The popular streaming series that asks viewers to imagine how they would survive with their faith and freedoms intact in the wake of an unprecedented natural disaster swept the top honors for web series at last month's Christian Film Festival.
Daily Bread won Best Web Series honors and 25 additional awards at the festival, held in Newport News, Virginia. The series depicts how people from all walks of life, with all levels of faith in God and government, must search for something to hold onto when they lose their grip on everything they've known.
The series, produced by Renaissance Women Productions, released half of its first season last fall on popular streaming services like Roku and Amazon, as well as the series website. The remaining episodes of season one will be released next month.
"We're honored Daily Bread has been recognized for its entertainment value and quality," creator and executive producer Nina May said. "Our goal with the show all along has been to present viewers with a different, more hopeful take on the post-apocalyptic genre—and this is further confirmation that we're produced entertainment that's exciting and uplifting and makes audiences think a little, too."
Other awards won at the Christian Film Festival include Best Writer, Producer and Director accolades for May as well as best cinematography and song honors and several Best Actor and Actress wins—in lead, supporting and teen roles.
"Up and down our cast-and-crew credits, it has been an affirmation of the work we have done on the series and at Renaissance Women Productions," May said.
Daily Bread chronicles what happens when a solar flare knocks out electricity globally and life changes in an instant for friends, families and total strangers who find themselves bound together in rebuilding their lives without the modern conveniences and luxuries society has long taken for granted. Their safety, and in some cases their sanity, are threatened as they take their tentative first steps into this new world.
The show is populated with characters just about everyone can identify with. At the center of the action are the cast and crew of a popular cooking show hosted by Tiffany McMillan (Francesca Finnerty), author of the best-seller Shop Poor, Eat Rich. Her two sisters, Sophie (Sheila Avelino) and Nora (Gabriella Kostadinova), work with her, along with a talented and tenacious group of other Millennial women.
Also taken by surprise by the solar flare are guests at a hotel led by Skylar (Katherine Caruso). She is a quirky young woman, challenged by OCD, who must rise to the occasion to help rebuild a city from the shelter she and her "posse" thought was temporary.
Daily Bread also traces the journey of Holly (Sandra Belforte), a self-absorbed real estate agent who has to turn to her estranged sister, who lives at a camp of rural "preppers." They are the only group of characters who anticipated such a catastrophic event and are in a better position than the others to weather it. Still, they have their own unique trials to overcome as their abstract ideas about post-apocalyptic existence conflict with the reality they are forced to face.
Also featured are middle-school students and rural homeschool families whose efforts to accept the new normal are evocatively depicted. Briana (Brianna Tyson), a 13-year-old prepper girl, survives two weeks alone in the woods before she is found.
As the realities of days and weeks of their new lives unfurl, all these characters will intersect in ways tied to Tiffany's cookbook. They also learn to draw greater strength from another book, the Bible, and the truths of a God whose love and promises don't change when the lights go out.
"Happiness, joy and hope aren't circumstantial when God is your focus," May says. "We can walk through the valley of the shadow of death—or a solar flare that knocks us back to Revolutionary times—and still emerge with our humanity intact. In fact, the nine-foot statue of the Pioneer Woman holding a gun and the Bible serves to remind us of that truth."
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