Alumni News

Captiv8 Film Festival

by Office of Marketing | Apr 25, 2013

“We saw such a high level of skill and talent at Captiv8 Film Festival – it was shocking!”

This is what Dan Desrosiers, Professor of Digital Media Communications at Valley Forge Christian College (VFCC), said when reflecting upon the first national film competition for Assemblies of God colleges and universities. Captiv8 Film Festival, which was hosted on the VFCC campus, featured eight short films written, performed and produced by students all over the country.
This was no regular film festival, though. Each production team was given only 48 hours to produce a short movie with redeeming value; to make the task even more difficult, each film had to include three components that were selected from a variety of options at the beginning of the competition. These three components included a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a soldier, and this line: “Freedom always comes with a cost.”
After 48 hours, judges from across the United States (including Emmy-winning producer Jess Stainbrook) evaluated each film for excellence in cinematography, directing, editing, writing and more. On March 23, just hours after the competition came to a close, the films were presented to a live audience at VFCC and broadcast live over the internet.
The lineup included films produced by three VFCC teams, three teams from Latin American Bible Institute (California), one team from Southwestern Assembly of God University (Texas) and one North Central University (Minnesota) team.
Every single production displayed skill, creativity and passion, but in the end, three teams truly blew the panel of judges away.
“Here Waiting," by Four Sixty-Two of North Central University, took the prize for Most Captivating Screenplay. “Shattered Lives," which was created by a VFCC team known as 2:30 Productions (directed by Nico Giampietro), won the awards for Most Captivating Editing and Most Captivating Cinematography. Additionally, “Cost” (produced by Follow Focus Films, from VFCC, and directed by Nicholas Meo) took center stage, winning three of the six awards – Most Captivating Production Design, Most Captivating Director and Most Captivating Short Film.
The mission of the Captiv8 Film Festival was “to create a platform that encourages creativity, growth and excellence in film in a way that honors Jesus.” As Desrosiers put it, “We don’t necessarily need more typical Christian films, we need excellent films that portray Christian values.”
Each of the films, especially the award-winning ones, revealed the truth that students of AG schools around the nation are capable of creating films that not only glorify the Lord, but also display a surprising level of excellence. The evidence of this is found in the fact that an Emmy-winning executive producer was impressed with the quality of work showcased at Captiv8.
The Church often gets a “bad rap” for the quality of its digital media content, but these eight teams of students proved that excellence in craft is not in opposition to Christian character.
In future years, Desrosiers, along with his dedicated group of student volunteers who truly made this event a reality, hopes to see Captiv8 Film Festival become a highly anticipated event among Assemblies of God colleges and universities, and hopes to see more schools participate every year.
In addition to an increase of entries from a variety of schools, they also hope to see entire schools support the program. For example, Desrosiers and company would like to consider awards for acting and audio mixing in the upcoming Captiv8 Film Festivals. The goal is to make this event one of national caliber – involving as many students as possible, so that they might learn to grow in excellence and creativity while bringing honor to the name of Jesus.
This should be no problem, as the first annual competition exuded such professionalism and quality – from the elaborate ceremony design and host’s clean-cut tuxedo, to the $1,500 in giveaway prizes and heavy crystal trophies. Attendees and participants alike experienced an incredible event!
Don’t just take our word for it, though; watch the entire award ceremony for yourself by clicking below. All three award winning films are also available to view by clicking the following links: Here Waiting, Shattered Lives and Cost.

View the Captiv8 award ceremony »