top of page

Letters to Artists Film Festival
2024 Winning Films

The mission of the Catholic Art Institute is to promote spiritual formation and supportive community opportunities for working artists, as well as recognizing excellence in craftsmanship by a new generation of contemporary artists of Faith.

Toward this end, the Catholic Art Institute launched the First Annual “Letter to Artists Film Festival.” The theme of the festival is inspired by the Letter to Artists written by Pope St. John Paul II. Festival entrants were encouraged to read the document for thematic inspiration for their films.


It is our great pleasure to present the winners of the Letters to Artists Film Festival. The following films will be screened live on April 14, 2024 at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse.  Doors open at 6:15 pm. Food and beverage will be served during the festival.


Best Short Film

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

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.

Runner Up 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

Screenshot 2024-04-15 at 4.23.50 PM.png

Film will be available for viewing in Sept. 2024




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 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. Doors open at 6:15 pm. Food and drinks will be sold by the venue and available during the winners and finalist screenings.



bottom of page