John Paul II film festival seeks movies ‘that inspire’

Miami, Fla., Jul 18, 2013 / 04:37 pm (CNA).- Preparing for its fourth event in recent years, a Florida-based international film festival named for Pope John Paul II is looking for submissions that witness to society through compelling beauty and inspiring art.

“John Paul II’s emphasis on The New Evangelization recognized the power in the medium of cinema and this festival speaks to his legacy,” said Frank William Brennan, the festival’s director of film submissions.

He said organizers are looking for “films that inspire us, that is, films that reveal such splendid beauty that we are compelled to breathe in their message, allowing it to transform our thoughts, our feelings and give us something new to exhale into the world.”

The next John Paul II International Film Festival will run from April 3-12, 2014.The festival’s various submission deadlines run from August 15 through December 6 of this year.

The festival has run in 2009, 2011 and 2012. It has received hundreds of submissions from around the world, including England, France, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and Poland.

Peter Cardwell, a British filmmaker whose movie “The Fighter’s Ballad” previously won the festival’s Best Film prize, has said the festival and its organizers helped him secure digital distribution for his film.

“Their support didn’t just help the journey of the film,” Cardwell said at the 2012 festival. “Their support helped me personally.”

Festival executive director Laura Paulina Brennan said organizers expect a “major increase” in submissions with the late Pope’s upcoming canonization.

The festival is organized by the Miami-based nonprofit 7eventhDay Media, Inc. The organization said it aims to help “faith-inspired” filmmakers create high quality films that “serve as witness to their faith.”

The event takes its inspiration from Pope John Paul II’s 1999 “Letter to Artists.” The Pope, a former actor and playwright, praised the role of artists in society.

More information is available at the festival’s website, www.jp2filmfestival.org.

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