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Columbia Union Members Attend Sonscreen Film Festival

Story by Rajkumar Dixit
Photos by Gerry Chudleigh

Vester Banner III, a member of the Potomac Conference’s Millennium Ministries church, is an aspiring screenwriter.

Seventh-day Adventist filmmakers from across North America recently met at the 9th annual Sonscreen Film Festival in Simi Valley, Calif. While there they shared their latest work in drama, documentary and comedy. It also provided an opportunity for Adventist artists to network and collaborate with each other.

The festival drew numerous Columbia Union Conference members. Vester Banner III, a member of the Potomac Conference’s Millennium Ministries church, is an aspiring screenwriter. He said, “I attended several of the seminars, and learned how to combine the necessary steps of business while maintaining the creative side at the same time.” Banner is currently working on a script for an action adventure film.

Special guests visited with the budding filmmakers to provide their expertise in the art of filmmaking. One of the speakers was Martin Doblmeier, who showcased his highly acclaimed documentary, The Adventists. The Adventists is a one-hour documentary featuring the mind-body connection that Seventh-day Adventists understand through what is often referred to as the “Ministry of Healing.” Directly after the screening of his film, Paul Kim, associate director of the hosting organization, The Adventist Media Center, interviewed Doblmeier. During his interview, Doblmeier expressed his admiration for the Seventh-day Adventist health message and for Adventist’s expression of the Sabbath.

The festival, sponsored by the Center for Church Resources of the North American Division is designed to encourage young filmmakers to share the gospel in different mediums, such as film.

Ray Tetz, left, president of Mind Over Media, Silver Spring, Maryland, and Maitland DiPinto, director of Hope for Humanity, tell producers about new awards for videos that depict service to others.

Pierre Walters, awards ceremony gala manager and a member of the Takoma Park (Md.) church, shares lunch with filmmakers.

Sonscreen Film Festival