ACI: How did the idea of filming “The Last Summit” come about?
Cotelo: Initially, it (the idea) came up against my will. At first, I resisted getting to know Fr. Pablo, but I met him at the insistence of a friend. I found him to be a joker, but also a profound, kind and caring man who immediately put himself in my service. Two weeks later, I found out that he had died. Then I began to find various coincidences between his life and mine. He was born in the same neighborhood as I was, but three days before me. We shared a love for the mountains. I think we were also united in the desire to present the love of God to ever kind of person or group in a friendly, attractive, simple, kind and optimistic manner. Because there is no other way of presenting the Gospel. And, bit by bit, as I found out more about him, I realized that the story of his life should be shared because it would be stimulating to anyone.
ACI: What is it about the life of Fr. Pablo Dominguez that attracts the attention of the public?
Cotelo: The marvelous efficiency that a coherent Christian can have. Above all, it emphasized his contagious joy and his contagious love for God and for mankind. Fr. Pablo is a tangible model, flesh and blood, who can be imitated. He is a model that shows you don’t have to do great things for your life to be fulfilling, and for the lives of those around you to be as well. The viewer sees all of this and is moved when they leave the theater, not just by what they have learned about Fr. Pablo’s life, but also by what they have discovered their life could be. The conversions of so many people who have seen this movie can only be explained in this way.
ACI: The movie was a box office success. To what do you attribute this?
Cotelo: There are a number of factors. In the first place, the personality of Fr. Pablo is itself very attractive. We all like to be acquainted with, and be around, good people, and Fr. Pablo is one such person. Because of this, the movie about his life attracts so many people, in the same way that his Masses were overflowing with people who wanted to hear him and to see him celebrate Mass. In the second place, the film’s success is a result of the people who leave the theater after seeing the movie and recommend it to others with enthusiasm. There is no better publicity than a living person you know who recommends something. The success doesn’t owe itself to “inert” publicity, nor to a strategic plan but rather to the live promotion that viewers have given it, in person or by means of the internet with their contacts, acquaintances, friends, and family. And thirdly, I would say that above all, it is because of the magnetism that God has to any person. If Fr. Pablo is attractive, it is because the love of his life also is. The protagonist of Fr. Pablo’s life, and also of the movie, is God. Among all the famous actors and actresses in the world, there isn’t a protagonist more attractive than God.
ACI: What is the importance of spreading an authentic priestly life, especially for the situation the Church is living in today?