Independent Films Shine at Branson International Film Festival

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BRANSON, Mo. — Independent film makers from all around the globe are gathering in The Ozarks this weekend — for The Branson International Film Festival.

This festival is taking place at the White House Theater in Branson.

What makes this film festival unique is that all of the music and movies are Christian faith-based and family friendly.

“Every film festival has it’s own niche, if you will. But this one is very special. Because of where it is and because of what’s happening here,” said B.J. Arnett, producer, costumer and actress. 

Last year, The Branson International Film Festival had 8 film entries. This year, they have 220 films submitted from 30 different countries and 23 states.

Deborah Watson is festival Curator, “So we really want to foster the Independent filmmakers creativity in one community basically.”

Isaac Hernandez, has a faith based subscription film business called “Parables.” He talked about the challenges of independent film making. 

“You can do a movie thar’s only 250-thousand dollars, said Hernandez, “You’re still going to need 5 to 10 million dollars to get it in the theaters. So, that makes it very difficult for the independents.”

“The story that is the best, is the one that is the testimony, said B.J. Arnett, “But it comes from all different sides of our lives. All the way from the start, which isn’t pretty, to the redemption.” 

Cameron Arnett, is an actor, producer and director. He’s been married to B.J. for 20 years. Their film called “Mattie” will be shown at the festival on Saturday. The shared their thoughts on how to make a good Christian movie.

 “Sometimes filmmakers.. as Christian filmmakers, we want to tell a redemption story, but don’t want to show what we’ve been redeemed from. So, therefore we have a hard time actually reaching people who need redemption,” said Cameron Arnett, “We have to get back into real film making. We have to be able to…It’s like having a commedianne. To me, someone who really has wit, can make you laugh, without the cursing.”   

The Arnett’s are a busy couple. Cameron is playing in the upcoming Kendrick Brother’s movie called “Overcomer,” hitting theaters in August. 

B.J. is also a professor at Clark University in Atlanta.

For more information about the Branson International Film Festival click here.

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