Monday, November 1, 2010

The San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, Part 1

We missed the first morning & afternoon of the film festival, since Andrew had to work and we had no way of getting there. But it was okay with us, since most of the films at that time we weren't too excited about, or could see them later when they repeated. Grace took us in for the opening ceremonies at 6:30.

We spotted the Marcic family there (friends of ours from FL), and we greeted them but sat in different places.

There were some trailers for the upcoming films, and then Mr. Botkin spoke on how to evaluate Hollywood films. It was really good. Much of it I'd known before, but some of it surprised me a little. They talked about the films Finding Nemo, One Night With the King, and Love's Unending Legacy, all of which I have seen and thought were fairly decent, though not perfect. My favorite of the three would probably be Finding Nemo for its animation quality and comedy--otherwise I know there are a few problems with the message or attitudes in it.

After that, the film Divided was shown. It was not part of the competition, but it was excellent. It showed the dangers of youth groups and how the idea is not found anywhere in Scripture. The film quality and style were great, keeping your interest all the way through.

After the film, the film-makers talked a bit about how and why they had made the film.


Dawned with cold air. We got to the Municipal Auditorium early, since Annie was to be working there as a volunteer. The doors were closed, so we waited around. Eventually, we left Annie there with the Manteufels and Andrew and I drove over to the convention center to see Sybil Ludington and Journey to Everest.

The first movie was the story of a 16-year-old girl who rode 40 miles on horseback to round up the troops against the British in the Revolutionary War. It was inspiring in some ways, and mostly kept my interest. However, I thought the pacing was a little slow at times, showing the same basic scene with repeating music (especially so at the dance). Also, the acting could use some work, and some of Sybil's attitudes at first were not so great. In general I kind of enjoyed it, though, and wondered if I could do anything so brave and exhausting.

Andrew gave his thoughts on the film to one of the new Vision Forum interns, including the kind of guns used. The intern said he was very detailed and that it sounded like Andy could be one of the judges. :)

The next film, Journey to Everest, was interesting--especially seeing the numerous awful gods and goddesses they worship in Nepal. Overall not my favorite film, though, because it didn't seem to explain much in the way of spiritual depth or purpose. There was some of that, but mostly just what I had seen in the trailer.

Andrew and I went to lunch by ourselves after that, getting some Asian food. We brought Annie an Italian wrap for her lunch, and I stayed with her a little while and talked with Mr. Manteufel as Andy went to park.

Then we saw Agenda: Grinding America Down. This...this was a powerful film, which we watched as we sat next to the Verret family. Andrew came in late, since he had had trouble with finding a place to park that would accept his money--I guess he didn't have enough change. During the film, next to me, Lacie was jotting down notes. After a while, I pulled my notebook out and joined her in so doing. I had just recently learned something about Communism and the KGB from some youtube videos Andy shared with us. They were actually very fascinating, though somewhat out of date. But the history was there, and I had basically known nothing about it before then. What I knew was vague and somewhat inaccurate--the exciting spy version. Communism seeks to deceive, and is hard on those that don't agree with the system. So, this film tied in with that, talking more about Karl Marx and his various ties to different American organizations. I believe this film is one of the most important and useful ones in the film festival. Not a fun film to watch, but one we need to watch and re-watch, as Lacie said. At the close of the film, I asked Laura and Lacie to sign my autograph book. They wrote a couple of sweet notes. They are two girls I love and look up to, though they are quite a bit younger than I am.

We went down to the vending tables, looking at books and DVDs. There were even a few books and things for free, which we picked up. While there, Lacie gave me an idea for an art project, which I am seriously considering following up on. Mom, Annie, and I discussed it and possible ideas for it this morning, too. Should I tell you all or keep it a secret? I guess I will keep it a secret for now; sorry! :)

We went back upstairs to see The Runner from Ravenshead, and we all enjoyed that very much. It is an allegory and comedy, using all little kids from one family for the cast! And they are great in their roles. The message is one that should touch you as well, even if the allegory wasn't perfect. The movie was definitely better than I thought it would be.

The cast from The Runner from Ravenshead giving a behind-the-scenes look at the making of their film.

The sweet Verret family

We met up with the Marcics after a while. We were thinking of watching some other films, but since we wanted to eat supper with the Marcics, they said we should get to doing that if we wanted to get back in time for Ace Wonder, which we did. So we started out for Casa Rio after a bit of deliberation. We had a nice supper--Annie and I got a sort of tropical salad, and the others got enchiladas and such. Only Mr. and Mrs. Marcic, Jonathan, Meghan, and baby Nathan ate with us. We talked about various things like our families, friends, and the films we'd watched. Mr. Marcic more than kindly paid for our meals.

That night, we watched the premier screening of a rough-cut Ace Wonder. Even in an unfinished stage, it was quite amazing. Very professional.

...To Be Continued

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