Encore Films are delighted to announce that I’ll Walk with God will open the Christian Life International Film Festival in Ontario, Canada, on 24 September 2016. The film musical, which has picked up many awards at prestigious festivals around the world, has been screened extensively up and down and across the United States – where it seems to have touched a nerve with audiences – and in places as far-flung as Azerbaijan and Israel, where, at the Near Nazareth Festival, it picked up the award for Best Short Film Under 40 Minutes.

The Christian Life International Film Festival is world-renowned as a festival that touches and teaches the audience with meaningful productions. Its goal is to blend the worlds of international, independent, local and Hollywood cinema to send a powerful message to its audience and to make the event one of the most wanted in every family’s calendar.

With enthusiastic audiences and beautiful venue, the Christian Life International Film Festival offers a fantastic way to premiere a film in the heart of Ontario.


Above: CLAIRE HEVERIN as Holly

“We are beyond thrilled,” says Encore producer-director Ian Woodward, “that the Ontario audience attending the opening of the festival later this month will be sitting down with their popcorn to watch I’ll Walk with God as the programme’s opening aperitif.”

The musical drama, which received its big-screen premiere in January this year, tells how the idyllic world of an American opera-singer-turned-priest – known to his parishioners as “The Singing Vicar” – is changed forever when the English woman he will marry reveals the cruel fate destined to overwhelm both their lives and that of his actress daughter, Holly.


Above: NATALIE ANNE OWEN (Organist & Choir Vocal Coach)

Along the way, West End star Norman Bowman as the Rev Jim Watson has collected a Best Actor award, with comedy and Shakespearean actress Virginia Byron (the film’s Emma Crawford) winning an award for Best Actress and rising star Claire Heverin as Holly walking away with a Best Supporting Actress award.

Musical numbers include “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Carousel, Bach-Gounod’s Ave Maria, “Because (God Made Thee Mine)”, “On The Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady, “No-one But You (Only the Good Die Young)”, the Neapolitan song “Come Prima”, Rodolfo’s aria “Che gelida manina” from Puccini’s opera La Bohème, “Thank You for the Music”, and the film’s title-song, “I’ll Walk with God” from the Sigmund Romberg operetta The Student Prince.


Above, bottom right: VIRGINIA BYRON as Emma and CLAIRE HEVERIN as Holly

Encore Films have received more emails via its website about I’ll Walk with God than for any other film it has produced. And, of those emails, around 50 per cent describe how they or members of their family were most deeply moved by Emma’s confession to husband Jim on her deathbed:

“When I used to see people like me on TV [dying of cancer], they always amazed me. They were facing the unimaginable with a shot of grace and a rush of adrenaline and steeling their nerves. They were summoning their cool or anger, or faith, or whatever it took, to pull them through…and they were going on to live another day. Amazing.”

The film’s tag line is: “They live in faith by eliminating fear.”



In America the film has attracted over 20 awards including Best International Musical Drama at the Texas Ultimate Shorts Film Festival, Best Foreign Musical at The Wendy’s Shorts Awards Film Festival and Best Short Film and Best Director at The Christian Film Festival in Virginia.

I’ll Walk with God is a great work of cinematic art,” announced the Classical Arts Film Festival in Napa, California. “This is an emotional, well-observed tearjerker of a movie,” said Virginia’s Christian Film Festival, adding: “The film states up front that it is ‘a musical romance’, and, boy, does it deliver! We have been so blessed to have I’ll Walk with God in our film festival.”


Above: NORMAN BOWMAN as the “Singing Vicar” serenading wife-to-be Emma
with the song “Because God Made Thee Mine”

So, if anyone happens to be in Ontario on 24 September, why not pop along to the Christian Life International Film Festival and have a ball!

PS: Meanwhile, if you are in Aberystwyth on Sunday, 27 November, pay a visit to the National Welsh Library where Too Many Ghosts, Ian Woodward’s commentary on the folly of war, will close the Shorts Showcase at the UK International Veterans Film Festival. This annual event is dedicated to raising awareness of the country’s serving and ex-serving Armed Forces and the unique set of difficulties that they and their families face and the impact war has on our society.


Above: PETROS KOUKOULOMATIS as Joe Franklin, a young corporal in Britain’s illustrious East Yorkshire Regiment at the end of World War Two in Too Many Ghosts

On 26 January 2012, on the very day that German chancellor Angela Merkel was seen on worldwide TV laying a wreath at a ceremony in Berlin to commemorate the closing of the Nazi death-camp Auschwitz, Too Many Ghosts was being screened at the Imperial War Museum in London and at Auschwitz in Poland to commemorate the very same thing.