Prizes awarded to films about God
God is looking for another son, and there are three candidates. To win, all they have to do is beat the others in cross-carrying, making communion wafers and walking on water. That's the plot of the film God zoekt zoon (God Seeks Son), the winner of the Golden Maria prize for films about God, organised by the theology department of the Catholic University of Leuven.
More than 140 groups entered the competition, with movies offering an answer to the question: "How and where do you see God in everyday life?" Entries were judged by a jury made up of actors Barbara Sarafian (Aanrijding in Moscou) and Guillaume Devos (Familie), director Felix Van Groeningen (De helaasheid der dingen) and Norbertine monk Chris Jeunen.
The winning entry was made by six students from the Sancta Maria Institute in Kasterlee. "You don't always have to be so serious when it comes to religion," Olivier Van Goethem, one of the students, explained. "We're still allowed to laugh, aren't we?"
The prize for the most-visited film on the competition website went to Tim Hautekiet and Sofie Van den Eynde from the Sint-Martinus school in Asse for their God is stereotiep...of niet (God is a Stereotype...or not). "We did a lot of promotion on Facebook and Netlog," said Hautekiet. "Our film was watched 1,400 times."
The prize for the most original film went to Ellen Perrault and two classmates (who had to stay home from the prize ceremony to study for exams). Their film is called Ga, overwin en durf (Go, Succeed and Dare). Finally, the prize for the most visually arresting film went to 19-year-old Mieke Mortier from Gistel for her animated film God, mijn donsje tegen de wereld (God, My Blanket Against the World). All the winning filmmakers were awarded video-cameras by JVC.
"This is an important project," commented Hans Geybels, spokesman for Cardinal Godfried Danneels. "It shows that the faithful are still in a position to portray the mystery of God's love for us."