168 Film Competitions

168 is a platform for careers to be launched, skills refined, and audiences entertained. We strive to make our rules clear and our deadlines firm. If you have suggestions, please write to us.

Filmmakers participate for the awards, recognition and excitement. There is nothing like the electric atmosphere at the 168 Film Festival as the winner is revealed from among the premieres.They appreciate the 168 challenge. 168 is difficult yet satisfying, and the top films are of an excellent quality that matches up well in other festivals. Some participate for the spiritual thrill ride that is offered and the many miracles they see during the experience. Many tell of an unexpected encounter with the God. We have seen salvations, people beating addictions and some deciding in favor of life instead of suicide.

Barbara Sanua and Deborah Brown (2006)

168 Film Project Write of Passage

168 Film Project

Our signature speed filmmaking competition. Teams have 168 hours (7x24) to shoot and edit a short film based on a theme and a Bible verse (pre-production lasts 10 days). Tens of thousands of filmmakers have competed since 2003.

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Write of Passage

In this contest, writers have 168 hours to create a 12-page screenplay based on a scripture. WP uses “Development Executives,” who mentor writers and ultimately send the best work to the finals, to be judged by Hollywood professionals. FIlmmakers may produce these stories for the 168 Film Festival.

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Not religious? Not a problem.

168 is NOT a Preaching Competition, it's Serious Storytelling!

The 168 Film Project is excited to welcome you to the competition, whatever your faith. No, you do not have to make a preachy film to win. Scriptural Integration (how well the scripture is reflected in your story) is a key as is technical prowess.

There are some content restrictions, but your task is simple. Create a great story based on a scripture! We believe that all stories can be told without swearing, nudity, or overly violent content and religious attacks.

If you want to preach in your film, then you are welcome to do that with excellence too! We welcome your efforts at improving the genre of "Gospel Films" and there is an award for the best film that explains simply and directly the Gospel of Jesus; that we have sinned and he saves us.

Each year, mature content is portrayed in 168 with exquisite subtlety in the western, zombie, drama, comedy and almost every other genre. Yes, this type of storytelling is a lot harder than that full of "f-bombs," but it is far better and more satisfying art. This subtlety allows content to be enjoyed by a wider audience.

Real life is complex and real drama shows this. The fact is that people do pray and murder, steal and give gifts, lie and love. This is life and that is what we are after.

Faith-friendly film or values-driven entertainment is a valid, money-making enterprise if you do it well (e.g. "Blindside," "Soul Surfer," "Chariots of Fire"). It is more than genre, it is a relationship to your audience. A large segment of the population (mothers, kids, families and middle-America) is sensitive to gratuitous language, violence and sexual material. This is why PG and PG-13 films are the champions of the box office.

If you are up to the challenge of making a film from the best selling book of all time, then we are excited to cheer you on. As you compete for prizes and recognition, you will develop significant creative, crew and industry relationships.

Film is at its best when it encourages discussion, reinforcing and celebrating values that make us human. We are excited to watch you touch lives and grow as an artist.

-- John David Ware, 168 Founder and Director

What makes 168 Film unique?

168 Film's competitions are unique among speed-filmmaking competitions:

ALL CONTENT IS ORIGINAL, NOT PRE-EXISTING  Whether a "Signature Film," documentary, or Write of Passage screenplay/Spotlight Film, the competition is about filmmakers exercising new creativity.  No writing is allowed before scriptures are assigned. The only book you may use is the Bible.

SCRIPTS ARE BASED ON A THEME AND A VERSE The assignment of verses is random, providing a challenge to writers as they wrestle with meaning and relevance for today.

168 ENCOURAGES TEAMWORK, PRAYER AND DISCUSSION The truth of the Bible takes many by cast and crew by surprise in the way it directly speaks to their lives, especially when they are valued "above the line" in determining story and meaning of the verse (brainstorm sessions). The tight 168 deadline nearly demands spiritual growth, prayer and of course teamwork.

OPEN TO ALL SKILL LEVELS AND BUDGETS So you don't have a the latest drone for your camera?  No problem.  It realy is all about story, and integrating the scripture. 168 is a place where you can learn the craft and make mistakes, even the most modest  gear and budget. Amateur or pro, 168 will sharpen your skills, guaranteed.