CIFF 2018 Overview

The 2nd annual Canadian International Faith & Family Film Festival (CIFF) took place at Innis College | University of Toronto September 14th-16th 2018 and continued to make its mark with an over the top group of nominated films from around the world. CIFF 2018 had 177 submissions from which 70 selections were made, leading to 35 final nominations in 11 award categories as outlined below.

Categories of films included Features, Documentaries, Shorts, Revival Films, Family Films, Music Videos, Screenplays & New Media. Entries received were from 22 countries, including Canada, United States, China, Australia and Brazil. The Sunday night awards show was streamed live and produced for syndication. The festival concluded on Sunday with a Red Carpet Premiere of directors’ Jon and Andrew Erwin’s “I Can Only Imagine” from Lions Gate/Mission Pictures featuring a stellar performance by Dennis Quaid who was nominated for best supporting actor. The inspiring true story behind MercyMe's beloved, chart topping song that brings ultimate hope to so many is a gripping reminder of the power of true forgiveness. Saturday’s red carpet night was equally exciting with the Canadian premiere of “Unbroken: Path To Redemption” from Pure Flix/Universal, based on Laura Hillenbrand's bestselling book. This film begins where Unbroken ends of Olympian and World War II hero Louis Zamperini's powerful true story of forgiveness, redemption, and amazing grace. 

The Saturday afternoon weekend panel open discussion included an all star faith film industry Q&A with Star Wars Academy Award winner Roger Christian, producer Cindy Bond of Mission Pictures International, director Christopher Bessette, TV executive Isaac Hernandez of UpLiftTV/Parables, producer and film historian Paul Burford and screenwriter John Patus of Left Behind.

Notable projects screened included Feature Films “The Identical” with Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd, “Trade of Innocence” with Mira Sorvino and Dermot Mulroney; Documentary “Genesis: Paradise Lost; France’s celebrated short film “Alice in the Sky with Comets” with Lionel Abelanski and Emma Bergeron; U.S. family award winning feature F.R.E.D.I.; and a special presentation screening of Jason Barbeck’s and Rafael Kalamat’s “Adams Testament”.

Art Hindle received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the Canadian film and television industry for over 45 years. 

The Faith Achievement Award was presented to Cindy Bond for her contribution to the faith film industry. 

The 2018 CIFF festival wrapped up with a live awards show that included fourteen “Tower of Faith” awards, a wide variety of celebrity presenters and performances by Juno nominated singer Steph Carse and Nashville legend Wade “Elvis” Cummins.

CIFF 2019 will be even greater! Sign up for our newsletter to stay updated as the 2019 program develops. Film submissions close on August 1 and the complete lineup of films will be released by August 15, 2019. Better still, commit to attending the full festival and secure your tickets NOW

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CIFF 2018 Nominees

Best Picture


Unbroken: Path To Redemption

*I Can Only Imagine

The Identical

The One I Wrote For You

Trade Of Innocents

Best Documentary

 Sister Elizabeth: The Strength Of Faith

*Genesis: Paradise Lost

Cowboy And The Preacher: The Life And Times Of Tri Robinson

Amazon Rising: Joy In The Jungle

The One Who Holds The Sovereignty Over Everything

The God Who Speaks

The Vatican Deception

Best Short Film


Discovering Heaven

Alice In The Sky With Comets

Just A Prayer

*What Is Human

Best Director

David G. Evans - Indivisible

Dustin Marcellino - The Identical

Harold Kronk - Unbroken: Path To Redemption

•Christopher Bessette - Trade Of Innocents

Andrew Erwin and John Erwin - I Can Only Imagine

Best Lead Actor

•Blake Rayne –The Identical

Frank Chiesurin – A Murder Of Innocence

Samuel Hunt – Unbroken: Path To Redemption

Justin Bruening – Indivisible

J. Michael Finley – I Can Only Imagine

Best Lead Actress

Emma Bergeron - Alice In the Sky With Comets

Rachel MacMillan - A Murder Of Innocence

•Mira Sorvino - Trade Of Innocents

Sarah Drew - Indivisible

Justine Burgerey – Resilience

Faith Achievement Award

Cindy Bond

Best Family Film

Adventures Of The Sea Kids


Noah’s Park

The Passion: A Brick Film

The One I Wrote For You

Display their FAQs

Best Supporting Actor

•Ray Liotta – The Identical

Kevin Pollack – The One I Wrote For You

Trieu Tran – Trade Of Innocents

Dennis Quaid - I Can Only Imagine

Lionel Abelanski - Alice In the Sky With Comets

Best Supporting Actress

Ashley Judd – The Identical

Christine Woods – The One I Wrote For You

•Merritt Patterson – Unbroken:Path To Redemption

Madeline Carroll - I Can Only Imagine

Casimere Jollette - F.R.E.D.I.

Best Screenplay


The Latter Rain


•The Apostle

A Father’s Revenge 

Best Music Video


Star Of The East

God With Me

•Amazing Grace - Steph Carse

The Parliament Of S

Best New Media

Restoring The Shack

Noah’s Park

The Passion: A Brick film

*The Network: Pilot

Young Once

Lifetime Achievement Award

Art Hindle

* Category winner