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‘The Art of Kindness’: ORU earns 8 nominations from student film

‘The Art of Kindness’ crew poses for a picture Nov. 4 at the 168 Film Festival in Fayetteville, Georgia. “It was really cool to be able to go to the festival as a team because it showed how unified we are,” said Director Michaela Ray. “We received many compliments about how amazing it was to see us all together as a team.” From left to right: Kody Mundt, Renato Sanchez, Daniel Navarette, Michaela Ray, Noe Smith, Natasha Perez, David Sing and Hayoung Lim. Additional crew members include: Kiora Brooks, Edwin Rosa, Ella Abney, Jacob Sanders, Mark Travis and faculty advisor Professor David Norris Ray.

Taking a break from filming a grief documentary in early October in North Carolina, the emotionally drained Michaela Ray read an email that sent tears pouring down her face.


One of her previous videos, a student short film called “The Art of Kindness,” had been nominated for eight awards at the 168 Film Festival, the first time any entry from Oral Roberts University had been recognized in the international competition.


The annual 168 Film Festival showcases faith-based screen media from around the globe. This year’s event took place this month in Fayetteville, Georgia.


“What it is, is that you have 168 hours to make a film, and it’s a Christian organization, so you base the film off of a randomizer verse,” explained Ray, an ORU senior in cinema, television, digital media.


Starting Sept. 8 and ending Sept. 22, Ray’s film crew took the whole 168 hours to create a film based on Ecclesiastes 3:12-13: “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.”


“The Art of Kindness” follows the story of three main characters, a young man, a woman and her daughter. The story works through everyday kindness and how little acts can strongly impact those in one’s life.


“It’s a very sweet, heartwarming story of working hard and using the gifts that God has given us, to encourage others and to bring glory to Him,” Ray said.


The woman comes to the diner where the young man is working as a server, and “he notices that she’s not doing as great and wants to cheer her up and make sure she has a good day,” said Ray. “He decides to start doodling little encouragements on the napkins that he serves food with … and you see the progression of how she’s struggling at work, but she seems to receive that encouragement, and even in her hard times.”


The ORU student film earned nominations in overall categories such as Best Scriptural Integration and Best Student Speed Film, as well as nominations in categories for individual crew members.


Student producer Renato Sanchez, also a senior in cinema, television, digital media major, shared in the excitement of the nominations.


“Micheala was the first to notice the nominations so she called all excited and happy,” said Sanchez. “I felt so accomplished. The production of the film wasn’t ordinary so these nominations really proved that our work really stood out.”


After all the hard work and waiting, the film won Best Student Speed Film at the festival where the students behind the film were abuzz with excitement.


“Hearing your name called up for an award is such a surreal moment, and it especially was that way this past weekend,” said Ray. “It felt like a huge relief after all the hours of blood, sweat and tears over this project. I can’t wait for what lies ahead and the other films to come.”


“The Art of Kindness,” along with other ORU student films, are expected to be shown at the ORU Film Gala this spring.

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McKenna Lewis
McKenna Lewis, Staff Writer
I am a double major in Public Relations and Advertising and Graphic Design. I love using writing and art to empower and educate. Other loves include board games, coffee and my cat.

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