Viriginia Film Festival Helps Modern Day Slavery Victims

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The Redemptive Film Festival, a Virginia Beach based festival, has formed a strategic alliance with the human rights activist agency to use legal means to help to rescue and empower modern day slaves.

A Virginia Beach based festival, the Redemptive Film Festival (RFF) has formed a strategic alliance with the human rights activist agency, the International Justice Mission (IJM), to use legal means to help to rescue and empower modern day slaves. Today there are more than 27 million slaves in the world, more than the number of people extracted from Africa throughout the 400 years of the slave trade.

Now in its third year, the Redemptive Film Festival is an international festival aimed at providing a forum for filmmakers to showcase and be rewarded for their work on themes that depict the redemptive purposes of God, either through human beings or supernatural occurrences. Call for entries are now open for the festival, which will this year be hosted at Regent University, in Virginia Beach, October 16-18. The festival is fast becoming the leading competition for family friendly films and has attracted hundreds of films from about twenty countries in every continent and the Caribbean.

RFF was founded by Virginia Beach resident, Dr. Christopher Cunningham who has worked in the media for more than twenty two years. "We don't want to merely have a popular festival that shows redemptive films; we want to help in the process of redeeming our brothers and sisters who for one reason or the other have fallen victims to slavery," said Dr. Cunningham.

Modern day slavery includes trafficking in humans, which today generates profits in excess of 12 billion dollars a year for those who, by force and deception, sell human lives into slavery and sexual bondage. According to IJM statistics, more than two million children are trapped in forced prostitution and many others are forced to become child soldiers. The partnership with Redemptive Film Festival will allow for increased publicity for IJM and provide another source of funding for this important work. RFF will be donating 60 percent of all profits from the 2008 season of the festival and 100% donated through the festival for "Redemption" to IJM.

Films in the festival can be of any genre and need not be overtly religious, nor draw conclusions. Entries are judged by a panel of professionals with years of experience in many aspects of cinema and television. All entries which meet the Redemptive Film Festival's strict standards of excellence will receive the Redemptive Storyteller Award.

For the purposes of this competition, a redemptive film is any film whose main purpose is to depict the act of redeeming, rescuing, or delivering any person from a state of crisis or helplessness. "We believe that most often, God uses humans to redeem other humans, though sometimes He intervenes through other methods and we are looking for films that portray this reality" said Dr. Cunningham. Films which demean religion, include gratuitous violence, nudity or profanity are not suited for this competition. Films do not need to reflect Christian teachings but must adhere to basic Judeo-Christian values, such as the respect for life, justice and morality.

Categories in the Redemptive Film Festival include: Children (16 and under), Student (Short Films Only), Professional, Professional Low Budget and Distinctly Gospel (exclusive category of the Redemptive Film Festival). Final entry deadline is August 18, 2008. For further information, please visit the festival website at http://www.redemptivefilms.com.

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