Inspired by major artistic events held at Cannes and Sundance, pro-lifers are organizing the first ever pro-life film festival, Ignatius Insight reports.
The Cinema Vita Film Festival will be held on March 7 in San Francisco. Sponsored by Ignatius Press, Marriage for Life, the San Francisco Archdiocesan Office for Public Policy and the Oakland Diocesan Respect Life Ministry, the festival will encourage emerging filmmakers and showcase movies about the meaning and value of life.
Eva Muntean, a member of the festival’s organizing council and an employee of Ignatius Press, described the goals of the festival: "All forms of media should be used to spread the Gospel and give glory to God," she remarks. "Cinema is no different and the production of family values, pro-life movies is desperately needed to reach the masses in our modern age."
Muntean hoped the festival would improve the quality of pro-life cinema, saying, "Why is it today that films that reflect a positive view of the family and of life are not normally well made or professional? That needs to change. Cinema Vita is a necessary step in bringing about that change."
Another festival organizer, Vicki Evans, who works for the Office of Public Policy for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, says that the Cinema Vita Film Festival is meant to encourage the exploration in film of questions perennial to the human condition.
"What is life? Why and how is it sacred? Where do we come from? These are questions found in every human heart. And filmmakers, through their art, are able to draw them out and explore their significance in ways that are challenging and engaging," she said.
The film festival will feature a premier presentation of the German film “After the Truth,” an internationally acclaimed portrayal of the fictional trial of Dr. Josef Mengele, who perpetrated war crimes at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.
Cinema Vita is accepting submissions for 3-to-5 minute original films in the three divisions of high school, college, and an open category. The films will be judged based on the overall impact of their message, the storyline or plot, technical quality, and appeal to a broad audience. There is a $250 prize for each category plus “in-kind” prizes to encourage filmmakers. The festival’s website is www.cinemavita.org.