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2015 Attic Film Festival Opens Up Submissions for Films of Hope, Faith and Redemption on September 1

US and International Independent Filmmakers Encouraged to Submit Full-Features, Documentaries, Shorts, Music Videos and Student Films Online

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Corrine Rotan
The Attic Film Festival
Marketing

The Rotan Group
512-296-8423
corrine.rotan@gmail.com

Austin, Texas (September 2, 2014)-The Attic Film Festival, the rapidly growing, high quality  faith-based film festival, opens up submission for films of hope, faith and redemption on September 1, 2014. US and International independent filmmakers are encouraged to submit full features, documentaries, shorts, music videos and student films online at www.atticfilmfest.org/festival-central/taff-submissions.

“We are once again thrilled to be able to provide a forum for faith-based films next year in Austin, TX.  Going into our eighth year, we’re extremely fortunate to receive Hollywood quality films that enable our audiences (both secular and non secular) to be influenced and left with a powerful message,” said Dr. Jamee Kennedy, executive director of The Attic Film Festival.  “We are experiencing tremendous growth in the Christian film industry. This year alone, faith-based films such as Noah and Heaven is for Real, have led opening day box office hits in the #2 position and to date have generated over $400 million, proving that audiences are still captivated by the Christian message. We look forward to receiving independent films with the same quality standard as Hollywood and highlight and promote these films at the 2015 Attic Film Festival.

“The Attic Film Festival is among the most rewarding and important film festivals for Christian filmmakers.  Not only do they provide faith-based films the opportunity for industry recognition, but the chance to meet other filmmakers is priceless.  The staff are friendly and accommodating, and Austin is about the best host city you could hope for”, says Clayton Miller, filmmaker, director of Redemption of Henry Myers (2012 Attic Film Festival Best Film, premiered on the HallMark Channel in 2014).

Over the past 7 years, approximately 13-18 cash awards per year have been presented to the winners cumulating over $100,000.  The amount of the award is based on the fundraising efforts each Fall.  Additionally, these award-winning independent filmmakers have gone on to receive national recognition and have been featured on the Hallmark Channel, nominated for an Academy Award, and made into full features.  For the 2014 Fest held in April, the Attic Film Festival premiered 28 films including Linsanity, Return to Mogadishu, Let God, Fading West, Where We Belong and a Cry from Iran, to name a few.

To be considered as a selected film for the 2015 Attic Film Festival, filmmakers may submit their film online or postmarked prior to last day of submission February 1, 2015 with a fee of $25.  No late entries are accepted and International submission must be subtitled in English. Students currently enrolled in an institution of higher education and are treated the same as regular submission expect for a reduced entry fee of $15. For more information visit the Attic Film Festival at www.atticfilmfest.org.

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Christian Actors Workshop

A Christian based Actor’s Workshop  on Wednesday night 7-8:30pm will be offered in the Fall.  Leading the workshop will be long time Austin Community College Acting Instructor Dr. Jamee Kennedy.

These classes will begin September 3rd, 2014 and go through November with a break in October.

The workshop will use the Meisner Technique and focus on getting comfortable and relaxed on stage/camera, use of the body, use of the voice/face, external characterization, internal characterization, script analysis and the performance process.  The class is for all ages.

There is no charge for the class but you must register to participate, and there’s a class limit of 20.

Click here to read Dr Kennedy’s bio.

Please contact Jayla Martinez, class coordinator, if you are intereted.

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Real Life Heroes

LONE SURVIVOR-Rated R

Hay Folks!

Hope your summer is going well. With summer blockbusters in full swing I just want to put a bug in your ear and suggest something. Instead of watching a film about fictional heroes, how about watching a film based on actual heroes?

I finally had the privilege of reading the book Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell and then steeled my soul to watch Peter Berg’s impressive film based on the book. I don’t generally clamor to see R rated films for reasons that I won’t bore you with. But I did see this one. After reading the book, I felt the need to see this film. And I feel called to ask you all to see it, if you have not already done so.

Fair warning. It is a very difficult film to watch, heartbreaking actually. You probably already know the film chronicles the story of four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative Ahmad Shah (well played by Yousuf Azami) in remote and mountainous North-Eastern Afghanistan. Like the book, the film depicts the SEALS compassionate refusal to kill 3 goat shepherds that find them spying on Shah. It is this knowingly sacrificial decision that ultimately leads to the Team being completely outnumbered and fighting valiantly for survival. The film is bloody, violent, troubling and has lots of language. But it also exemplifies extreme sacrifice for not only strangers, but for each other. These men are brothers in the truest sense. And the film clearly depicts their devotion to each other’s survival. The film is full of great compassion, courage and loyalty. And it is an extreme example of the ultimate act of putting others first.

Now granted, there are a lot of war films out there. And many of them are really, really great. But this one is unique. Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg) survives because of SEAL Team LT Mike Murphy’s (played heroically by Taylor Kitsch) sacrifice and very courageous Pashtan Villagers who protect and defend him with their own lives. This small village is ferocious in their defense of Luttrell, yet gentle in convincing him that they are not his enemy. But what got to me most was that these Villagers understand and fully appreciate that American soldiers have nothing to gain by fighting the Taliban along side them and everything to lose. They fight and die because they believe they are called to protect the World. And they enter into these villagers’ fight willingly, expecting nothing in return. I wonder how many of us here in the US even give a second thought to thanking a service man or woman when we see them in the grocery store.

We take so much for granted here in Austin and in American. Life is pretty great here. This film is a visual representation of the men who served the American people and the World to the fullest extent possible in it’s most violent and remote region. There was only 1 survivor from SEAL Team 10. He wrote his story down so we could know the men who gave everything for the good of others. His story was made into a film so that we could understand and appreciate what our world might become without those who are willing to serve others first. Isn’t this what living the Gospel life is all about?

So, I challenge you to see this film. Have a box of Kleenex at your side. And I also challenge you to support our men and women in uniform in a tangible way. Please consider donating to:

In November we will be screening Return to Mogadishu: Remembering Black Hawk Down a powerful short documentary on the 1993 ill-fated mission. We are working on scheduling it to coincide with Veterans Day. Be sure to check our website for dates and times. At this screening we will be collecting donations for both organizations. We hope you will join us in honoring our fine men and women in uniform.

MORE ABOUT THE LONE SURVIVOR FOUNDATION

After surviving his operations in Afghanistan, Marcus returned home to his ranch in Texas, the center of his post-combat recovery and restoration. There, Marcus had time to recover, to think and to feel the love and support of close friends and family as he healed his wounds. Based upon first hand experiences of what is needed to provide holistic healing beyond standard government programs, Marcus established the Lone Survivor Foundation in 2010 with the intent to bring the wounded service members into the same type of environment that healed Marcus. A place of solitude and beauty, where there was a close-knit and understanding support system. A place where the service members and their families could heal together as they all worked through the consequences of war. The Foundation is dedicated to honoring and remembering American service members by providing unique educational, rehabilitation, recovery, and wellness opportunities to U.S. Armed Forces members and their families.

Blessings

Jamee Kennedy

TAFF Executive Director

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Let God Wins the Audience Favorite Award at TAFF 2014.

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(April 5, 2014) After counting all the ballots where audience members of TAFF voted on their favorite film of the festival, TAFF announced that Let God has won the Audience Favorite Award at TAFF 2014. This adds to the list of awards that Let God won this year to include:

  • Best Film
  • Best Feature
  • Audience Favorite
  • Best Director (William Parker)
  • Best Female Performance (Jasmin Jandreau)

Let God Adds More Awards to its List

In addition, Let God won both “Best Feature” and “Best Actress” honors at the 2013 Breckenridge Film Festival. Let God was also an official selection at the 2013 Gideon Film Festival and has earned the Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for any age. “This is a terrific Story!” said the Dove Foundation. “The writer/director (William Parker) and leading actress Jasmine Jandreau, as Amelia, somehow manage to make this story of survival a powerful movie about trials and a faith that overcomes all odds…You will enjoy watching this one. Don’t miss it!”

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Thank You for a Wonderful TAFF 2014

Hey all!

We here at TAFF wish to thank all the filmmakers, TAFF STAFF, Alamo Drafthouse and, of course, you all for the wonderful response to TAFF 2014. What a year! We went from thinking there was no way we could do another fest to the best fest ever!

We are so grateful to the Lord and are lifting up prayers of praise and thanks as we speak.

We are all pretty tuckered out and so TAFF will take time to rest and recover and reconnect with (our much-neglected as of late) families. I’m going to the beach to just sit and recharge. Maybe I’ll come back. Maybe not . . . Just kidding. I’ll be back . . . eventually.

We want to thank each and every one of you who came to our screenings and to the FEST itself for your support, your funds and your kind hearts throughout the year. You have made the world of difference to this ministry and to me personally. MC group? I am talking to you! You know who you are. Thank you so much!

As we gear up for another year, please consider helping fund TAFF. We once again will face funding issues. If you believe this ministry can make a difference in spreading the Gospel throughout the city, we need you on board.

Have a great summer!
Blessings
Jamee Kennedy
TAFF

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TAFF 2014 ANNOUNCES WAYMAKER FUND WINNER – JEREMY RODGERS!

TAFF is so honored to announce filmmaker Jeremy Rodgers as this year’s WAYMAKER FUND recipient.

Congratulations Jeremy! Job well done.

Jeremy has participated in several TAFF events, and this year has submitted a short documentary into the festival, called Where We Belong. You can see Jeremy’s work in TAFF 2014 in film Block 5.

TAFF WAYMAKER FUND sponsored by Mark and Marj McClain

The way to GodA large part of TAFF’s mission is to support and empower talented Christian filmmakers to make the films God has called them to make. They often struggle with funding and support. In order to gather this support, filmmakers will often make a short film with the hopes of turning the same short into a longer version. In some cases, this never happens or It may take years to accomplish.

So, in light of this, TAFF has created the WAYMAKER FUND. The Waymaker Fund is a cash award that assists a deserving filmmaker to make a feature length film out of a successful short film. This year Mark and Marj McClain, long time supporters of TAFF, are sponsoring the award. Thanks Mark and Marj for making this possible.

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TAFF 2014 UPDATE as of March 1st

Well, TAFF 2014’s Competition is almost upon us. Wow. Time really flies. But we have been busily preparing and I have to say that God has gone before us. And He is behind us. We have had an incredible turn of events. We have amazing films, and just a wonderful Glorius God. It has been one miracle after another in the midst of swirling chaos.

NEW VENUE Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline Location

First off, we are changing venues for the fest. We are not going to be at Alamo Drafthouse-Village. (It’s a long story that we will tell you about someday. It’s pretty cool.)

We will be at the new, larger and wonderful Alamo Drafthouse – Lakeline at 14028 N US Highway 183, Austin, Texas 78717 (map). It’s a bit of a trek out there for some of you Central and South Austin folks, so plan accordingly for Friday night traffic – up 183 – in Austin Tx. I am laughing sarcastically as I write this. Seriously, be patient and kind in traffic.

The great news about changing locations is that the venue is brand new. It has better equipment, more seats, larger lobby space, better parking and the same yummy food and wonderful service. So we are definitely counting our blessings.

THE FILMS OF 2014

The films this year are the best ever! We’re really looking forward to screening them. From Switchfoot’s new, seeker-friendly, doc, Fading West, to Linsanity, the amazing Jeremy Lin story, to the stunning Award Winner, The Trail – all are captivating. We will also screen many wonderful short films including the hilarious, The Audition and New Year’s Resolution. These little shorts had our judges falling out of their chairs laughing while still speaking truth about how we live our lives and the impact we have for Christ on others. Don’t miss em!

Look for your favorite film selection’s screening times on our schedule page (click here to see the schedule) on the TAFF website on March 1st.

Speaking of schedule, since we will be at a theater venue this year, we have had to do thing a little differently in terms of scheduling as well. Since most folks start getting numb backsides after sitting for more than 2 hours we have arranged our screenings in blocks of time (just like a real movie theater schedule!)

Each block will screen 1 feature length film and a short (or two) with Q and A sessions for attending filmmakers of each film in that block. At the end of the block, the theater has to be cleaned and everyone -per health code rules- is required to leave the theater. And then we start all over again for each and every block. You will not be allowed to leave your stuff or save seats if you are coming back to the theater for the next block. It will work just like a real movie theater experience.

So, make finding seats easier, you will be able to buy RESERVED Seating – but online only. You will also be able to purchase several blocks, with Reserved Seating, and an ALL ACCESS pass. So all that to say, we STRONGLY encourage you to purchase tickets online beginning.

Of course tickets can be purchased the door as well – but only if the block still has seats available. So buy early and save yourself a seat!

Blessings,
Jamee Kennedy

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TAFF 2014 Announces Selected Films

After another year of viewing wonderful films, The Attic Film Fest is announcing it’s line-up for this year’s fest. TAFF would like to thank all of the filmmakers who submitted to this year’s festival. As we are moving the venue to the iconic Alamo Drafthouse (Lakeline Mall Location).

Documentaries

  • Return to Mogadishu: Remembering Black Hawk Down
  • Fading West
  • Linsanity
  • A Cry From Iran
  • Living Hope
  • Where We Belong

Features

  • Smitty
  • The Trail
  • Jimmy
  • Human People

Short Films

  • Charismata
  • New Year’s Resolution
  • Searching Serenity
  • Clip
  • Never Too Late
  • Harper Abbott
  • Salt
  • Direction
  • Thomas
  • St Paul Speaks Philippians
  • Something More
  • Heartfall
  • The Audition
  • Common Ground
  • Unburden

Student Films

  • Love Has Wings
  • No Compromise
  • Cardboard
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NOAH Movie Coming Soon!

Word on the new film Noah, starring Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson is that it is a visually stunning retelling of the story of Noah’s Ark. There has been some criticism that the film takes license with the Bible’s version. Here are a few sections of an article appearing in Christian News online.

“A new Hollywood epic on the life of Noah has stirred controversy among Christians, Jews and others who have pre-screened the film, as they state that the movie largely leaves out one important foundation: the Bible.”

The dialogue indicates that this is indeed a retelling of the story but not an exact version. Some of the dialogue and characterizations are indeed not biblical. But that does not make it a bad film. It just makes the film, a film, and not the Bible. But God can and does use films to spread His Gospel. So before you go see it, bear in mind that Noah will most probably be a film that inspires folks to check out what the Bible says about Noah and the Flood. And frankly, if it gets folks to read a Bible, well, that’s ok with me. Seeds that are small have the potential to grow tremendous harvest. Go see it and you be the judge.

Here is an example of some of the dialogue:

“Man corrupted this world and filled it with violence, so he must be destroyed,” Methuselah explains to Noah, who has a dream of “death by water.”

As Noah begins to build an ark, he becomes the enemy of his brother-in-law Tubal-Cain. He tells Tubal-Cain to build his own ark, or die trying to take his.

“You don’t know your king,” Tubal-Cain asserts. “I have men at my back, and you stand alone and defy me?”

“I’m not alone,” Noah replies confidently.

Blessings,

Jamee Kennedy

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HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT Screening

A HUGE SUCCESS

Hey, everyone! I want to thank all of you who attended the Hiding In Plain Sight screening on Nov 12. It was a wonderful night for TAFF, the Filmmaker M. Legend Brown and cast, and, I hope, for you all as well. It felt to us as if the Holy Spirit descended upon Alamo Drafthouse and just camped there for the duration of the event. Guys, we had 95 seats to fill and exactly 95 folks in ‘em. Only God. All Glory goes to him. We had folks hanging out in the lobby afterwards for over 45 minutes just wanting to connect with this sweet filmmaker and cast.

It was incredible to see such strong support from the Austin Christian community. As Jen Cumberbatch, our wonderful Q and A Moderator, said, “It was amazing to look upon the diverse nature of the crowd. It looks a little like what Heaven must look like.” I don’t know about you, but that sweet comment alone, made my night and confirmed that the Lord was in that theatre with us.

We feel so blessed to have been a part of this evening. All of the Glory must go to God. But you, our faithful supporters, also deserve thanks. We were expecting about 45 folks, at best. And then you all started coming in the door. And you just kept coming in. The cast did not even have a place to sit! They were happy to give up their seats and go have dinner. As our lovely TAFF Host Laurinda Rohrer joked, “But it’s ok. They have seen the film before.”

So we thank you for your support, your generosity, your kindness, and your faithfulness. We thank you for eating tons of Alamo Drafthouse Food (which allowed us to have a discounted venue rental rate. Please keep it up!) and we thank you for your patience as we learn how to best serve you in this ministry.

Our next screening is Dec 9th at 7pm at Alamo Drafthouse – Village Location on Anderson Lane (same place). We will be screening two films. First up, starting promptly at 7:05pm, the BEST FILM of 2013’s competition THE RIDE-PG (for intense situations). This is a wonderful film that allows us to explore what one ordinary person can do to impact the life of another for Christ.

Then Jen Cumberbatch will again host a Q and A Session with director Dallas Jenkins and Actor Kirk Woller (The Taxi Driver in The Ride).

TAFF 2013’s FAMILY FILM AWARD winner WHAT iF . . . PG will screen following the Q and A. What if . . . stars Kevin Sorbo (Conan, Soul Surfer), John Ratzenberger (Cheers, Toy Story) and Kristy Swanson (Early Edition, Psych) and is an exploration of the life choices we are given and the consequences of the decisions we make. The film’s themes are similar to the classic, It’s A Wonderful Life. It is a sweet and engaging film and you are sure to enjoy its humor, sweetness, and timely message.

After the second film, we are inviting everyone to walk across the parking lot to Cover 3 Restaurant for a very special informal Q and A with Dallas and Kirk. They have graciously agreed to hang out with the TAFF crowd and personally thank and meet all who attend. Again. Only God.

Read more about:

Dallas Jenkins at www.imdb.com/name/nm0420817/
Kirk Woller at www.imdb.com/name/nm0938570/

We are already starting to fill up seats. Please help us out by purchasing your tickets asap online. And thank you again for your support of TAFF. These two films, by the way, are perfect for non-churched neighbors, co workers, and friends. It is going to be a glorious night for the Gospel.

Blessings
Jamee Kennedy