video breathe

Family Stories Film Challenge Winners

We celebrate family, through good times and bad, because they are our unwavering foundation. Families give us a sense of belonging and inspire us to stay strong. We are committed to bringing you their stories, so we partnered with to issue a Family Stories Film Challenge.

Families and filmmakers alike were asked to create videos showcasing the challenges, strengths, and diversity of family. With family as the source of inspiration, filmmakers across the country submitted their entries for a chance to win. Audiences voted and a jury of four judges, including Sean Anders, writer/director of films such as “Instant Family” (2018), Cordelia Cranshaw, former Miss District of Columbia, singer-songwriter Jimmy Wayne, and thought leader Angela Tucker, selected the final winners. Here’s what they chose.

Grand Prize Winner

Ligia Lotus Soares, creator of winning entry “Breathe,” said the film is “a reminder of how important a simple pause can be in the midst of this new reality we are experiencing at home, giving us a much-needed reset on this never-ending routine.”

Upon hearing the news that she won grand prize, Soares goes on to say, “I’m so happy to be part of the Institute for Family’s Film Challenge and also all the opportunities AudPop provides for all filmmakers out there. I still can’t believe I got first place! BREATHE is actually a confession about life at home, as a mom and a creator, during a pandemic. My family helped me make it on time for the challenge which makes it even cooler. It’s been a pleasure to share BREATHE through AudPop and see that the movie spoke to so many people. This makes me feel I’m not alone in this crazy roller coaster that has been our days lately.”


Janetzy Cruz shot and directed a film about her father’s story as a Mexican immigrant looking for a better life for his family.

The Jury

We’re thrilled to have partnered with the following jurors. Each has a personal comittment to our mission.


Sean Anders

Sean Anders is a Hollywood writer and director whose credits include “Sex Drive” (2008), “Hot Tub Time Machine” (2010), “We’re the Millers” (2013), “Daddy’s Home” (2015), and his most personal movie, “Instant Family” (2018), which was inspired by his own experience adopting three siblings from the foster care system. Sean considers himself a very lucky guy, with his three children being the best things that ever happened to him.



Cordelia Cranshaw

Cordelia Cranshaw, founder and CEO of Acts of Random Kindness (ARK) and former Miss District of Columbia USA is also a foster system advocate and motivational speaker. Cordelia, who is one of 18 siblings, grew up most of her life in foster care, first at the age of five, and then at the ages of 14 through 21, where she was often bounced from home to home. At some points, was even homeless. Cordelia was often told she would most likely be a statistic and never make it in the world on her own, yet she continues to defy the odds each and every day as her resiliency and her path in helping others, has earned her recognition throughout Washington, D.C. and the country with her inspirational story.

Jimmy Wayne

Jimmy Wayne

Jimmy Wayne is an award-winning country music recording artist, known for hits like “Paper Angels” and “Do You Believe Me Know.” His book Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way (2014, Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins), which chronicles the story of Wayne’s childhood growing up on the streets and in the foster care before rising to fame, is a three-time New York bestseller. Because of Wayne’s personal experience with the foster care system, Wayne is a keynote speaker advocating on behalf of children in the foster care and has won several awards for his contributions to this cause.

Honorable Mentions


by Christina Igaraividez

“This was a great way to bond with my family and have them support my passion. I love that I have this piece of work forever that focuses on my relationship with my mom and grandma,” said Igaraividez.

“Fostering Faith and Family”

by Alex Herring

“I was excited to participate in the Family Stories Film Challenge because I felt I had a story to tell that fit with the theme of the challenge perfectly. I try to be very honest, raw, and sincere in my storytelling wherever possible because I find that’s what makes your message powerful and relatable to others. I am grateful to have made it into the top five for the challenge!” said Herring.

“The Empty Nest”

by Robin Glass

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap