“RIVA” Wins Seven Awards, Including Best Film at 168 Film Festival

Riva Meredith Adams

$25,000 in Cash and Prizes Awarded
at 13
th Annual
Speed Filmmaking Competition

BURBANK, CA – This weekend, Riva was honored with seven awards, including Best Film, at the 2015 Annual 168 Film Festival. Held at the state-of-the-art Regal Cinemas Premiere House at LA LIVE (Aug. 29-30), the two-day film festival showcased competition entries and presented over 25 awards. Riva, produced by first timer, Meredith Adams, was awarded the 1st Place $5,000 cash prize. Adams also played the title character and won for Best Actress.

Adams teamed up with award winning producer, Chris Wiegand and award-winning writer Alan Tregoning, to tackle this year’s 168 Film Competition theme, “Freedom.” Wiegand won for Best Director and Best Editor. His spectacular aerial shots and stunning visuals also earned him the Best Cinematographer Award. Riva’s Andrea Cohen won Best Supporting Actress, as Waitress and Alan Tregoning won the Best Scriptural Integration prize.

Riva is the story of a girl whose diseased hands bleed continuously. On a quest for healing, she receives a mysterious compass from a waitress in a diner. The compass leads Riva to the completion of her journey, where she has to swim across murky waters to meet a mysterious gentleman.

According to Adams, “As with anything worthwhile, this film came as a result of hard work and with many unforeseen obstacles – much like my character’s journey!  On location, Texas rains brought out snakes – in many locations, but specifically in the water, where I spent much of our shoot. With much prayer, I braved the waters. Just as God was faithful in leading Riva to find healing, he lead us through the journey of creating a film that I pray will touch many hearts and point all to Christ.”

Best Film Runner Up was Wherever I’m With You, by last year’s winning producer Daniel Furukawa. The film also took Best Actor, Van Brown as Joe and Best Screenplay – Drama, Kyle Welch, and Best Original Score, Sean Massey (both reigning champions).

Elixir, by Scooter Downey, Katherine Hamilton and Jonathan Miranda took the Best Supporting Actor category; Nick Lavelle as Sentinel; Best Sound Design, Scooter Downey; Best Production Design, Christian Snell and Best Hair and Makeup, Caren Elle.

Seven year-old Rachel Lowry won two awards for True Freedom; Best KidVid (films for kids 5-12 years) and Evangelista (Best Gospel Presentation) Awards. Lowry wrote, produced, directed and voiced the film.

Film genre winners were, Best Comedy, Jason Walter Vaile for Washed Up (also Sunday Audience Favorite and Best Screenplay – Comedy); Best International Film – Aaron Kamp for The Artifact; Best Write Of Passage Spotlight Film, Don Heap and Peter Xifo for PB&J (Saturday Audience Favorite); and Best Documentary, Greg Williams, Sarah Williams and Elias Nawawieh for Victory in Christ.

The Best Special Effects Award went to Amir Shehata for The Network and the Best Making of a 168 Film Award went to Rick Ward for the Making of Luke Unleashed.

A Special Merit Award was conferred on actor Jack Jovcic for his role in The Brotherhood.

Awards List for the 13th Annual 168 Film Festival:

  1. Best Scriptural Integration – Alan Tregoning and Meredith Adams for Riva
  2. Best Film  – Meredith Adams for Riva
  3. Best Comedy  – Jason Walter Vaile for Washed Up
  4. Best International Film  – Aaron Kamp for The Artifact  
  5. Best Write of Passage Spotlight Film: – Don Heap and Peter Xifo for PB&J
  6. Best Documentary – Greg Williams, Sarah Williams and Elias Nawawieh for Victory in Christ
  7. Best Director – Christopher Wiegand for Riva
  8. Best Actress – Meredith Adams as Riva
  9. Best Actor – Van Brown as Joe in Wherever I’m With You
  10. Best Supporting Actor – Nick Lavelle as Sentinel in Elixir
  11. Best Supporting Actress – Andrea Cohen as Waitress in Riva
  12. Evangelista Award – Rachael Lowry for True Freedom
  13. Best KidVid  – Rachael Lowry for True Freedom
  14. Best Screenplay Drama – Kyle Welch for Wherever I’m With You
  15. Best Screenplay Comedy – Jason Walter Vaile & Mark Blitch for Washed Up
  16. Best Cinematography – Christopher Wiegand for Riva
  17. Best Editor – Christopher Wiegand for Riva
  18. Best Special Effects – Amir Shehata for The Network
  19. Best Sound Design – Scooter Downey for Elixir
  20. Best Original Score – Sean Massey for Wherever I’m With You
  21. Best Production Design – Christian Snell for Elixir
  22. Best HAIR AND Makeup – Caren Elle for Elixir
  23. Best making of 168 film – Rick Ward for Making of Luke Unleashed
  24. Audience Favorite (Saturday)  – PB&J  – Don Heap and Peter Xifo
  25. Audience Favorite  – Washed Up – Jason Walter Vaile, Tim Powell, Mark Blitch, Danielle Wheeler, Brandon Carmichael
  26. Special Merit Award – Jack Jovcic The Brotherhood
  27. 169 Award  – Keith Roush from Roush Media (for service above and beyond the call)


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In the past twelve years, the 168 Film Project has inspired over 850 films created by an estimated 15,000 cast and crew. 168 Film is also a launching pad for emerging artists like Maggie Jones, actor in We Bought a Zoo, and Joshua and Rebekah Weigel, writer/producers of The Butterfly Circus with 45 million Downloads, starring Nick Vujucic.

For interviews with Founder/Director John David Ware or for more information, please contact Lori Heiselman at 714-553-5181 or Lori@FrontGateMedia.com.