Our true crime documentary Where There is Darkness is being called one of the best documentaries of 2019 after winning over 30 awards and being chosen as an Official Selection in over 40 film festivals.
Produced by Sean Bloomfield, Cimela Kidonakis, and Jessi Hannapel, the film documents the nationwide search for Fr. Rene Robert, a beloved priest who went missing in 2016 in St. Augustine, Florida.
The story culminates in a series of shocking revelations and the discovery of a 20-year-old letter in which Fr. Rene seemed to foretell his own fate.
Why are film festivals important for us? Because our mission is to bring stories of hope and inspiration to as many people as possible, and film festivals offer an in-road to the general public.
In short, it's not about the recognition or red carpets; it's about bring Fr. Rene's story of love to as many people as possible.
And our plan seems to be working. As one recent viewer commented, seeing the Where There Is Darkness "was the most emotionally powerful experience I've ever had in a movie theater."
During one recent weekend, the film was shown as an Official Selection in four different film festivals! Co-director Sean Bloomfield was able to attend two of the festivals and he shared this reflection:
Giving multiple acceptance speeches wasn't easy after being rendered speechless by the amazing response to our movie at the Magnolia Independent Film Festival!
Where There Is Darkness took home awards for Best Feature Film, Best Director, and the biggest award of the festival: the Ron Tibbets Award for Excellence in Film, named after the Magnolia's late founder.
But although I'm the one holding these beautiful awards tonight, they belong to ALL the talented individuals who helped make Where There Is Darkness (especially my co-filmmakers Cimela Kidonakis and Jessi Hannapel), and to all the people in the film who gave us their trust.
Amazingly, just a few hours earlier, we also won the Best Feature Documentary award at the lovely George Lindsey/UNA Film Festival in Alabama, which I had the honor of accepting in person before driving back to Mississippi!
Our movie is proof that films can change people, and I don't just mean audiences. Bringing a story to life changes the filmmaker, too, and often in ways we never expected.
Yes, every project takes us on a new journey. But, more importantly, it gives us a chance to test our own convictions; often, we end up seeing the world differently than we did when we began, which, I believe, was true for all of us who worked on Where There Is Darkness.
Here's the latest list of our awards and film festival selections:
- Los Angeles Crime and Horror Film Festival
- James Bond III Film Festival
- Prison City Film Festival
- Ocean City Film Festival
- George Lindsey UNA Film Festival
- Queen Palm International Film Festival
- Aphrodite Film Awards
- Magnolia Independent Film Festival
- International Independent Film Awards
- California Film Awards
- Spotlight Documentary Film Awards
- Indiefest Film Awards
- Prague Film Festival
- Miami Independent Film Festival
- Ferrara Film Festival
- Silk Road Film Festival, Dublin, Ireland
- Snowdance Film Festival, Munich, Germany
- London International Cinema Festival
- The Impact DOCS Awards
- Docs Without Borders Film Festival
- 16th Internacional Festival Signos de la Noite
- Central Michigan International Film Festival
- Fort Myers Film Festival
- Dumbo Film Festival
- 6th International Documentary Festival of Ierapetra
- Louisiana International Film Festival
- L-DUB Film Festival
- Milledgeville + Eatonton Film Festival
- Big Apple Film Festival (Florida Filmmakers and Screenwriters showcase)
- Maryland International Film Festival
- Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival
- Philadelphia Independent Film Festival
- Internationales Festival Zeichen der Nacht
- Australian Inspirational Film Festival
- Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards
- Back In The Box Competition
- Oniros Film Awards, Italy
- Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards
- Near Nazareth Festival (NNF)
- Los Angeles CineFest
- Best Documentary – Los Angeles Crime and Horror Film Festival
- Best Director – Los Angeles Crime and Horror Film Festival
- Best Documentary – James Bond III Film Festival
- Best Director – James Bond III Film Festival
- Best Lead Actor – James Bond III Film Festival
- Best Soundtrack – James Bond III Film Festival
- Best Director – Prison City Film Festival
- Best Cinematography – Prison City Film Festival
- Best Sound Mixing – Prison City Film Festival
- Best Feature – Ocean City Film Festival
- Best Professional Documentary – George Lindsey UNA Film Festival
- Best Feature Silver Winner – Queen Palm International Film Festival
- Best Director Silver Winner – Queen Palm International Film Festival
- Best Producer Bronze Winner – Queen Palm International Film Festival
- Best Documentary Feature – Aphrodite Film Awards
- Best Director – Magnolia Independent Film Festival
- Best Feature – Magnolia Independent Film Festival
- Ron Tibbett Award for excellence in film – Magnolia Independent Film Festival
- Gold Award Documentary Feature – International Independent Film Awards
- Diamond Award Documentary Film – California Film Awards
- Silver Award Winner – Spotlight Documentary Film Awards
- Award of Merit – Indiefest Film Awards
- Special Mention – Prague Film Festival
- Nominated – Miami Independent Film Festival
- Nominated – Gold Dragon – Ferrara Film Festival
- Nominated – Snowdance Film Festival, Munich, Germany
- Nominated – London International Cinema Festival
- Finalist – Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards
- Finalist – Back In The Box Competition
- Finalist – Oniros Film Awards, Italy
- Semi-Finalist – Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards
- Semi-Finalist – Near Nazareth Festival (NNF)
- Semi-Finalist – Los Angeles CineFest
- Upcoming screenings of Where There Is Darkness
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