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The Independent Critic

Ashante P.T. Stokes, J.P. Valenti, James Arthur Williams, Ace Cross Crook, Neil Carr
Ashante P.T. Stokes
12 Mins.

 "Praise the Maker" Animated Short Continues on Fest Circuit 
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In Praise the Maker, a nearly 12-minute animated short written and directed by Ashante P.T. Stokes, two men (Stokes and James Arthur Williams) take different approaches to their hardscrabble neighborhood until life's vagaries intervene. 

Praise the Maker has already picked up a couple of prizes along its indie fest journey, a Silver Hattie Award for Best Inspirational Film at the Anaheim International Film Festival and a Platinum Award for Best Short at the NYC Indie Film Awards, and continues on its festival journey with its unique, urban-inspired animation that aims to serve up an edifying message. 

The animation style in Praise the Maker is rather raw, the film's story wrapped largely around a song of the same title performed by Stokes as PT the Gospel Spitter. Indeed, Praise the Maker has a very gospel-centered message that will resonate with Christian audiences and those who resonate with Christian entertainment. It's a solid first effort from an up-and-coming animation group and a group of artists obviously dedicated to spreading a more positive, Christ-centered message. 

The vocal work in Praise the Maker is fine throughout, though I will admit I had a momentary chuckle when I first glanced at the film and it started and wondered if we were getting ready for a film featuring Mr. T. 

For the record, there's no Mr. T to be found here. 

Praise the Maker could likely extend its festival life by looking toward some more inspirational and Christian film fests, though its language does get a tad harsh in a couple of spots and this may prove to be an obstacle to being programmed in more traditional inspirational film fests. That said, there's a definite audience for the message and you can't help but hope the film continues to find a wider audience. 

For more information on Praise the Maker, check out the film's website linked to in the credits. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic