Making movies: That time love won

Dozens of people gathered on our deck on a warm evening in early August for hamburgers and hot dogs. Some of these people we’ve known for more than a decade. Others, we were meeting for the first time that night.

Many of them have multiple kids involved in sports, music, plays and other activities. They were balancing their own work, family and commitments. And yet, on this evening, they all gathered at our house to support one of our kids.

After dinner, we all walked over to a park about a half mile from our house. We spread out our lawn chairs and blankets, and we waited for the sun to set. Just thinking about it gives me so much hope that someday we’ll once again experience warm nights that seem to last forever because the sun stays up for so long.

All of these people… somewhere between 50 and 60 friends… had joined us to watch a short film our son had made for a local film fest. They came to support the positive story he wanted to tell in the film. And in the end, thanks to all of their support, it won the People’s Choice Award.

I wrote earlier a few other stories about why he made the film and some of the amazing things that happened along the way:

I meant to write a final blog post about “that time love won,” but I couldn’t ever quite find the words… So, here I am,  almost seven months later, trying to wrap up that story with a little update.

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All of the memories of that evening came flooding back this past weekend when we got to attend another film fest and see the film in another light.

Andrew entered two of his short films in the high school division of Envision Film Fest, put together by the college he would like to attend, Taylor University. About a month ago, he received an e-mail notifying him that one of the films, Welcome Home, would be receiving an award.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch it here:

The weekend included workshops led by three pros from the film industry, receptions with faculty and the college film fest on Friday night. We got to watch 10 amazing films created by students at Taylor. The event was put together Academy Award style with students dressed in suits and dresses, show hosts and prizes for the winners. We were super impressed.

On Saturday morning, about 40 people gathered at the president’s home for the screening of the high school entries. Twenty students had entered the high school contest. Five of the films were chosen to be screened. We knew that in the past they had given awards for best editing, best screenplay and best cinematography.

We were so excited when the organizer gave him the award recognizing his cinematography, since that is his passion. The three guests from Hollywood gave him feedback on his film, which was so fun to hear.

Here’s Andrew with independent film maker Avril Speaks. She was one of the presenters at the film fest.

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This little film about a kooky mailman has created a lot of fun for our family. Back in the summer, I remember asking our friends if they would be willing to give up an evening to support the film. We knew he would be up against some films that would take on darker themes, and we really wanted to have some support for a film that would bring hope and light to the movie screen. We never imagined that so many people would come.

Andrew told a story about community, and in the process, we created some community of our own. It was exciting and fun that his film won that night. But it was about so much more than that. I can’t think of another time that we felt so loved and supported. And that was better than any award.

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