Vatican hosts ‘Ignacio’ film viewing

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VATICAN City, Rome, June 15, 2016 – Vatican officials got to watch on June 14 an advanced screening of Jesuit Communications’ (JesCom)’s new feature film “Ignacio de Loyola”, a historical drama based on the memoirs of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.

Some members of the "Ignacio de Loyola" cast and crew at St. Peter's Square for an advance screening with invited guests from the Vatican (Photo taken from Paolo Dy's Facebook)

Shot primarily in Navarra and the Basque Country of Spain in 2015, with some additional special-effects scenes shot in the Philippines, the Php50-million English-language film will be released in Philippine theaters on July 27, with international screenings to follow shortly after.

“Everyone asks the very basic question what is the meaning of life and that question is always relevant no matter what period of history… It brought him (St. Ignatius) to the answer which is love… If you find your true love then you will find meaning in your life,” said JesCom head Fr. Emmanuel Alfonso, S.J. in a recent conference about the movie.

According to the priest, the movie is about ultimately “finding the answer in God.”

Though Pope Francis could not make it to the screening, Jesuits like Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, current director of the Holy See Press Office and Fr. Antonio Spadaro, SJ were present.

According to a press release on the movie, “Ignatius de Loyola” is “a dramatic retelling of the soldier-saint’s conversion, starting with his former life as a man of vice and violence, continuing through his near-fatal injury at the Battle of Pamplona, his attempts to turn his life towards the light, his intense struggle with guilt and depression, his trial before the Inquisition and his ultimate vindication.”

Writer-director Paolo Dy and his most Filipino production team worked together with a mostly Spanish cast to create arguably the most ambitious movie on St. Ignatius to date.

In the lead role is Shakespearean-trained Andreas Muñoz of Spain. A graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Muñoz made his feature film debut at the age of 9, in Guillermo del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone.

According to the JesCom press release, the musical score by renowned Filipino composer Ryan Cayabyab, who was honored with a Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice award by Pope Francis in 2013, has yet to be completed.

The cast also includes Javier Godino (Everybody Has A Plan and El Secreto de Sus Ojos, Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film), Isabel Garcia Lorca (Desperately Seeking Susan, Yo, Tambien), Pepe Ocio (Camino), and Spanish-American actor Julio Perillan (Vicky Cristina Barcelona). (CBCPNews)

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