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"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge
the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." ~Proverbs 24:3-4

Buy the DVD!

The Widow’s Might

The 2009 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival's Jubilee Award with its $101,000 cash prize – the largest single film festival grand prize of its kind in America – was awarded to The Widow’s Might, a feature-length adventure that's hard to describe. It's a western, musical, comedy, drama, and a movie about homeschoolers making a movie! It has an original, unique style that's really quite a clever concept. All of these things combine to create an exciting, dynamic, and entertaining film. The Widow’s Might tells the fictional story of how a group of young filmmakers came to the aid of an elderly widow in danger of losing her home due to rising property taxes.

The 101-minute film was made by a team of homeschoolers known as HeuMoore Productions. It was written and directed by 19-year-old John Moore, with 20-year-old David Heustis and Jeff Moreland serving as producers. “We never saw this coming!” said John Moore. “The greatest lesson we have learned at this event over the years is to press on; keep moving forward. Always pursue excellence. The production was very tough; but it brought our families together, and we’re even closer now than ever.... I dedicate this award to my father, the most inspiring man I have even known.”

HeuMoore Productions has produced four films previously, but The Widow’s Might was by far their biggest, most intense production to date. In addition to landing the festivals’ top honor, The Widow’s Might was runner-up for “Best Feature” and also came away with the “Audience Choice Award,” receiving more than twice the votes of the closest contender. This marked the third time in four years that a film by HeuMoore Productions was voted as the audience favorite at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. The mission of HeuMoore Productions is to produce films that "...are intended to be wholesome, Christian entertainment that the entire family can enjoy and learn from."

Incidentally, shortly before the film festival, some filmmakers were discussing the fairness of allowing established big name films such as Fireproof and Expelled into the SAICFF. The comments were along the lines of, "How are homeschooled filmmakers supposed to compete with that level of film?" John Moore of HeuMoore Productions (The Widow’s Might) responded at the time that Fireproof is just as independent as any other independent film. He went on to explain how a big film like that actually adds more credibility to the contest, legitimizing the festival and raising the level of excellence.

Moore's December 9, 2008 blog post says, "The film that comes away from the festival with the Audience Choice award, will be able to say decisively that they beat out Fireproof. That’s just the coolest thing in the world… there, the audience is a true judge. Winning audience choice with no Fireproof would still be grand, but certainly not to the same extent." Wow, was that statement a self-fulfilling prophecy or what!

At first I thought The Widow’s Might was a little difficult to follow the way it jumped from one scene to another, but once I figured out what was going on I was continually impressed with the creative genius of the filmmakers. Their sense of humor is rather understated but it’s definitely there. If you’re the type of person who enjoys puns and dry humor you will be laughing out loud. The original music score was so good that my teenage son wants to buy the soundtrack. I loved the haunting solo sung by Angela Coates, a homeschool teen with a beautiful melodic voice. John Moore is a great singer too. Gator, the little brother, was adorable. You will cheer and cry with the characters as if you really know them.

They fit a lot of things into The Widow’s Might - from cute kids and bad guys, to homeschooling and filmmaking, to politics and the media. I especially liked how they depicted the way news stories are manipulated to suit the reporter's agenda. The DVD case for the Limited Festival Edition states a running time of 53 minutes. I was wondering how they were going to resolve everything in that length of time. Fortunately for the viewers, it turns out that the movie is actually 101 minutes.

Geoff Botkin, veteran film producer and SAICFF judge, marked The Widow’s Might as a milestone in Christian filmmaking: "The Widow’s Might is a groundbreaking film, even though it is a first feature film from a teenaged director. It is one of the most original high-concept features in recent film history. The story is innovative in ways that can inspire the next generation of filmmakers, many of whom are looking for ways to break out of tired cinematic cliches."



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