The first edition of Chennai Christian Short Film Festival took off on a glorious note on Saturday, 13th of November, at Don Bosco Auditorium, Egmore. The guests of honour at the inaugural ceremony were Rev. Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj, Head of Jesus Ministries and Managing Director Angel TV, and Rev. Bro Julian Santi, a Salesian Italian missionary.
The inaugural ceremony began with a prayer song and the lighting of the Kuthuvilakku by the chief guests. Rev. Fr. Kirubagaran, the Chief Coordinator of CCSFF and Director of the Deepagam Catechetical centre welcomed the chief guests and the gathering, highlighting the purpose of the festival. In his inaugural speech, Rev. Br. Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj spoke of significance of the new media and the role media plays in transforming people`s mind completely. He quoted some interesting experiences, in which the gospel message was transmitted powerfully through the modern media. He exhorted the young Christian film makers to use of the modern electronic media to effectively and creatively proclaim God`s message. The veteran Salesian missionary Rev. Bro. Julian Santi declared open the “Chennai Christian Short Film Festival 2010.
The screening of the 19 shortlisted short films and music videos continued with the interaction of the film makers, presenting their short films, and explaining to the audience the reason for their production, which was always an expression of faith. The award ceremony commenced at 7 p.m. with a dramatic presentation by the youth of Deepagam Inner Light Ministries (DILM), highlighting the power of grace and ugliness of sin. The guests of honour were Most . Rev. Dr. A.M Chinnappa Sdb., the Archbishop of Madras Mylapore, Mrs. Vimala Britto CEO of Esthell Hotels & Resorts and Correspondent of Britto Group of Schools, Mr. Prabu Solomon, Film Director and Rev. Fr. Michael Vyakulam, Secretary of TANCEAN.
In his words of welcome, Rev. Fr. Harris, the CCSFF director highlighted the purpose of the festival, and the hopes and dreams which have been sown through this initiative. He was very hopeful that CCSFF would grow in the coming years and be a good platform for expression of faith for all those involved in media. The Archbishop, Most Rev. Chinnappa reiterated that if values are devoid of any media production, then it will not remain in the minds of people, and mere elements of entertainment will not suffice. He encouraged the upcoming film makers to be responsible, creative and committed in handling the powerful tool media.
Director Prabhu Solomon was no doubt in his best, he spoke with great conviction about his love for Christ and his relationship with God, through prayer and reading of the bible. He attributed all his growth, success and hope to Jesus Christ, and also affirmed that his film Maina was a hit because of Jesus. He kept the audience spellbound with his though provoking statements, which stemmed from his deep convictions and personal experience of Christ attained through prayer and living a good Christian life.
Mrs Vimala Britto, the proud sponsor and patron of CCSFF, in her message congratulated the organizers of CCSFF and motivated the young film makers to continue to produce and create through media all that can communicate Christ and his values effectively. She expressed her joy of being a part of this short film festival and congratulated the winners of CCSFF. All the participants of CCSFF were given a participation certificate by the Archbishop Most Rev. Chinnappa.
The award winners of CCSFF were declared by Rev. Fr. Michael, Secretary of TANCEAN. J. Vimal Raj from Coimbatore, bagged the top award for his short film Christmas Gift and was given a cash award of Rs. 25,000/-. The second prize of Rs. 15,000./- was given to Kamal Jee for his short film Jennifer and the third prize of Rs. 10,000/- was given to Dany for his short film Messiah. Among the Music Videos, the first place of Rs. 10,000/- was bagged by J. Surya for his Thaedinen, while the second and third prizes of Rs. 6,000/- and Rs. 4,000/- were given to Andrew David Harry for his Life is the Only Choice and to Bro. Sadhu Sundhar Slvaraj for his Kalayedukkum Kannamma.
CCSFF has just sprouted and begun to bear fruit and it is our ardent desire that this festival becomes a meeting point for all those involved in Christian Media and for all those who wish to communicate Christ and his values through media. The collaboration and support of Divine TV, Angel TV, and Deepagam has made CCSFF all the more strong and meaningful. Having a film festival with Christ as the object has finally become a reality.