Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival leaves viewers pondering important messages

Photo courtesy of Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival

By Foster Nicholas | Reporter

The third annual Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival took place over the weekend at the Cinemark Waco and XD theater. Many films shared powerful messages and gave each audience something to contemplate.

The event was meant to take place across multiple venues in Waco, but was moved due to inclement weather. To conclude the festival, there was an award ceremony hosted at Pivovar.

The festival was hosted and founded by Dr. Tyrha Lindsey-Warren, clinical assistant professor of marketing at Baylor. After the first five films were shown, she sat down with several directors and actors of different films to answer questions from audience members, as well as discuss the production of each film.

“The mantra for our film festival is letting your light shine, so that’s what we’re all about, shining our little film festival light,” Lindsey-Warren said.

One show in particular lived up to the mantra of the film festival. Actor and pastor Terry Weaver starred in “Breaking Strongholds,” a television series that premiered at the festival.

“We’re a nonprofit, this is all made through donations. It’s very unique to have a show funded through donations,” Weaver said. “All of the actors in fact are donating their time and talent, so this is a ministry for the actors, including myself. This is our way to serve outside of the typical church. What you’ll see over the evolution of this series is my son in the show, Ryan, is considering taking his life. That changes over time, and there is a big character arch shift. The cast has such a passion to serve and want to do something about teen suicide. So when you come together on a mission like that, it’s incredible to work with people who have the same goal in mind.”

Weaver said the series will be available on multiple streaming platforms in late May. Information will be posted on the show’s website as soon as more details become available to the public.

“It’s fun to see the evolution of what God’s doing with the show,” Weaver said.

Blake Cleave, a Waco native and film festival junkie, attended multiple showings and said he was not disappointed.

“It was such a layered and powerful experience,” Cleave said. “Every single film uncovered an indispensable message. This was an amazing and thought-provoking festival.”