SIGNIS To Hold First Film Jury at a US Festival – Filmfest DC


SIGNIS To Hold First Film Jury at a US Festival – Filmfest DC

Washington DC, April 15, 2009 (SIGNIS) – SIGNIS is holding its first international film Jury at an American film festival, Filmfest DC, in Washington, DC. The Jury will begin with the festival opening on April 16, 2009, culminating in the awarding of the SIGNIS Prize on April 26. The award will honour the film that the SIGNIS Jury selects as best celebrating human values in a diverse and challenging world.

 The SIGNIS award comes to Filmfest DC with a strong international tradition that includes jury awards at all major European film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, and Berlin, and with juries seated at festivals in a total of 30 countries around the world. “We’re pleased to welcome SIGNIS to our festival,” says Filmfest DC Director Tony Gittens, “and to have the opportunity to add this prestigious award to those we currently present.”

SIGNIS has been organizing festival juries since 1947, at that time acting under the name International Catholic Organization for Cinema. By its presence in the professional cinema world, SIGNIS seeks to contribute in a concrete way to the development of a cinema aimed towards human and spiritual values.

Filmfest DC is in it’s 23rd year, having experienced continued growth during that time. This year’s festival includes more than 70 films from around the world, including world premieres, DC premieres, international headliners and award winners, and Official Foreign Language Film Oscar® Selections. This year’s festival has a special focus on films from Eastern Europe and Japan.”“SIGNIS is excited about this new partnership with Filmfest DC,” says Frank Frost, SIGNIS Jury chair. “We have wanted to bring the SIGNIS international cinema prize to the United States, and Filmfest DC is the perfect venue for one of our juries, because the participating films that are chosen reflect a wide range of human and spiritual values.”

In addition to Frost, an award-winning documentary producer who represents the United States affiliate of SIGNIS, the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals, the other Jury members for the new SIGNIS award include Australian Rev. Peter Malone, MSC, head of the SIGNIS film desk, chair of many SIGNIS and Ecumenical juries at Cannes and other European festivals, and author of several books on film and spirituality; and Marjorie Suchocki, Professor Emerita from Claremont School of Theology, Director of the Whitehead Film Festival, and author of multiple books on theology and film.

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