Asbury Media Communication Department Receives Nomination for Feature Film – Asbury University
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Asbury Media Communication Department Receives Nomination for Feature Film

December 15, 2023

The Asbury University School of Media Communication original feature film Not Your Romeo & Juliet was chosen as a finalist for the 51st International Christian Visual Media (ICVM) Crown Awards for the Best Non-Theatrical category. The 51st Annual Crown Awards Ceremony will be on February 21, 2024, in Nashville. The full list of finalists from the ICVM Storyteller’s conference can be viewed here:

“We are honored to be a finalist with Not Your Romeo & Juliet for the ICVM Crown Award, especially being in such prestigious company, including Asbury alum Matt Webb ’21 who is nominated for his film, Wayfaring Stranger,” said Associate Professor of Screenwriting and writer of the film Sean Gaffney.

Distributed by Bridgestone Multimedia Group, Not Your Romeo & Juliet follows romance column author Micki, who thinks she has love all figured out — until a competing, anti-romance column rivals hers. It’s love and war as Micki is determined to take down “Not Your Romeo” even if it destroys them both. Directed by Matthew Kistenmacher, the film stars Ashley Butler and Ben Jeffers ’20, supported by Diandra Sallee Cahall, Jordan Bryant, Catherine Gaffney, and Tim X Davis. 

Gaffney says he found inspiration for the story in many places, including 1 Corinthians 13 and the personal experience of a family member.  

“The idea came to me while watching Asbury Theatre’s production of ‘The Voice of the Prairie,’” Gaffney said. “There was a character with a marvelous energy – and I wondered what it would look like to have a character like that on a modern campus. I combined that character idea with a true story from my brother and his wife. When they were dating, they got into a huge fight and stopped speaking to each other; their best friends had to pretend to like each other to ‘trick’ my brother and his girlfriend back together.” In real life, he says, their best friends also fell in love. 

Filmed in Wilmore in the summer of 2022, the project was staffed almost entirely by Asbury students, professors, and alumni. Asbury’s campus provided most of the film’s shooting locations, and both students and alumni are featured in the soundtrack. 

More information about Not Your Romeo & Juliet can be found at

ICVM is a community of Christians involved in bringing the message of Christ to the world through media. As an organization, they remain committed to bringing together like-minded individuals with the same passion and helping their members multiply their effectiveness through every possible opportunity. Learn more:

The Asbury University Media, Journalism, and Digital Storytelling department offers majors in Media Communication and Multimedia Journalism. Online majors include Digital Content Creation and Instructional Design & Media. Graduate programs include the M.A. in Digital Storytelling; the M.A. in Instructional Design, Innovation & Leadership; the MFA in Film & Television Production, and the MFA in Screenwriting. Learn more: