"Speed Film" Judging Process

The judging process is serious business.  We take the time to ensure correct results:

  • Multiple Programmers rate each film
  • The best Speed Films go to the Jury for Awards Consideration
  • In case of a tie, the Scriptural Integration (how well the story is founded on the verse) determines the winner

Non-Speed Films are judged by the 168 Staff

2014 Jury Members

Sean McNamara

Sean Patrick McNamara has directed Academy Award winning actors like Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei, Jon Voight, Mira Sorvino as well as Acacemy Award nominees James Woods and major stars, Pierce Brosnan, William Hurt, Shia LaBeouf and Jessica Alba. A veteran of feature films and TV, Sean served as writer, director and producer on break out hit SOUL SURFER. His company, Brookwell McNamara Entertainment, has produced films for Sony, NewLine Cinema, Focus Features and Lionsgate and television for The Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. Sean is a 5-time Emmy Award nominated Producer, 4-time Directors Guild nominee and a BAFTA award winner. Sean lives in Playa Del Rey, California with his family.


Brian Bird

In addition to his most recent credits on WHEN CALLS THE HEART, Brian's 30-year career in Hollywood includes writing and producing credits such as the 2013 feature film CAPTIVE, the true story of the 2005 Atlanta hostage crisis, GAMETIME for NBC (2012), NOT EASILY BROKEN, adapted from the novel by T.D. Jakes, for Sony/Screen Gems (2009), THE CONFESSION (2013) and THE SHUNNING (2011) for Sony Affirm, SAVING SARAH CAIN (2008) and THE LAST SIN EATER (2007) for 20th Century Fox, CALL ME CLAUS (2003) for Sony and BOPHA! (1993) for Paramount along with 250 episodes of network TV, including TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL and STEP BY STEP and EVENING SHADE. However, his best productions to date are his five children with his wife of 33 years, Patty.


Leilani Downer

Leilani has written for several network television sit-coms including A DIFFERENT WORLD for NBC and GOOD NEWS for UPN. She was Executive Story Editor for ABC’s GROWING PAINS and was a producer on HANGIN’ WITH MR. COOPER on ABC, FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR on NBC, SISTER, SISTER on the WB and REWIND for FOX. In addition, Leilani has sold and written pilots for ABC, FOX and NBC. Her other credits include working on the Moody Broadcasting Network radio drama, PROCLAIM! and writing stand-up material that appears on down-home, comedian Chonda Pierce’s ON HER SOAPBOX video and CD which was taped live at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee for Word Records, a division of Word Entertainment.


Bill Ewing

During Bill’s 15 years at Columbia Pictures, he supervised the production of more than 100 feature films as Senior Vice President of Production Administration including AWAKENINGS, A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN, MY GIRL, GROUNDHOG DAY, AGE OF INNOCENCE, IN THE LINE OF FIRE, LITTLE WOMEN, FLY AWAY HOME, AIR FORCE ONE, MEN IN BLACK I and II, STUART LITTLE I and II and THE PATRIOT. Bill’s final production for the studio was the first SPIDERMAN. He then became President of Every Tribe Entertainment and was Producer and co-writer of the feature film END OF THE SPEAR. Bill is currently developing and producing independent film projects for LV Film Partners in Los Angeles where he resides with Susie, his wife of 32 years.


Gary Skeen Hall

Gary is Sr. Vice President of Post Production for Twentieth Century Fox Television where he oversees post-production for all scripted network and cable series. His production responsibilities include past and present hits like 24, THE SIMPSONS, BONES, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT and HOMELAND. Gary has written and produced for 21 JUMP STREET, THE A-TEAM and PENSACOLA: WINGS OF THE GOLD. In addition to working in the television industry, Hall has also worked as a police officer for LAPD for over 30 years, with multiple commendations for bravery and service. He has worked such assignments as gangs, narcotics, homicide and on several special assignments including the infamous “Night Stalker" case. Hall is currently assigned to patrol duty.

Beverly Holloway

Beverly is a Casting Director based in Culver City and a proud member of the Casting Society of America. With almost 20 years of experience, she has worked with some of the best talent in the industry having cast actors such as Jim Caviezel, James Garner, Abigail Breslin, Dermot Mulroney, Kelsey Grammar, Claire Forlani, Barry Pepper, Matthew Modine, Malcolm McDowell and Brian Dennehy. Her film credits include MOMS’ NIGHT OUT, BOBBY JONES: STROKE OF GENIUS, THE ULTIMATE GIFT, AN AMERICAN CAROL, LIKE DANDELION DUST, and TRADE OF INNOCENTS.


Rev. Naima Lett

Naima loves helping people find their purpose and follow their dreams while deepening their faith. She’s a pastor, producer, award-winning actor, and author of CONFESSIONS OF A HOLLYWOOD CHRISTIAN. Her daily blog on Hollywood & Faith reaches globally. Naima is Dallas Seminary’s first Masters in Media and Communications graduate and Talbot’s (BIOLA) first female Doctorate in Preaching candidate. She and husband Kevin founded Lett’s Rise! Productions, Hope in the Hills - a new church plant in Beverly Hills, and the Hope Center where they equip artists and professionals in the entertainment industry.


Alan Miller

Alan received his calling to the ministry when he was a freshman in high school. After pursuing a BA and a MA in Biblical and Theological studies, he began doing ministry in the heart of Los Angeles at a Salvation Army homeless shelter. When Alan returned to seminary to pursue a doctorate in homiletics, he helped plant Oasis Community Church of Yorba Linda. Presently, he is the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Hollywood and is committed to seeing the message of the gospel spread throughout this city.


Fred Shaheen

Fred is Vice President of Acquisitions for INSP, where he oversees licensing of content. He has also served as Executive Producer and Senior Producer of Original Shows and Specials. Shaheen has been involved with productions for local stations in the Midwest and he spent thirteen years in Hollywood producing television like ABC's THE HOME SHOW and HGTV's ROOM BY ROOM. He was the Associate Producer on Warner Brothers syndicated show, THE PEOPLE'S COURT with Judge Wapner. In addition, Shaheen was Director of Development at Ralph Edwards/Stu Billett Productions. A native of Canton, Ohio, he graduated from Ohio University in Television Production.

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Judging Criteria

Speed Film Point Scale and Criteria:

    Verse resonates beautifully throughout the piece, thought provoking, masterfully interwoven in the story.
  • STORY/SCREENPLAY - 10 points
    Story is inventive, fresh and masterfully woven. Dialog is excellent.  Characters are compelling and distinctive.
  • DIRECTOR - 10 points
    Story is told in a unified, unique & cohesive, clear, distinctive style & tone, Relational dynamics are believable.
  • CINEMATOGRAPHY - 10 points
    Visually stunning. Camera movement and shot selection is excellent.
  • EDITOR - 10 points
    Rhythmic, moving, engaging arrangement of pictures and sound
  • PRODUCTION DESIGN - 10 points 
    Outstanding set design transports us to the world of the characters.
  • ORIGINAL MUSIC SCORE or SCORE EFFECTIVENESS (if not original) - 10 points
    The music perfectly complements the story and overall message.Original scores vie for special awards
  • SOUND DESIGN - 10 points
    Consistent levels, beautiful transitions between words and music, absence of distracting noises (buzz, hum, hiss, etc.) .
  • ACTING - 10 points
    Relational dynamics are strong & believable. Actors aptly reach our center of caring for them.
  • TOTAL SCORE 100 POINTS.  The top-scoring films advance....

Criteria for Non-Speed films vary according to their type.

Disqualifying Criteria

  • Late or incomplete submission (including all required paperwork)
  • Exceeding designated program length (credits/logos are included in total length)
  • Writing prior to Verse Assignment or any type of production prior to Production Start Time
  • Swearing, gratuitous sex or violence; excessively revealing costumes
  • Use of expletives, including "Jesus" or "God" in a disrespectful manner

(Rule-offending films will not advance. See COMPLETE RULES for details.)