Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category
Jesuit Father Michael Sparough, a retreat director at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, in Barrington, Ill., and author of a number of books, is now leading an effort to bring Chicago Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s life story to the big screen.
Fr. Sparough is working with two Hollywood scriptwriters to turn Bernardin’s best seller, The Gift of Peace, into a mainstream feature film.
“It’s a classic hero’s journey, and I think it’s a story that needs to be told in our time — and my hope is it’s a healing story for those who have been wounded by the Church, and a story that will remind us of some of the best parts of our Catholic tradition,” said Sparough.
Sparough, who has a background in theater directing, said the project “has been incubating” for about eight years, and he’s getting help from a program called Act One that tries to enhance the Christian presence in Hollywood.
Sparough hopes to have the project in good enough shape this coming spring to start shopping it around.
“I’m encouraging people to pray for the project, there are lots of obstacles, but I really believe that if the Lord wants the story to be told . . . it’s going to happen.”
Read more about Sparough’s project at Chicago Catholic News.
This morning, Jesuit Father James Martin, cultural editor for America magazine and author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, appeared on the Fox & Friends show to discuss if the true meaning of Christmas is being lost due to consumerism and the focus on shopping in our society. Father Martin said during the program that “people feel really overwhelmed by the consumerism and they have a hard time carving out a spiritual space for Christmas”. During the interview, Martin discussed how using overtly Christian themes like “believe”, which are associated with Christmas and are now just being used to market goods, disassociates the religious aspects of the holiday.
You can watch the interview with Martin here.
A film about the Holocaust – produced by a Jesuit priest – finds itself on a possible path to the Academy Awards.
The 37-minute documentary is called “The Labyrinth,” and tells the story of Marian Kolodziej, a Polish Catholic resistance fighter during World War II who survived more than five years in Auschwitz. Three years ago, Kolodziej’s work was discovered by Jesuit Father Ron Schmidt, who came to Auschwitz to produce a documentary on an annual interfaith conference held there.
Friends in the film industry who saw an early cut of the project told Fr. Schmidt he had a possible Oscar nominee on his hands. But, to qualify for nomination, films need to be shown in New York and Los Angeles theatres for at least five days – a tall, expensive order for documentary shorts produced on little more than hope and a prayer.
But sometimes that is enough – each year, the International Documentary Association sponsors the DocuWeeks showcase, just to make sure that worthy documentary features and shorts get the exposure they need for a shot at Oscar. Competition is fierce – only five short films are selected from entries submitted worldwide.
“The Labyrinth” will be one of them. It premieres on Friday, August 13th in New York and Los Angeles, and buzz has already begun to build. An Oscar nomination remains a mysterious, distant goal – but this powerful short film has already achieved more than its makers hoped and prayed for.
You can learn more about Schmidt’s documentary at National Catholic Reporter and by watching the trailer for the film below.
As president of the newest Cristo Rey Jesuit high school in the country, Jesuit Father TJ Martinez is often asked to travel from his home base in Houston, Texas to places all over the globe for pastoral services and speaking engagements. So that Martinez can be in many places all at the same time, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Houston has launched a “Flat Fr. Martinez” project this summer so that the school president can also experience all the fun summertime activities his students have planned during their break.
A takeoff on the “Flat Stanley Project” where children document the places and activities the beloved paper doll encounters, “Flat Fr. Martinez” travels with his friends of Cristo Rey Jesuit this summer, and the school has been tracking his adventures on their website. Students have reported he’s been an ideal travel companion, but a little quiet.
To see some of the places “Flat Fr. Martinez” has visited this summer, view the photo sideshow below:
The role of a film and media production executive can often be an uphill battle. Yet for Jesuit Father Eddie Siebert, the founder and president of Loyola Productions, being a priest with a production company can provide some advantages.
“Because I’m a Jesuit, if there’s a good Catholic executive over at Sony, they’ll take a meeting. Sometimes they take you seriously and sometimes it’s, ‘Well that’s great, Father, keep up the good work.’ I’ve had to straddle this really awkward fence of being a spiritually empowered Jesuit with a mainstream entertainment production company that’s trying to do cutting-edge material. And that’s really tricky.”
To read the full New York Times Article on Loyola Productions, please go here.