The Imago Film Festival to Include Impressive Lineup of Hollywood Executives


The 13th annual Imago Film Festival will be a star-studded event, featuring short independent films from around the world, live music, a red-carpet closing and conversations with Hollywood executives who are responsible for creating top-dollar box office hits.


The Imago Film Festival, which is held on the Judson University campus each year, will showcase independent films and filmmakers who use image and story to explore faith and ethics and the journey from brokenness to hope. These artists look to inspire and entertain, and hopefully take home one of the festival money prizes for their projects.


This year’s festival will begin on Tuesday, April 4, and run through Saturday, April 8. Each night, audience members will get to watch film entries and hear from an impressive roster of invited guests who will shed new light on the convergence of film and faith. Tuesday night, the festival will open with screenings at 7 p.m. in the Thulin Performance Hall in the Thompson Center (1151 N. State St., Elgin). Former Judson professor and indie producer Matt Bilen will be on hand afterward to discuss his latest short film project and his first feature film, HeavenQuest.


On Wednesday, April 5, in the Thulin Performance Hall, Judson will welcome film producer and writer David McFadzean, producer of such TV shows as “Home Improvement” and films like “Bernie,” among others. McFadzean is no stranger to Judson, as he taught here during the 1980s, before landing the role of executive story editor of the premiere season of the “Roseanne” show. He will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award and engage in a career retrospective interview. Film screenings will follow his presentation. The admittance fee is $6.


On Thursday, April 6, at 7 p.m. in the Thulin Performance Hall, there will be short film screenings following a visit by ODB Films President and CEO Eric Groth. ODBis an award-winning not-for-profit Catholic video production ministry that has produced more than 200 short films. Groth directed ODB’s first feature film, the highly acclaimed “Full of Grace,” which chronicles the last days of Mary of Nazareth. This film received a Gabriel Award for “Best Family Feature” in June 2016. Groth hasserved as director of high school campus ministries at Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford, Ill., and as coordinator of evangelization programs for Cultivation Ministries. The admittance fee for the April 6 event is $6.


On Friday, April 7, at 7 p.m. in Herrick Chapel, Judson will welcome Affirm Films Executive Vice President Rich Peluso. Affirm Films is the faith-based division of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). Over the last 10 years, Affirm Films has earned four A+ CinemaScore ratings for “Soul Surfer,” “Courageous,” “War Room” and “Miracles from Heaven.” The company also exceeded $420 million in domestic box office and $460 million worldwide, making it the largest and most successful faith-based film studio. This evening, Peluso – who has led the studio since 2007 – will introduce the premiere of “All Saints,” a film based on the true story of an Episcopal pastor (portrayed by John Corbett) who was told to close his rundown church but instead served as a host to Burmese refugees. Following the screening, he will sit for an intimate Q&A session. The admittance fee for the April 7 event is $6.


On Saturday, April 8, the Imago Film Festival will close with the always popular Red Carpet Celebration in Herrick Chapel. It will begin at 5:30 p.m. and include live music, food and a best-dressed contest. The evening’s highlight with be an award ceremony at 7:15 p.m. and screenings of the festival’s award-winning films. The admittance fee for the April 8 event is $10.


Come out and support this unique festival. Get a festival pass for $20 for the week ($12 for Judson students, staff and faculty). Ticket information and a full festival schedule can be found at


Judson University is a fully accredited, private Christian institution representing the Church at work in higher education. Nestled along the beautiful Fox River in Elgin, Ill., just 40 miles northwest of Chicago, Judson is home to more than 1,200 students from 33 states and 20 countries. Judson offers degrees in more than 65 different majors and minors for traditional, graduate and adult students and ranks consistently among the Best Regional Universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report. Judson has also been recognized as a “Christian College of Distinction.” With an academically challenging environment and encouraging spiritual community, Judson shapes lives that shape the world.



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