Liberty News

Cinematic arts center prepares to host third-annual film festival

August 14, 2014 : Liberty University News Service

Posters for films which will be shown during the festival.Liberty University will welcome the Fall 2014 semester with its third-annual Cinematic Arts, Zaki Gordon Center Premiere Film Festival from Aug. 28-30. The event is free and open to the public. It includes Q-and-A sessions with award-winning filmmakers and screenings of “Beyond the Mask,” “Brother’s Keeper,” and “The Remaining.” It will also include screenings from Liberty's first cinematic arts graduates.

“Liberty University’s cinematic arts program sees itself as a transformative partner within the entertainment industry,” said Stephan Schultze, the program’s executive director. “This annual weekend of film screenings and workshops is designed to support our students’ educational process as well as the greater Virginia film community. Whether you’re a filmmaker or someone who just likes watching movies, there will be something for everyone."

Schultze said attendance has grown each year.

Several breakout sessions will be offered Aug. 30, featuring filmmakers, screenwriters, and producers. Speakers and panelists will discuss bringing high-quality films to a global market. 

Rich Peluso, senior vice president for AFFIRM Films, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, will lead one of the breakout sessions and screen "The Remaining."

“When I got the invitation to bring one of our upcoming films to the festival I was thrilled,” Peluso said. “I loved being a part of Liberty’s film focus launch a couple years ago, and bringing one of our films to this year’s festival feels like completing a circle.”

“The Remaining” releases in theaters Sept. 5. The action-packed, supernatural thriller is based on biblical accounts of the end times, in the aftermath of the Rapture. As a close-knit group of young friends are celebrating a wedding, a series of catastrophic events turns the party into a life-and-death struggle. They desperately scramble for refuge and self-preservation while a horrifying enemy unleashes its wrath against those remaining. Peluso said the film connects well with teens and college age groups, along with youth pastors and leaders, and can be a great conversation starter about faith and salvation.

The movie screenings will be held at Cinemark Movies 10 in Candlers Station Shopping Center, while the panel discussions will be held in Marie F. Green Hall on the north end of Liberty’s campus.


Panelists and speakers

Panelists and speakers for Liberty's Cinematic Arts Premiere Weekend event.

Panelists and speakers for Liberty's Cinematic Arts Premiere Weekend event.



Schedule of events

Thursday, Aug. 28, Cinemark Movies 10

6:30 p.m. – “Beyond the Mask” (Q-and-A with producer Aaron Burns)


Friday, Aug. 29, Cinemark Movies 10

6:30 p.m. – “Brother’s Keeper” (Q-and-A with Cindy Bond, CEO of Mission Pictures)

8:30 p.m. – “The Remaining” (Q-and-A with Rich Peluso, vice president of SONY/ AFFIRM)


Saturday, Aug. 30, Tolsma Indoor Track, Green Hall

10-10:30 a.m. –Introduction and Prayer

10-11:45 a.m. – Panel Discussion 1

11:45 a.m.-noon – Break

Noon-1:15 p.m. – Panel Discussion 2

1:15-2:30 p.m. – Lunch

2:30-3:45 p.m. – Breakout session 1, with three separate sessions featuring Aaron Burns (Green Hall, Room 1945), Dan Gordon (Green Hall, Room 1970), and Paul Lauer (Green Hall, Room 1946)

4-5:15 p.m. – Breakout session 2, with three separate sessions with Rich Peluso (Green Hall, Room 1945), Cindy Bond (Green Hall, Room 1970), and Paul Lauer/ Aaron Tabor/ Bobby Downes (Green Hall, Room 1946)


  • Liberty’s Cinematic Arts, Zaki Gordon Center officially launched in 2012. Students accepted as Cinema Arts majors enter an immersion program their junior year, concentrating solely on filmmaking. Every graduate of Liberty’s Cinematic Arts program will leave the school with a completed screenplay, a business plan to market and fund it, a short film they have written and directed, and real-world career experience, including a feature film credit and experience working with industry veterans.

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