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Tuesday, June 30, 2015
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Colchester: Filming starts on documentary about Blessed John Beche
Colchester: Filming starts on documentary about Blessed John Beche

Filming has started on a new documentary on the life and martyrdom of one of the few abbots who stood up to Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Blessed John Beche was hanged, drawn and quartered for high treason after he refused to surrender the keys of the Benedictine Abbey of St John the Baptist in Colchester, Essex, to the King's commissioners. Buckfast Abbey Media Studios, in association with St Gabriel News and Media, is now making a documentary about the abbot. The first day of filming coincided with commemorations of the 900th anniversary of the opening

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Film: We Are Many
Film: We Are Many

From the opening moments, Amir Amirani's We Are Many is a powerful documentary, revisiting the demonstrations against the war on Iraq that took place in 789 cities - one after another around the globe - across 72 countries, plus Antarctica, on 15 February 2003. Besides the rousing crowd scenes, there is vintage footage of Blair and Bush together and apart, repeating the story of those weapons of mass destruction. Then there's testimony and reminiscing from Jeremy Corbyn, Noam Chomsky, Tony Benn, Jesse Jackson, Clare Short, Ken Loach and Tariq Ali, Sir Richard Branson, Susan Sarandon,

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Call for student filmmakers
Call for student filmmakers

Student filmmakers are being invited to submit entries for the Insight Student Filmmaker Award 2015, as part of the Insight Film Festival. The theme, 'The Truth is Out There. Have Faith' is intended to give young filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their productions with a faith theme and potentially to secure an internship in Hollywood. The Insight Film Festival was launched in 2007. Last year, it teamed up with the Jesuits in Britain who were able to offer an internship with Loyola Productions in Hollywood to provide the Student Filmmaker Award. This is an unique opportunity for students engaged in filmmaking to explore, critique and reflect on what faith means in the modern world.

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London:  Open Bethlehem special screening at the ICA
London: Open Bethlehem special screening at the ICA

Open Bethlehem is screening at the ICA London on Thursday, 5 March followed by discussion and Q&A hosted by author Louisa Young. The film follows Palestinian director Leila Sansour's journey to the legendary city of Bethlehem, the place where she grew up. Armed with a camera and a family car that keeps breaking down, she sets out to make an intimate portrait of a historic town in peril. Ten years on, with 700 hours of footage, the result is an extraordinary chronicle of a decade of drastic upheaval that changes her own life and the lives of everyone in the town.

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York:  How movies help us walk the Way of the Cross
York: How movies help us walk the Way of the Cross

York Minster's Lent Course series for 2015 will discuss how movies such as Love Actually (2003), The Railway Man (2013), The King's Speech (2010) and Calvary (2014), can help us to reflect on the reality of loss and suffering and, perhaps help us to relate to Jesus' ultimate sacrifice: his suffering and death on the cross. Running for four Thursdays from 26 February in the Minster's North Transept, the Lent Course, 'Love Actually: How movies help us walk the Way of the Cross', will be presented by the film critic Stephen Brown, 

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Ten Ten Theatre launches film on modern slavery
Ten Ten Theatre launches film on modern slavery

The first Day of International Prayer and Reflection against Human Trafficking, announced by Pope Francis, was marked yesterday in London with the sell-out premiere screening of Ten Ten Theatre's new documentary film 'Bakhita's Prayer', in Covent Garden. The film explores the issue of modern slavery and the impact of the life of St Josephine Bakhita (whose feast was yesterday) through the eyes of Sixth Form students. This 26-minute film, which has been produced with the Westminster Vocations Office,

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'Fifty Shades of Grey' linked to eating disorders, domestic violence
'Fifty Shades of Grey' linked to eating disorders, domestic violence

A movie based on the pornographic trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey is due for release in the UK next week. But a US study published last summer shows that young women who have read the first book are more likely than non-readers to exhibit signs of eating disorders and have a verbally abusive partner.  And domestic violence campaigners are calling for a boycott of the film.  The Michigan State University study indicates that women who read all three books in the series are at increased risk 

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Film: Open Bethlehem now on general release
Film: Open Bethlehem now on general release

Leila Sansour's film Open Bethlehem has been shown to full houses and received very positive reviews since it went on general release just before Christmas. Professor Avi Shla said: "As an Israeli Jew and a historian of the Arab-Israeli conflict, I am not a newcomer to the dilemmas of co-existence. But I was moved to tears by this beautiful film and I learnt a great deal from it about the temper and tenor of Palestinian families who are striving to protect something very precious not just for Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land but for humanity as

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 American Sniper 'lionizes the most despicable aspects of US society'
American Sniper 'lionizes the most despicable aspects of US society'

American journalist Chris Hedges writes in Common Dreams: “American Sniper” lionizes the most despicable aspects of US society—the gun culture, the blind adoration of the military, the belief that we have an innate right as a “Christian” nation to exterminate the “lesser breeds” of the earth, a grotesque hypermasculinity that banishes compassion and pity, a denial of inconvenient facts and historical truth, and a belittling of critical thinking and artistic expression. Many Americans, especially white Americans 

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Fr Stephen Wang reviews Birdman
Fr Stephen Wang reviews Birdman

Every now and then a film comes along that changes your understanding of what a film can be - Fr Stephen Wang writes in his blog the Jericho Tree. This was my experience in the Odeon Covent Garden last night. I spent most of the two hours of Birdman giggling with sheer delight at the technical and artistic audacity of the long-shots. Most of the film is presented as one unbroken shot, in some of the most complicated situations imaginable. Of course there are hidden cuts;

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American star Franc d'Ambrosio lends support to Padre Pio foundation
American star Franc d'Ambrosio lends support to Padre Pio foundation

The American singer and actor Franc d'Ambrosio is the latest Hollywood artist to become a Goodwill Ambassador for the Saint Pio Foundation. Funds raised by the Foundation are used to establish Catholic medical facilities, medical schools and shrines in America, and to support the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, founded by Saint Pio in 1956, and currently owned by the Holy See.

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  Behind the scenes: Remembering Mandela
Behind the scenes: Remembering Mandela

Catholic aid agency CAFOD hosted a special screening of the BAFTA-nominated film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, for over 100 of its young supporters, at The May Fair Hotel last week. The screening was followed by an exclusive Q&A session with the film’s award-winning director, Justin Chadwick. During the evening, Justin spoke about spending time with Mandela and his friends and family, the responsibility of making the film and his desire to place the relationship between Mandela and his wife Winnie firmly at the centre of the story.

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Documentary about Tyburn Nuns at international film festival
Documentary about Tyburn Nuns at international film festival

A film about life within the cloisters of a London-based order of contemplative Benedictine nuns has been entered into an international online film festival. Culture Unplugged invited the Tyburn Nuns to enter Tyburn Convent Gloria Deo into its Festival 2015: Humanity Explored and has agreed to screen the 90-minute film shot and produced by Michael Luke Davies.Monali Shrivastava of the Culture Unplugged Festival Team wrote to the nuns at Tyburn Convent, near Marble Arch,

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Hollywood star announces plan to make film on St Padre Pio
Hollywood star announces plan to make film on St Padre Pio

Hollywood star Joe Mantegna has announced plans to make a film on the life of St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. The actor, best known for his roles in ‘The Three Amigos’ and ‘The Godfather Part III’ is working in collaboration with the St Pio Foundation. Mantegna and his production partner Danny Ramm will make the film through their company Acquaviva Productions and it will be filmed on locations in Italy, in Pietrelcina and San Giovanni Rotondo in the Puglia region. Schedule permitting, Joe Mantegna will star in the title role.

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Film: Open Bethlehem goes on general release
Film: Open Bethlehem goes on general release

Open Bethlehem, a new film from Palestinian director Leila Sansour, goes on general release in the UK on 5 December. The film was shown earlier this year at a special screening at the Royal Geographical Society, hosted by broadcaster Melvyn Bragg. During the evening Bragg commented: “On my visit in 2012, I was moved by the contrasts Bethlehem presents. This film explores the personal and broader story of a holy city and the struggle to ensure its survival,

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Film: Ida
Film: Ida

Films about nuns tend to be laden with ideological and cinematic clichés. The sisters are either impossibly beautiful, haunted souls hovering on the edge of ecstasy; idiotic but jolly cheerleader types, liable to break out into spirit-lifting song at the twang of a guitar string; or monstrous harpies persecuting innocent children with sadistic zealotry, Gemma Simmonds CJ writes in Thinking Faith, Either way, lunatic religion and the repression of overwhelming sexual impulses are never far from the surface. The inner life that has these sisters 

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Film: Open Bethlehem
Film: Open Bethlehem

There was a standing ovation last Wednesday, at the end of a preview screening of Leila Sansour's new documentary film: Open Bethlehem, at the Royal Geographical Society. Broadcaster Melvyn Bragg introduced the film and led a Q&A afterwards. While many Christians will have been to the 'Holy Land', and spent days visiting places with such evocative names - the Sea of Galilee, Cana, Nazareth and Jerusalem - very often Bethlehem, the town where Jesus was born, is left out altogether - or tacked on to pilgrimage itineraries as a one-hour stop 

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Richard Attenborough: A Life in Pictures
Richard Attenborough: A Life in Pictures

Dermot Preston SJ’s introduction to Richard Attenborough, whose cinematic career he then followed with interest and admiration, was unforgettable.  The Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain pays tribute to the late Lord Attenborough’s creativity and ‘idealistic pragmatism’ in this brief overview of his work in front of and behind the camera. ‘True artists have a vocation to create and communicate, and Attenborough was no different.’

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Film: Open Bethlehem - preview & interview with director by Melvyn Bragg
Film: Open Bethlehem - preview & interview with director by Melvyn Bragg

There will be a preview screening of Open Bethlehem - followed by an interview with Palestinian director Leila Sansour by broadcaster Melvyn Bragg, a Q&A and reception - on Wednesday 24 September 2014 at 7pm at the Royal Geographical Society, London. This feature-length documentary captures Bethlehem as it has never been seen before. Set against the backdrop of an increasingly desperate situation in Israel-Palestine, the film shows the ‘little town’ through the eyes of one of its oldest Christian families.

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First Hollywood feature film financed by Catholic Church marks 25th anniversary
First Hollywood feature film financed by Catholic Church marks 25th anniversary

The first Hollywood feature film ever to be financed by the Roman Catholic Church was released twenty-five years ago on August 25, 1989. 'Romero' starred the Puerto Rican Raul Julia ('Kiss of the Spiderwoman' and the 'The Addams Family' franchise) as Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar A Romero, and was directed by the Australian John Duigan. The writer was John Sacret Heart (TV’s 'The West Wing'), and the producer was Paulist Pictures’ Fr Ellwood E Kiesel. “Its religious origins notwithstanding,” the New York Times wrote,

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Scorsese to make film about Jesuits in Japan
Scorsese to make film about Jesuits in Japan

Catholic director Martin Scorsese is due to begin making a film next month on the epic story of the Jesuit missionaries who went to Japan in the 17th century. In a story based on Based on Japanese author Shusako Endo's classic novel Silence, Liam Neeson will play the role of Jesuit Father Sebastião Rodrigues. Andrew Garfield will play the younger Father Rodriguez, who travels to Japan in search of his spiritual mentor, following reports that he has apostasized. In 1549, when St Francis Xavier and two companions first set foot in Japan,

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Secret Sharer - Q&A with director Peter Fudakowski
Secret Sharer - Q&A with director Peter Fudakowski

Secret Sharer, a film inspired by a Joseph Conrad short story, premiers in London next week. The Academy Award winning director, Peter Fudakowski, took part in a wide-ranging Q&A with Professor Robert Hampson, Conrad scholar and critic from the Joseph Conrad Society and others, at the Polish Cultural Institute in West London on 9 May after a preview screening of the film... In 1994, Fudakowski spent a year in Krakow with his family and said he decided to make it 'a Conrad year' studying the author's life and work.

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Charity Film Premiere: Secret Sharer
Charity Film Premiere: Secret Sharer

The charity premiere of Secret Sharer, a film by the Academy Award winning Catholic director, Peter Fudakowski, takes place at the Curzon Cinema Mayfair next Monday, 23 June 2014 at 5.45pm. Inspired by the Joseph Conrad short story, the Secret Sharer is a contemporary fable told with epic beauty and humour. The evening will include a Q&A session with both the director Peter Fudakowski and the lead actor Jack Laskey. Peter won a Academy Award for his film Tsotsi in 2004. Funds from this premier will go to the Coram children's charity

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Actor Stephen Baldwin presents prize to film on Egypt's suffering church
Actor Stephen Baldwin presents prize to film on Egypt's suffering church

A film shot on a tourist camera ­ has won a top award at the UK Christian Film Festival Amazing Grace, which documents a wave of attacks against Christians by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, was produced by Release International, which serves persecuted Christians worldwide. It won Best Informational Video at the Christian Film Festival. The award was presented by Hollywood star Stephen Baldwin at the Christian Resources Exhibition at Sandown Park, Esher. '"A very powerful story, powerfully told", was the verdict of Festival director Ray Horowitz.

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Film: Calvary
Film: Calvary
Opening with a shocking scene in the confessional plus a memorable quote from St Augustine, “Do not despair, one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume, one of the thieves was damned,” Calvary (written and directed by John Michael McDonagh) is a powerful tale of redemption and forgiveness. Through the Christ-like character of the parish priest in a small rural Irish community (a stunning performance from Brendan Gleeson) we experience his Via Dolorosa as he journeys towards certain death,
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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 307
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