The International Faith and Family Festival will return for the second time during MegaFest’s five-day run at the Omni Dallas Hotel from August 20-22. The film festival will feature a slate of Hollywood stars and influencers, and highlight the impact films can have through positive messages and telling relevant stories pulled from headlines. All MegaFest ticket holders can attend the film festival and reserved seat tickets for those passionate about film are available individually at Mega-Fest.com/FilmFestival.
Acclaimed television producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey will present a Morning Inspiration Session, a new feature of the film festival this year. The husband and wife team has created numerous successful television series including reality television megahit shows like “Shark Tank,” “The Voice,” and “The Apprentice,” as well as Christian programming like “The Bible” and “A.D. The Bible Continues.”
Breakout “Selma” star David Oyelowo will also make an appearance for the screening of his next film, “Captive,” which follows the true story of Brian Nichols, who escaped from the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta on March 11, 2005, and held Ashley Smith as a hostage. The film is set to be released worldwide on September 18, 2015.
The International Faith and Family Festival will also screen poignant and timely films, including HBO’s documentary “3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets,” which chronicles the aftermath of African-American teenager Jordan Davis’ death during a confrontation and shooting at a Florida gas station on Black Friday 2012. Following the screening, a panel session will discuss racial tensions, hidden racial prejudices and the role media plays in these situations. Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin; Benjamin Crump, who represents Martin’s family and the family of Michael Brown, another African-American teenager killed during a police altercation in Ferguson, Missouri; Tina Naidoo; and Dr. Nsenga Burton, a professor of communications and media studies at Goucher College and former editor of TheRoot.com, will sit on the panel.
Additionally, films from the Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase will be presented for the second year during the film festival. Embodying the core elements of the International Faith and Family Film Festival, these uniquely-themed films from the across the globe, including regions like Africa, North America, Australia and the Caribbean, give life to globally diverse characters and stories to which we all can relate. Originally screened in France as a part of “Beyond Borders: Diversity in Cannes Diversity Day,” these films are a direct reflection of our mission to ensure the promotion and preservation of the underrepresented story at the Cannes Film Festival and beyond.
“What is exciting about these films is they allow us to celebrate creative talent while displaying the wide diversity of faith voices from around the world,” Bishop T.D. Jakes said. “I’m thrilled to not only have these films showcase a festival of talent, inspiration and excitement, but also provide a unique atmosphere for attendees to mix and mingle and learn from successful actors, producers, directors, talent agents and other insiders.”
Additional films being screened at the festival include:
· “Hillsong: Let Hope Rise” chronicles the spectacular and unlikely rise to prominence of the Australia-based Christian band, Hillsong UNITED. The music of Hillsong is so popular it is estimated that on any given Sunday, more than 50 million churchgoers around the world are singing their songs.
· “Captive” is a crime-drama thriller based on the non-fiction book “An Unlikely Angel” by Ashley Smith. The film follows the true story of Brian Nichols, who escaped from the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta on March 11, 2005, and held Smith as a hostage. Starring David Oyelowo and Kate Mara, the film is set to be released worldwide on September 18, 2015 by Paramount Pictures.
· “3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets” chronicles the aftermath of a violent confrontation on Black Friday 2012 at a Florida gas station. After parking next to another car, a white middle-aged male and a black teenager exchanged angry words over the volume of the music in the young man’s car. Michael Dunn fired 10 bullets at a car full of unarmed teenagers and fled. Three of those bullets hit 17-year-old Jordan Davis, who died at the scene. Arrested the next day, Dunn claimed he shot in self-defense. “3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets” follows the journey after the confrontation, reconstructing the night of the murder and revealing how hidden racial prejudice can result in tragedy.
· “War Room,” distributed by Sony Pictures, is an upcoming Christian drama directed by Alex Kendrick and produced by his brother Stephen Kendrick, best known for “Facing the Giants” (2006), “Fireproof” (2008), and “Courageous” (2011). “War Room” follows Tony and Elizabeth Jordan, a couple who seemingly have it all – great jobs, a beautiful daughter, their dream home – as they fight to stay together and provide a loving home for their daughter.
· “The End of Malice” is an intoxicating first person narrative from an extraordinary artist confronting the dualities of fame and family, success in the dope game and the demanding world of mainstream music. Told with revealing authenticity by Malice and insightful commentary by Pusha T and Pharrell Williams, this documentary transcends its subject matter and openly deals with subjects that have consumed mainstream culture.
· “Covered: Alive in Asia” features a behind-the-scenes look at Israel Houghton and NewBreed’s tour of Asia from rehearsals in Los Angeles to sold-out performances in Asia. The documentary chronicles stops in Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul and Manila. Joel Osteen, Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond also make special appearances in the film.
· “The Jones Family Will Make A Way” follows Bishop Fred Jones and his family as they make a last ditch effort at success on the Southern gospel circuit. After performing for 30 years, the Jones Family has been largely unseen by those outside the Pentecostal faith. When the Bishop, despite objections from many within his faith, decided to take his family’s musical ministry outside the church, he unexpectedly connected with the oddest of allies — a jaded, atheistic rock critic, who also happened to be a gospel historian. To Michael Corcoran, the Jones Family Singers represent a living link to a style of gospel he thought had disappeared. These most unlikely of friends bonded through perhaps one shared trait — a deeply rooted rebelliousness.
In addition to the thought-provoking stories on film, the International Faith and Family Film Festival will feature keynote speakers and panelists who represent expertise in all aspects of film making, producing and marketing, including:
§ Hill Harper, actor and author
§ Kevin Frazier, co-host of “Entertainment Tonight”
§ Jamila Hunter, Vice President of ABC Network Comedy
§ Darrell Miller, Chair of the Entertainment Department at Fox Rothschild LLP
§ Nikkole Denson-Rudolph, Vice President of Specialty & Alternative Content at AMC Theaters
§ Stephanie Drachkovitch, Emmy-nominated director, president and co-founder of 44 Blue
§ Kristin Wilder, Vice President and Managing Editor for Variety
§ Lee Papert, President and CEO of the Dallas Film Society and Executive Director of the Dallas International Film Festival
§ Robi Reed, Emmy-winning casting director
§ Bill Duke, Award-winning actor and director
§ Adriane Hopper-Williams, Emmy-winning producer
§ Amir Shahkhalili, William Morris Endeavor agent
§ Michelle Ohayon, Emmy-nominated director
§ DeVon Franklin, producer
§ Charley Humbard, President of UP TV
§ Tasha Smith, acclaimed actress
The festival will also feature master classes with Hollywood’s elite including acclaimed directors and producers, and breakout sessions and panels. This year, IFFFF has added sessions in financing, TV/film scriptwriting, marketing, directing and more.
All registered MegaFest attendees are permitted entry into IFFFF. Tickets for an IFFFF day pass are $39, or $99 for a guarantee pass. Registration is available online. For a complete list of scheduled events for the film festival, please visit mega-fest.org/filmfestival.