“RIVA” Wins Seven Awards, Including Best Film at 168 Film Festival

RIVAStillBurbank, CA – This weekend, Riva was honored with seven awards, including Best Film, at the 2015 Annual 168 Film Festival. Held at the state-of-the-art Regal Cinemas Premiere House at LA LIVE (Aug. 29-30), the two-day film festival showcased completed entries and presented over 25 awards. Riva, produced by first timer, Meredith Adams, was awarded the 1st Place $5,000 cash prize. Adams also played the title character and won for Best Actress.
Adams teamed up with award winning producer, Chris Wiegand and award-winning writer Alan Tregoning, to tackle this year’s 168 Film Competition theme, “Freedom.” Wiegand won for Best Director and Best Editor. His spectacular aerial shots and stunning visuals also earned him the Best Cinematographer Award. Riva’s Andrea Cohen won Best Supporting Actress, as Waitress and Alan Tregoning won the Best Scriptural Integration prize.
Riva is the story of a girl whose diseased hands bleed continuously. On a quest for healing, she receives a mysterious compass from a waitress in a diner. The compass leads Riva to the completion of her journey, where she has to swim across murky waters to meet a mysterious gentleman.
According to Adams, “As with anything worthwhile, this film came as a result of hard work and with many unforeseen obstacles - much like my character's journey!  On location, Texas rains brought out snakes - in many locations, but specifically in the water, where I spent much of our shoot. With much prayer, I braved the waters. Just as God was faithful in leading Riva to find healing, he lead us through the journey of creating a film that I pray will touch many hearts and point all to Christ.”
Best Film Runner Up was Wherever I’m With You, by last year’s winning producer Daniel Furukawa. The film also took Best Actor, Van Brown as Joe and Best Screenplay – Drama, Kyle Welch, and Best Original Score, Sean Massey (both reigning champions).
Elixir, by Scooter Downey, Katherine Hamilton and Jonathan Miranda took the Best Supporting Actor category; Nick Lavelle as Sentinel; Best Sound Design, Scooter Downey; Best Production Design, Christian Snell and Best Hair and Makeup, Caren Elle.
Seven year-old Rachel Lowry won two awards for True Freedom; Best KidVid (films for kids 5-12 years) and Evangelista (Best Gospel Presentation) Awards. Lowry wrote, produced, directed and voiced the film.
Film genre winners were, Best Comedy, Jason Walter Vaile for Washed Up (also Sunday Audience Favorite and Best Screenplay - Comedy); Best International Film - Aaron Kamp for The Artifact; Best Write Of Passage Spotlight Film, Don Heap and Peter Xifo for PB&J (Saturday Audience Favorite); and Best Documentary, Greg Williams, Sarah Williams and Elias Nawawieh for Victory in Christ.
The Best Special Effects Award went to Amir Shehata for The Network and the Best Making of a 168 Film Award went to Rick Ward for the Making of Luke Unleashed.
A Special Merit Award was conferred on actor Jack Jovcic for his role in The Brotherhood.
Awards List for the 13th Annual 168 Film Festival:
Best Scriptural Integration - Alan Tregoning and Meredith Adams for Riva
Best Film  - Meredith Adams for Riva
Best Comedy  - Jason Walter Vaile for Washed Up
Best International Film  - Aaron Kamp for The Artifact  
Best Write of Passage Spotlight Film: - Don Heap and Peter Xifo for PB&J
Best Documentary - Greg Williams, Sarah Williams and Elias Nawawieh for Victory in Christ
Best Director - Christopher Wiegand for Riva
Best Actress – Meredith Adams as Riva
Best Actor – Van Brown as Joe in Wherever I'm With You
Best Supporting Actor – Nick Lavelle as Sentinel in Elixir
Best Supporting Actress – Andrea Cohen as Waitress in Riva
Evangelista Award – Rachael Lowry for True Freedom
Best KidVid  – Rachael Lowry for True Freedom
Best Screenplay Drama – Kyle Welch for Wherever I'm With You
Best Screenplay Comedy - Jason Walter Vaile & Mark Blitch for Washed Up
Best Cinematography - Christopher Wiegand for Riva
Best Editor - Christopher Wiegand for Riva
Best Special Effects - Amir Shehata for The Network
Best Sound Design - Scooter Downey for Elixir
Best Original Score - Sean Massey for Wherever I'm With You
Best Production Design - Christian Snell for Elixir
Best HAIR AND Makeup - Caren Elle for Elixir
Best making of 168 film - Rick Ward for Making of Luke Unleashed
Audience Favorite (Saturday)  - PB&J  - Don Heap and Peter Xifo
Audience Favorite  - Washed Up - Jason Walter Vaile, Tim Powell, Mark Blitch, Danielle Wheeler, Brandon Carmichael
Special Merit Award – Jack Jovcic The Brotherhood
169 Award  – Keith Roush from Roush Media (for service above and beyond the call)