.- Just in time for the Christmas season, the Italian film distributor has announced that the Vatican will host the world premier of a new movie based in the Nativity story of Jesus.
The $35 million film, which features ‘Whale Rider’ star Keisha Castle-Hughes as Mary, will be shown November 26th in the Vatican’s John VI Hall--sometimes home to the Pope’s general Wednesday audiences.
New Line Cinema is producing the film, which was partially filmed in Matera, Italy, the same locale used by ‘The Passion of the Christ.’ It is being hailed by many as a “Biblically faithful” account of the tale of Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus.
"We are very proud of 'The Nativity Story' and extremely grateful that the Vatican has embraced the film in this way," said New Line executive Rolf Mittweg according to UPI news. "We believe it is the perfect venue to present the film's universal message of hope and faith, a message we are sure will resonate around the world."
Stefano Dammicco, chief executive officer of Eagle Pictures agrees. He told the BBC that "Nativity is an extraordinary event, a real message of hope, peace and love that unites all believers."
A crowd of 7,000, including religious leaders from around the world are slated to be on hand for the Vatican premier.