`Raw Faith` Named 2010 NPT Human Spirit Award Winner at Nashville Film Festival

Personal portrait of Portland minister’s search for her own identity is fourth winner of Nashville Public Television Award.

Nashville Public Television (NPT) has chosen “Raw Faith,” director Peter Wiedensmith’s personal portrait of Portland Unitarian minister Marilyn Sewell, as the 2010 recipient of the NPT Human Spirit Award at the Nashville Film Festival.

The NPT Human Spirit Award, presented each year by NPT to a Nashville Film Festival documentary selection, acknowledges a filmmaker’s work that best explores and captures the human spirit. The film must illuminate in a high artistic manner the important characteristics of what it means to be human: generosity, kindness, mercy, compassion, fortitude and honor. The award will be presented to Wiedensmith prior to the World Premiere of the film at the Nashville Film Festival, Friday, April 16, 7:45 p.m. at Regal Green Hills Cinemas.

The NPT Human Spirit Award jury is Kevin Crane, VP of programming and technology; Justin Harvey, program manager; and Brian O’Neill, director of brand management and creative services.

“In the past, NPT has honored films exploring the human spirit of those that have crossed racial barriers, given back to their homelands or had the courage to fight corporate goliaths,” said the NPT Human Spirit Award jury in a joint statement. “This year, we recognize a filmmaker who captured one of the most unique of human characteristics, that of looking inward. In joining Marilyn Sewell on her journey of personal discovery, Wiedensmith gives us a stunning and candid portrait of the power and value of exploring just who we are and where we’re going. We, the viewer, are better for it.”

“Raw Faith” follows two years in the private life of veteran minister Marilyn Sewell, successful and beloved in the pulpit, but behind the scenes lonely and yearning for change. As she considers leaving the ministry, she realizes she will be leaving her only social network. Yet when she falls in love for the first time, she realizes she does not trust intimacy. A study in contrasts, Marilyn must rely on raw faith as she questions her future, her difficult past, her God, and most importantly… her ability to love. The documentary includes an original song by Sheryl Crow written specifically for the film.

The NPT Human Spirit Award comes with Nashville Public Television’s intention to broadcast the film so that others may celebrate the generous role that great filmmaking plays in our lives. Previous winners of the NPT Human Spirit Award are “Crude” (Dir. Joe Berlinger, 2009); “Sons of Lwala” (Dir. Barry Simmons, 2008); and “The Clinton 12” (Dir. Keith McDaniel, 2007).

The 41st Nashville Film Festival takes place April 15-22, 2010 at the Regal Green Hills Cinemas.

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