By: Jo Siedlecka
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.
An Italian American, raised a Catholic, Mantegna was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1947 to immigrant parents, Mary Anne (Novelli), from Acquaviva delle Fonti, and Joseph Anthony Mantegna, Sr, from Calascibetta, Sicily.
In a video appeal for funding, Mantegna described Padre Pio as "one of the most extraordinary men of the 20th century" and said his life was "truly the stuff of legend.".. "Painstaking efforts will be made to recreate the time period, including the costumes, hairstyles and furniture, right down to the sandals on Padre Pio's feet," he said.
Shot in English, filmed on location in Italy, and distributed worldwide, the film will highlight Padre Pio's impact on the Catholic Church and the building of his hospital, Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza in San Giovanni Rotondo, Puglia, Italy.
A percentage of the proceeds from the film will go to the Saint Pio Foundation and help further its work to establish charity medical facilities in the USA.
See an interview with Joe Mantegna about the Padre Pio project here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7eX4bSeiz4#action=share
Read more about the St Pio Foundation here: www.saintpiofoundation.org/