CWVFF 2016

Highlights from the Christian Worldview Film Festival, held in San Antonio, Texas.  I was blessed to be attending this event, having people from 34 states, plus Russia, South Korea, Sweden, and Canada.

Best Feature Film and the Audience Choice Awards went to an incredible family movie called The Defense of New Haven. This is the second movie from Little Crew Studios, who released Runner from Ravenshead in 2010 [read review] which was best described as “Little Rascals meets Pilgrim’s Progress”.

Crossbows, boats, spies, and cannons clash as the City Defense Force and Raiders square off in The Defense of New Haven.

Defense of New Haven has an allegorical message about the importance of God’s Word. The hero is given conflicting advice regarding what training manuals he should study – the original or the new ones. Sometimes we tend to replace reading the Bible with the reading of books based on the Bible. While various Christian materials are helpful, we should never neglect the reading of God’s word itself.  The world in which Defense of New Haven takes place helps communicate the overall theme, bringing to mind the defense of Britain during World War II. Once again, the Steege children are cast in multiple roles, and do a fantastic job portraying a heart-felt story.

Since the 2010 release of Agenda, Curtis Bowers realized a follow-up was needed. That follow-up won the Best Documentary Award this year at CWVFF.  Agenda 2 : Masters of Deceit is a better focused, more relevant film for 2016. The first documentary was about the “who and what” of Marxism in America. Agenda 2 is the “how” and emphasizes the importance of a long term vision; looking to the raising of younger generations. Also noted is the need for each individual to repent and look to Christ – which is vital for any national repentance.

This documentary makes clear how a slow surrendering of authority by parents, churches and elected government officials into the hands of unelected “experts” allowed a continued loss of liberty. However, Agenda 2 points less to the “political” perspective and more to the eternal. Because while we care about our nation, of more importance is parents diligently raising their children; believers in Christ seeking to follow Him more closely. And we know that the family, as God defined in his word, is foundational to society.

Through the healing of individuals and families, the nation will see healing, as well. One reminder proves true; “There are really only two sides, that of Man or that of God’s.” The DVD is available at

In a total shift of direction from the sci-fi drama Remember, TheMovieMakers present a light-hearted family comedy called My Grandpa Detective. Their second feature film, is full of fun and features Gary Nation as Grandpa. The Gospel is clearly presented in the story, as characters deal with concepts of sin, guilt and forgiveness. I don’t want to ruin any of the funny scenes for you (so I must say nothing more).

There are always many short films in the festival. Among them was a fun movie called The Rock. And another, the Runner Up for Best Short Film, was That Which Costs. Both of these can be viewed free online.

Other unique and high quality films included Screenwriters, The Wild Brothers (from Answers In Genesis), Rocking Chair (by Zach Fowler) and the Mining For God documentary.

Twice Owned, a short film I worked on was also featured in the festival. Watch it free at

Director of the award-winning Labeled documentary attended this year with an update video that  screened at the festival. It noted that Labeled has been having a positive impact across the nation.

I’ve only talked about part of the films that were in the festival this year; so visit the website for a full listing:

Young Filmmakers
Runner up- Choice of a Lifetime
Winner- Two Friends; Two Different Destinies

Promotional Film
Runner up- Why We Homeschool
Winner- Taking The Next Step

Best Music Video
Runner up- Before The Throne
Winner- Wandering Pilgrim

Best Animated Film
Runner up- Two Friends; Two Different Destinies
Winner- Torchlighters: The Robert Jermain Thomas Story

Sanctity of Life Award
Runner up- Stolen Moments
Winner- Choice of a Lifetime

Missions Awareness Award
Runner up- Dispatches From The Front: No Regrets, No Retreat
Winner- Dispatches From The Front: The Day of Battle

Short Film Music Scoring Competition
Runner up- Sanghee Nam
Winner- Sean Kisch

Best Original Film Score
Runner up- The Screenwriters, by Benjamin Botkin
Winner- The Defense of New Haven, by J. Marty Cope

Best Short Documentary
Runner up- The Penny Suit
Winner- Buddy Davis’ Amazing Adventure: Alaska!

Best Short Film
Runner up- That Which Costs
Winner- Armor of God

Best Documentary
Runner up- The Five Day Adoption
Winner- Agenda 2

Honor Your Father Film Contest
Honorable Mention- Our Fathers Are As Farmers
3rd- The Father Effect
2nd- Legacy
1st- Fatherhood: Cherish Every Moment

Best Gospel Presentation Award
Runner up- Agenda 2
Winner- The Penny Suit

Best Feature Film
Runner up- Hoovey
Winner- The Defense of New Haven

Audience Choice Award
Runner up- The Screenwriters
Winner- The Defense of New Haven