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Letters to Artists Film Festival
List of Award Winners

Best Short Film

The Space Between the Ages (8.48)
Directed by Travis Lee Ratcliff
Submitted by Dony Mac Manus

Prize Awards: $500 cash prize and certificate;  screening at the Letters to Artist
s Film Festival, Film Festival Laurel, promotion on the Catholic Art Institute website, a feature write up in the National Catholic Register, a free ticket to the Catholic Art Institute Conference Fall 2024.

Best Short Film

The Beauty of Sacred Art. (8.20)
Directed by. Damian Chlanda,

Prize Awards: $250 cash prize and certificate, screening at the Letters to Artist
s Film Festival, Film Festival Laurel, promotion on the CAI website, free ticket to the CAI Conference, Fall 2024.

Honorable Mention Short Films

Heading Home: A 21 st Century Pilgrimage (35.02).
Directed by Jody K Hassett-Sanchez

This Side (29.47)
Directed by Dan Tarrant,

In Him Together (3.17)
Directed by Mollie Kathleen Lewis

Awards: Film Festival Laurel and certificate, Films to be screened at the Letters to Artists Film Festival, promotion on the CAI website, free ticket to the Letters to Artists Film Festival, April 2024, no cash award.

Honorable Mention Scripts*

The Eye of the Beholder  Written by Aidan Charles Jones,

Mercy at the Railroad  Written by Amanda Fierro

No Coloreds Allowed  Written by Andre Gordon

Awards: Film Festival Laurel and certificate, free ticket to Letters to Artists Film Festival.

*Best Script Award – Not Awarded





Dr. Barbara Nicolosi

Dr. Barbara Nicolosi is an award-winning writer, speaker, and producer. She received her bachelors degree from Magdalen College in Warner, New Hampshire in Liberal Arts with an emphasis on 'Great Books.' She attended Northwestern University where she obtained a Masters of Cinema degree. She has taught screen writing and cinema at Seaver Graduate School at Pepperdine University, Azusa Pacific University, Regents University and Los Angeles Film Study Center. She served as the Coordinator in the Screenwriting Programs at Regent University as well.

After working on a number of projects in Hollywood, she became the co-editor of the book "Behind the Screen: Hollywood Insiders on Faith and Culture." In 1999, she founded the Act One Program which has two tracks: producing and screen writing in a 14-month program that stresses artistry, professionalism and ethics.

Nicolosi has written several screenplays for various production companies. She is a member of the Writers Guild of America.


Karen Hall

Karen Hall is a multi-award-winning screenwriter/Producer, novelist, professor and a member of the George Foster Peabody Awards board of jurors, best known for her work on the television series Judging Amy and M*A*S*H. Hall graduated with a B.A. degree in English from College of William and Mary. Then she was awarded a fellowship from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to the University of Virginia, where she was in graduate school in the M.F.A. Playwriting Program. She is currently working on a nonfiction book for Ignatius Press about the life of Fr. Paul Mankowski, SJ and a mini-series: Iñigo - The Unsaintly Years of St. Ignatius of Loyola for Zebra Productions (in development.) Several other projects in development.

Submissions Criteria:

The festival encourages all films that find inspiration in the Letter to Artists and explore any of the following:

- the impulse to create and the demands of art and beauty;
- the particular emotional and pragmatic challenges that artists must overcome;
- the connection between creativity and community;
- why art matters and how it can heal, connect, and deepen us;
- why the life of religious faith needs the arts;
- how art makes the ineffable visceral;


The festival welcomes submissions of short films (between 7-15 minutes in length) and scripts (no more than 20 pages) from the broad variety of genres – non-fiction, fiction, documentary, experimental, animation. Festival judges will be drawn from the professional world of film-making and visual arts.


The festival will screen the top films and present awards on Sunday, April 14, 2024 in the Washington DC metro area. The screenings will take place in the historic Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse in Arlington, VA.


Winners of the 2023 Letter to Artists Film Festival will be notified March 14th, 2024.



Best Short Film - $500 cash prize and certificate; promotion on the Catholic Art Institute website, a feature write up in the National Catholic Register, a free ticket to the Catholic Art Institute Conference Fall 2024.


Runner-up Best Short Film - $250 cash prize and certificate, promotion on the CAI website, free ticket to the CAI Conference, Fall 2024.

Best Script Award - $250 cash prize and certificate, promotion on the CAI website, free ticket to the CAI Conference, Fall 2024.

Runner-up Best Script - $100 cash prize and certificate, promotion on the CAI website, free ticket to the CAI Conference, Fall 2024.



Rules & Terms

Categories for entry:
 Entries are invited in the following categories:
- Short films (International)
- Short films (International - documentary)

Form and Premiere Status:

The Festival welcomes all forms of film production – animation, experimental, etc. However, promotional films (e.g. films promoting tourism, charitable appeals, etc.) and music videos are not eligible. 

All short films selected for competition will be U.S. Premieres 

Films that are available to purchase are NOT eligible; this includes DVD/Blu-ray/VOD formats. 

Films that have previously been publicly screened, broadcast or otherwise made publicly available (including online) will NOT be considered.


Conditions for Entry :

All short films should be provided via a Vimeo link. Please see the submission form for the place to add the link. Submissions are $50.

If selected, finalists will need to provide a DCP file for screening the work at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse that is 16:9 or 4:3. The projector is 720p so no file files should be under 720p. The Catholic Art Institute will contact all finalists with instructions for submitting their DCP files.

Films should be presented in their original versions with English language subtitles or commentary where necessary.

To be eligible for the short film competitions, films must have been completed after 1 June 2023 and be 15 minutes or less in duration; 
 Please note that refunds will not be issued for submitted films. 


Non-English language films: 
To qualify for selection, all non-English language films must have an English-subtitled screening copy available.


The Festival will only contact those filmmakers and screenwriters with work selected for competitions and notification will be given by March 14, 2024. Unfortunately, due to the large amount of submissions received, the Festival cannot offer feedback regarding films or scripts that are not selected for the programme.  Please don’t be discouraged if your film or script is not accepted to the Letter to Artists Film festival. There are often many influencing factors on why your film or script may or may not be accepted or be suitable for the Festival.

Screening File Delivery 
Please note: The only method of receiving screening materials for the festivals is via digital online transfer.

If selected, finalists will be notified of where to provide their DCP files which will need to be delivered by Friday April 5, 2024.


Screening Fees - 

Any physical DCP drives will be insured for the period that they are in the Festival’s possession. In the case of loss or damage during this period, the Festival is only responsible for the replacement value of the DCPs. Only DCPs in perfect working condition for projection will be accepted under these conditions.

Using extracts of the films and film stills for promotion: 
The entrant agrees that up to three minutes of their film may be used by the Festival in promotional activities including screening a clip on television, inclusion in the Festival’s trailer, and on the Festival’s website. Please ensure that uploaded stills and head shots are of print quality and that you have permission to allow the Festival to use these for promotional and press purposes in perpetuity.

Unsolicited submissions, waivers and discounts: 
The Festival respectfully requests that entrants do not send unsolicited screener (Vimeo etc.,) links to Festival staff, and do not appeal for fee waivers.

If you are a cultural institution or college or have a number of films you would like to enter at once, the Festival may be able to offer a discount; please email: to request. 

Acceptance of these Terms and Conditions implies that the entrant will abide by them in their dealings with the Festival and also that the entrant is legally entitled to submit the film for consideration. Entry to the Festival implies that the entrant has the right to do so, has pre-cleared all materials that comprise the film, and is an authorized representative of the team that holds the intellectual property in the film.

Entering a film to the Letter to Artists Film Festival implies the acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.⁣


The Festival wishes all potential entrants the best of luck with their submission, and their film.


The Festival reserves the right to change the Terms and Conditions at any time.

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