In 1994, youth pastors Chuck Adkins and Joe Brown put together this hair-brained idea of a film festival to poke a little fun at the Academy Awards and Hollywood's obscession with awarding themselves.
Utilizing cutting-edge technology of Super 8, VHS, and BETAMAX, they convinced a few other youth groups to make movies and gather for a gala award ceremony with tuxedos, ball gowns, red carpet, and lots of popcorn.
The first Festival in 1994 was held at Bakersfield Christian Life Center home of First Baptist Church.
Early awards consisted of recycled bowling and softball trophies. As technologies improved and became more available, youth began creating real works of art. We started offering cash prizes and real trophies in 2004.
Then, in 2007 we moved to the Majestic Fox Theater in downtown Bakersfield and everything changed. It became a real competition for the best pictures and awards. Hollywood producers, directors, actors, and writers joined our team of directors and judges.
We now offer workshops and seminars taught by professionals in the film industry. But we've kept all the wholesome fun, excitement, and glamor of the original festivals. All the while teaching teenagers healthy competition, creative communication, cooperative teamwork, and spiritual integrity.
Our goal is to equip and encourage young people to create excellent visual stories of the Christian faith.
In 2013 the name was changed to Christian Youth Film Society and incorporated as a 'non-profit' in the State of California to better reflect our mission and vision. We're branching out with more film camps and workshops, a seperate college age festival, and hope to develop regional festivals in other cities. We are partnering with film studios and ministries to complement one another and efficiently utilize the resources God provides.
Statement of Faith
We believe in the one and only Triune God (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) who is the creator of all things, both visible and invisible, and is the sole Being deserving of our love and worship forever.
We believe that Jesus, the second person of the Triune Godhead, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, physically died on a cross for our sin, and rose from the grave conquering both sin and the grave for all who will repent and follow Him. There is no other way to Heaven but by the name of Jesus and that He will one day return to earth to judge all of humanity and set all things right again.
We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the triune Godhead, is ever-present, convicting the world of sin, regenerating those who repent and believe, sanctifying believers, and guiding disciples into truth.
We believe the Bible, the 66 books of the Old and New Testament, are the written revelation of God’s working in the world and are the God-inspired, infallible and authoritative Word of God.
We believe that humanity, both male and female, are created in God’s image, and that this image consists of, but is not limited to, our own God-endowed gifts of creativity, and that this creativity is to be used as salt and light in our world.
We believe that God, having created us male and female, gives clear instructions in the Bible how we are to express our sexuality and that the sexual act is intended to be reserved for one man with one woman in a marriage covenant relationship.
We believe that, although the world was created by God and declared good compared to His perfect character and nature, it was corrupted by the sin of Adam and that all are born in sin.
We believe that God works through His Church universal, those called and obedient to Him, and that those obedient to His Word and the name of Jesus are united through His blood regardless of their denominational affiliation.