168 Film Competitions

168 Film Project

This is our signature speed filmmaking competition. Speed Film 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). "Non-Speed" categories can begin much earlier. Tens of thousands of filmmakers have completed over 1,000 films since 2003. Speed films are produced over US Memorial Day Weekend (late May).

2020 Season Opens for Registration Soon

Write of Passage

In this annual October 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. Many of these great short stories are produced for the 168 Film Festival's Write of Passage Spotlight.


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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. "War Room," "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 contests are unique among speed-filmmaking competitions:

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 that may be used is the Bible.

The assignment of Bible verses for "Speed Films" and Write of Passage scripts is random, providing a challenge to writers as they wrestle with meaning and relevance for today. Non-speed film producers (documentary, animation, music video, KidVid, etc.) must choose a verse upon which the film will be based.

168 ENCOURAGES TEAMWORK, PRAYER AND DISCUSSION The truth of the Bible takes many cast and crew members by surprise in the way it directly speaks to their lives, especially when scripture is valued "above the line" in determining story and meaning (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. Low-budget beginner or experimental films have been known to rank right along with big budget ones by experienced professionals. 168 is a place where you can learn the craft and make mistakes. Even with the most modest  gear and budget, amateur or pro, 168 will sharpen your skills, guaranteed.

*168 alumni filmmakers may use pre-existing scripts (other than Write of Passage) in the Alumni Invitational category, though the films themselves must be original to the competition. Special rules apply.