Filmmakers are like poets, but instead of words, they reveal beauty through images, and, if you’re an Orthodox Christian filmmaker, then the spiritual dimension adds even more richness to your work. However, where can such artists showcase their films? That’s where Byzanfest offers a unique opportunity.
Now in its fifth year, Byzanfest is an online film festival that screens the very best films made by Orthodox Christians from around the world. What makes Byzanfest special is its goal to share Orthodox visual story-telling with a global audience. The Festival hopes to introduce people to the multifaceted art that is Orthodox film.
Byzanfest is currently accepting submissions of short and feature-length films. They must be made by filmmakers who belong to the Eastern Orthodox Faith. Films can have themes which are explicitly spiritual or deal with subject matter within the Orthodox mindset. Deadline for submissions is August 23, 2020.
Given the turmoil caused by COVID-19, Byzanfest is still able to operate with restrictions. As Byzanfest is primarily an online festival, films will be screened online for a period of 2 weeks in October this year. Feature-length films will form part of a program where audiences can “rent” the film online. All money raised from rentals will be shared equally with filmmakers.
Byzanfest is synonymous with excellence in Orthodox filmmaking. The Festival has discovered many remarkable filmmakers who have continued to contribute to the art form. Byzanfest aims to foster and mentor such filmmakers because film serves as a highly effective medium for evangelization, as well as creating beautiful, God-inspired art.
Last year, Byzanfest received some of its best films to date. Efthimios Hatzis’ Christmas Anti-Fablewas a cinematic masterpiece. Winning Best Director and Best Cinematography, its fusion of sci-fi, film noir and faith made it one of the most innovative films seen in recent times. Another standout was Nicholas Shaheen’s M.A.R.C, with its hilarious plot and amazing special effects. These films, as well as others, can be viewed on www.byzanfest.com
Submissions are welcomed from all over the world. The Festival is open to all ages, including professional and amateur filmmakers. Due to financial strains caused by the pandemic, short-film submissions cost only $5 USD and features $20 USD. Films must have been made from 2015 to 2020. Winners will receive cash prizs.
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