The 2015 Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury Awards have a decidedly international flavor. Six of ten films recognized by the Image sponsored discussion forum (http://artsandfaith.com) were foreign-language films.
Perhaps because of that international flavor, this year’s list of films specifically recommended for Christian audiences looked beyond representations of Christianity and included an Israeli film about a Jewish divorce trial, an historical drama set in 7th century China, and three films set in contemporary nation-states ruled by Islam.
Two films looked back on American history, showing the positive impact of the Roman Catholic church on one community and the devastatingly painful impact some of its adherents and administrators had on another.
This marked the second year that an animated film received recognition, with Pixar’s Inside Out receiving a spot on the jury’s shortlist.
The jury expanded from twelve to fifteen members this year. Jury members represented a variety of evangelical press outlets including Christianity Today, Crosswalk, Sojourners, Christ and Pop Culture, and Image. The panel nominated and seconded seventy-nine films that had first-time festival, theatrical, or DVD releases in the last calendar year. Jury awards were then given to the ten eligible films with the highest average score from voting members.
In addition to promoting the Arts & Faith discussion forum, the Ecumenical Jury’s mission is to challenge, expand, or explore what it means to specifically recommend a film for Christian audiences.
Image Magazine will count down the winners and announce the jurors’ honorable mentions at its “Good Letters” blog. To review last year’s selections, please visit Image Magazine at: http://old.imagejournal.org/page/blog/arts-faith-ecumenical-jury-awards-the-top-ten-films-of-2014.