19 May 2014
Amazing Grace – shot on a tourist camera – wins top award at Film Festival
The story of persecuted Christians in Egypt has been honoured with an award by the UK Christian Film Festival.
Amazing Grace, which documents a wave of attacks against Christians by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, was produced by Release International, which serves persecuted Christians worldwide. It won Best Informational Video at the Christian Film Festival.
The award was presented by Hollywood actor Stephen Baldwin at the Christian Resources Exhibition at Sandown Park, Esher.
‘A very powerful story, powerfully told,’ was the verdict of Festival director Ray Horowitz. Amazing Grace was selected from among 200 entries for the award. It was filmed undercover on a tourist camera.
‘Journalists were being turned away from Egypt,’ says cameraman / director Andrew Boyd, ‘so Release took in only the kit we thought we could get away with – a cheap camera, a voice recorder and a £5 monopod. We needed to keep a low profile.
‘It is an immense privilege to be able to report on the persecuted church,’ adds Boyd, who has made a string of award-winning documentaries for Release International.
‘These are the strongest stories in the world, of faith under fire. These courageous Christians are not just the persecuted church, they’re the overcoming church.
‘The faith, courage and determination of the Egyptian Christians is astonishing, as friends and neighbours turned against them to burn them out of their homes and churches. The Amazing Grace of the title is the grace and the power to forgive their attackers and remain in Egypt to serve the country they love and the people they love.’
Handing over the award, Hollywood actor Stephen Baldwin said: ‘It’s amazing that you are expressing these realities. So many people still don’t understand the truth about what’s going on.’
One remarkable story related in the film is that of the Coptic Bishop of Minya. Bishop Thomas overcame a thousand-strong mob armed with guns and Molotov cocktails who were bent on destroying his cathedral. He turned them away with nothing more than faith and soapy water.
Bishop Thomas and others tell their stories in the DVD Amazing Grace, which is available from the Release International website: www.releaseinternational.org
Through its international network of missions Release International serves persecuted Christians in more than 30 countries around the world, by: supporting pastors and Christian prisoners, and their families; supplying Christian literature and Bibles; and working for justice.
Source: Release International