press release


The 3rd Annual Canadian International Faith & Family Film Festival Wraps with Awards Presented to Star-studded Talent

Kevin & Sam Sorbo, Cary Solomon, Chuck Konzelman and Graham Greene Among Winners

TORONTO (September 16, 2019) - The 3rd annual Canadian International Faith & Family Film Festival (CIFF) wrapped yesterday at Hotel X Toronto that ran on September 15th. CIFF made its mark with an attendance of over 570 attendees, doubling a daily record attendance compared to the inaugural and second year. The festival concluded with an awards ceremony to announce its winners from 178 submissions, 50 official selections, 30 screenings, and 14 categories.

Awards categories included Features, Documentaries, Shorts, Family Films, Music Videos, Screenplays & New Media. Entries received were from 23 countries, including Canada, United States, South Korea, Australia and India. The festival concluded with a Canadian Red Carpet Premiere of Dan Gordan’s penned feature from Wild Fire Films Miracle In East Texas and won for best actor (Kevin Sorbo) & best supporting actress Sam Sorbo. Ashley Bratcher won for best actress in Unplanned and it also won for Best Picture. John Grooter’s Tortured For Christ won for best documentary. Steph Carse walked away with best music video for the second year in a row and performed How Great Thou Art live with Melodie Joy. Christopher Bessette took best screenplay for the epic television series pilot Prophets & Kingsbeing developed with former executive of Fox Broadcasting & the Hallmark channel Lana King. Feature film The Favorite went against heavy hitters to take best supporting actor (Mathew Fahey) & best director Curtis Graham. Hollywood top faith film producers & writers Cary Soloman & Chuck Konzelman of God’s Not Dead & Unplanned received the Faith Achievement Award for their contribution to the faith film Industry. International star Graham Greene received a standing ovation for the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the Canadian film and television industry for over 43 years. 

Here are the nominees & *WINNERS* for 2019:


Best Picture 

Miracle In East Texas

The Favorite


Gun And A Hotel Bible

Runnin' From My Roots

Root Of The Problem

Mother Cabrini

Heavenly Deposit

Best Documentary

Tortured For Christ

Is There More? 

My Shining Hour 

The Field Afar - The Life Of Fr. Vincent Capodanno

Pray: The Story Of Patrick Peyton 

Best Short Film

I'm Jacinth - Love After 

A New Sound In Israel 

Three Feathers
Dinosaur Heart 


The Devil Goes Down

Shoot For The Moon 


One To One 

Turning Point 

My First Funeral 

The Encounter 

Best Family Film

Team Marco 

Max Winslow And The House Of Secrets 


Sent Forth 

Freshman Year 

Animal Security 

Best Screenplay

The Find

Number 28

Prophets & Kings EP 01 - 02

The Christmas Light

Dumbest Generation

Button Willow – The Traveler

Best Screenplay (cont’d)

Glass Angel

Changing Score


Best Music Video

How Great Thou Art 

Voice Surrounding The City 

Girls Like Me Music Video 

Safe And Warm 

God With Me 

Best New Media

Sea Kids

Mentoring Men For Mission 

Erin, Owen & The Loch Ness Monster 

My Day: The Love Project 

That Kids Show 

Best Director

Chuck Konzelman, Cary Solomon - Unplanned

Jim Ball – Order Of Rights

Sean Olson- Max Winslow and the House Of Secrets

Rick Irvin - Heavenly Deposit

Kevin Sorbo - Miracle In East Texas

Curtis Graham – The Favorite

Best Lead Actor

  Kevin Sorbo – Miracle In East Texas 

Sergio Di zio – Root Of The Problem

George Vincent – Heavenly Deposit
Emil Mandanac – Tortured For Christ 

Luke Benjamin Bernard – The Favorite

Best Lead Actress

Ashley Bratcher – Unplanned

Emma Elle Roberts – Order Of Rights

Cristina Odasso – Mother Cabrini

Syndne Mikelle – Max Winslow and the House Of Secrets

Janelle Arthur – Runnin’ From My Roots

Best Supporting Actor

Mathew Fahey – The Favorite 

Tanner Buchanan – Max Winslow and the House Of Secrets

John Ratzenberger – Miracle In East Texas 

Barry Van Dyke – Heavenly Deposit 

Aaron O’Connell –Runnin’ From My Roots 

Best Supporting Actress

Shannen Fields – Order Of Rights

Sam Sorbo – Miracle In East Texas 

Mollee Gray – The Favorite 

Anna Vartanyan – The Oath

Robia Scott - Unplanned

Raluca Botez – Tortered For Christ 

Anastasia Ganias – Team Marco 

Faith Achievement Award

Chuck Konzelman, Cary Solomon

Lifetime Achievement Award

Graham Greene


This year’s media support coverage included 100Huntley Street, 700 Club Canada, JoyTV, Parables TV, Faith & Film, UpLiftTV, Sam Sorbo Radio show, The Nikki Clarke Show, WDCX Buffalo, Vision Zoomer Television and Hope Channel. The CIFF awards show was made possible by PSAV, Lightvault & Red Square Motion audio and video support.


Festival directors and co-founders Rafael Kalamat and Jason Barbeck noted that the feedback from the faith-based film industry indicated that “CIFF is the fastest growing film fest of its kind, with a mandate to inspire and show stories of inspiration, redemption and courage. We are changing the world one film at a time, as many of these films never get a chance at a theatrical release.” Canadian Bible Society’s national event coordinator Justin Kelsey recently stated that “...CIFF Film festival will grow into the standard in faith & family festivals. ”

Social Media:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram: @CIFFLIX


The Canadian International Faith & Family Film Festival (CIFF) is a charitable not-for-profit division of A.C.T. Canada & International (Artists in Christian Testimony). Their vision is ministry through media. They are well on their way to be an international leader in faith based film culture. CIFF projects include the annual Canadian International Faith & Family Film Festival at Hotel X Toronto which features two cinemas, conference facilities with an innovative national networking distribution program under the brand of CIFFLIX. The organization projects to generate an annual economic impact of $1 million CND in 2020. CIFF is generously supported by contributors including founding sponsor A.C.T. Canada & International, AFBS Actra Fraternal Benefits Society, CBS Canadian Bible Society, Redeemer University and its founders Rafael Kalamat and Jason Barbeck. For more information, visit:

CIFF is generously supported by A.C.T. Canada & International, Actra Fraternal Benefits Society, The Canadian Christian Business Directory, Canadian Bible Society, Voices of the Nations, Sky Gems, Jesus In The City, YesTV, The Christian Herald, 700 Club Canada, UpLift TV, Parables Television Network, Bridgestone Multimedia Group, Redeemer University, 100Huntey Street, Inspired Family Entertainment, Lightvault, Red Square Motion, JoyTV, Vision Television, Skipstone Pictures, International Christian Film Festival, Hope Channel and TMG Entertainment, Soulful Image Magazine, FilmFreeway, Campers World, Praise Bible Church, Spear’s Electric, Future+, Say Legal Services, Awards Toronto, International Facilitators Plus & Israel Ministry of Tourism.


For information please contact:

Rafael Kalamat

Festival Director 

Canadian International Faith & Family Film Festival

Jason Barbeck

Festival Director 

Canadian International Faith & Family Film Festival