to premiere at the 2011 festival is He’s 13! a short film produced by Susan Shearer for this competition. This is the third year for her to compete in the 168 Film Project. The Scripture selected for this film was Luke 19:5-9 about Zacchaeus the short but wealthy tax collector. He’s 13! is the story of a 13 year old boy who produces a zombie film with his friends for You Tube. It gets lots of views and the attention of a Hollywood studio. He is hired to direct a movie based on his zombie film and offered $30 million. The fame, toys, and money go to his head. Away from friends and family, he withdrawals from talking and only texts on his new expensive phone. Will he see that relationships are more important than money and fame? When asked about her main source of inspiration Susan says "First and foremost I wanted to honor God with our project. I truly believe God was in the mix and our inspiration and creativity are gifts from Him". Shearer says "When it’s all said and done, we’re not competing against each other, it’s about creating movies that can impact people for Christ. It’s a wonderful, supportive community. Many of us pray for each other regardless of whose team we’re on." To find out more about He’s 13! you can visit www.hes13.com or follow them on Facebook – He’s 13! Movie. If you are interested in helping financially with this and other films by Susan Shearer you can make tax deductible donation to their non-profit at The Robert Lee Rush Foundation, c/o I’m Not a Turkey Productions, 5757 Franklin Ave., Suite 107, Hollywood, CA 90028.