“Sanctuary” Marks Biola’s First On-Campus Film Festival

Award-winning Independent Films Come to Biola

Nov. 9, 2011 By Heather Tanji

Biola University hosted its first film festival featuring a variety of international award-winning short films, documentaries and a feature length film entitled “Kinyarwanda” at the end of October. The festival presented an engaging and entertaining lineup of current films exploring the festival’s theme— “Sanctuary”—along with the repercussions of its absence in today’s society.

The films featured at the event have won awards at various film festivals including Sundance, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and others. Directed and produced by international filmmakers from countries such as the United Kingdom and Iran, each film brought different cultural perspectives to Biola.

“There are a number of interesting voices from around the world,” said Gerry Fisher, associate film professor and festival coordinator. “If we want Biola to be a world-mission institution, we need to listen to people outside of [our campus].”

The evening feature screening, “Kinyarwanda” won the World Cinema Audience Award for Dramatic Picture at Sundance 2011. Screenings of short films such as “The Butterfly Circus,” a story about a circus troupe in the Great Depression, and documentaries like “Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul”—a film about Afghani skaters—continually played throughout the day.
Each screening was accompanied by at least one filmmaker, each of whom shared their own personal experiences that went into creating the film. They also explained the intended message behind each film’s story. At the end of each screening, filmmakers and faculty members stayed afterward for a brief question and answer session.

The Sanctuary Film Festival was part of Biola's Year of the Arts under the theme of "Sacred Spaces."  Read more about upcoming Year of the Arts events at http://now.biola.edu/news/
Read World Magazine's review of Kinywarwanda here.

Written by Heather Tanji, Media Relations Intern. For more information, please contact Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator, at jenna.l.bartlo@biola.edu or via phone at 562.777.4061.


  • Robert Kachadourian Feb. 15, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    I suggest you show 'Voices From the Lake'. I depicts what happened to my father's home town in the Armenian Genocide. 'Voices From the Lake' was produced by the Armenian Film Foundation of Thousand Oaks. I aided in its research, production and ultimate finalization. It won awards in London Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Ohio State University Film Festival, etc. It's been on PBS many times. Also, ask Dr. Judy Rood of Biola. Thanks in advance for your showing of 'Voices From the Lake'. I

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