Groundbreaking Festival Strives to Redefine, Encourage Faith-Based and Family Films
The inaugural International Faith and Family Film Festival will debut at Bishop T. D. Jakes’ MegaFest 2013 in Dallas, August 29-31, at the Omni Dallas Hotel.
Jennifer Hudson, Academy Award winner and star of Jakes’ new film, Winnie Mandela, is slated to appear at the festival, which will feature a wide variety of films tackling tough issues such as identity, family and poverty.
Bishop Jakes, who has long appreciated the entertainment media’s influence in helping shape cultural messages and bring people to Christ, believes a new and vibrant “faith and family” film festival will raise the bar and change perceptions about what constitutes a faith-oriented film.
“Americans are looking for wholesome entertainment that reflects the values they practice and teach their children every day. We’re filling that void,” said Jakes. “This film festival is designed to encourage studios and the rising number of faith and family-based film companies to help this type of entertainment grow.”
Details on some of the films scheduled to be screened follow below:
One Chance is a British romantic comedy that follows the journey of opera singer Paul Potts on his quest to win “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2007.
The Other Son is a moving and challenging tale of two young men who discover they were accidentally switched at birth. Complex repercussions play out within two families as a son raised by a Jewish family discovers he is Arab by birth and a Palestinian family's adored youngest boy discovers he is Jewish.
Child 31 is an uplifting film that dramatizes a powerful means of feeding the hungry in developing countries. The documentary captures Mary's Meals' life-changing work in action throughout Malawi, Kenya and India, and its mission to help millions of children around the world realize their dreams.
Playin’ for Love is a romantic comedy that follows a high school basketball team’s head coach and a single mother who helps turn the team’s fortunes around. The City of Miami and the Miami Heat were partners in filming the movie in Miami, using local talent.
Grace Unplugged is a musical drama about a beautiful young singer who gets the break of a lifetime and has her faith radically tested in the real world. The coming-of-age experience forces the singer to evaluate her values and whether she is willing to remain true to herself.
Heaven is for Real, based on the testimony of a four-year-old Nebraska boy, who visited heaven and lived to share his story after emergency surgery, will be the subject of a roundtable discussion during the film festival. Randall Wallace (Secretariat, Braveheart) is directing and Joe Roth (Oz the Great and Powerful, Alice in Wonderland) is producing the film, which is still in production.
In addition to the thought-provoking films, the festival will feature keynote speakers and panelists who represent expertise in all aspects of filmmaking, producing and marketing. This includes:
• Actress Jennifer Hudson, star of the new film, Winnie Mandela
• Soledad O’Brien, host of CNN’s “Black in America”
• Mary Claire Kendall, columnist covering Hollywood for Forbes
• Kirstin Wilder, vice president and managing editor of Variety
• Acclaimed director Randall Wallace (Secretariat, We Were Soldiers)
• Larry Ross of A. Larry Ross Communications, 30-year spokesman for evangelist Billy Graham
• Tirrell Whittley, visionary CEO of Liquid Soul Media
• Charles King, agent at William Morris Endeavor who brought artists including Tyler Perry and Terrence Howard to prominence
Tickets for the three-day film festival are $99 and include admittance to other MegaFest events, including empowerment sessions for men and women. Discount family and group packages are also available. Registration is available online. For a complete list of scheduled events for the film festival visit mega-fest.com/filmfestival.
MegaFest has welcomed more than 700,000 attendees since its inception in 2004. Past speakers and performers have included Aretha Franklin, Steve Harvey, Dave Ramsey and Cirque du Soleil. This is the first time MegaFest will be hosted in Dallas.
About Bishop T.D. Jakes
Bishop T. D. Jakes is the charismatic founder and senior pastor of The Potter's House, a global humanitarian organization and 30,000-member church located in Dallas. Named "America's Best Preacher" by TIME Magazine, Jakes' voice reverberates globally through extensive charitable works and an empire that spans film, television, radio, best-selling books and conference series. Bishop Jakes made his presence felt in Hollywood with the release of Jumping the Broom, an award-winning romantic comedy that debuted as the #1 comedy and grossed nearly seven times its budget in 2011 and Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day, released in 2012. Celebrating more than 30 years of marriage, Thomas Dexter and wife Serita Jakes are parents to five children and three grandchildren.