It's a story that, for the most part, hadn't yet been told.
"You always want to be able to show something that's never been shown on screen before, that's always a film-maker's aspiration," Berden said. "We show for the first time on screen the dormition and assumption of Mary, a moment that's literally never been seen on film before."
Sacred Arthouse – a new genre of film
As the film "Full of Grace" developed, so did the idea for film as an icon, as sacred art, a genre Berden has started calling "Sacred Arthouse."
In many ways "Full of Grace" strays from the typical structures and elements in modern-day movies – the slower pace, focus on dialogue and beautiful imagery seeks to draw the audience into the film as a kind of prayer, rather than keeping them on the edge of their seat with a loud soundtrack and explosive action.
"Sometimes a story asks you to tell it in a different way," Berden said.
"We've been showing this film around with that perspective, inviting people to watch it in that way, as a prayer, as something that can help their lives, and it's changed the experience. The film becomes like an icon; it changes you."
They've even changed the way they're showing the film, which felt all wrong in the big, boxy movie-plexes found in shopping malls. Now they are more carefully choosing settings that can prepare people to receive the film in the right way – in more intimate settings such as churches, or in beautiful art house theaters.
Berden, standing in as an extra, with writer/director Andrew Hyatt.
"We want to give people an experience," he said. "Some of the greatest sacred art is housed inside churches, it puts you in a position to receive it."
Sacred art is always trying to speak to men in the world, Berden said. In the Middle Ages, sacred art meant using stained-glass windows and mosaics to tell the story of Christ to the illiterate masses in church.
(Story continues below)
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Today, there's a different kind of illiteracy, a different need to which sacred art must respond.
"The man in the Middle Ages had no problem understanding that he was a dependent creature," Berden said. "He couldn't read, he had no access to healthcare, he lived a poor life in many other ways."
"Today we have a lot of advantages, today, people read, but there's another kind of illiteracy going on," he added. "It's an illiteracy of the heart, it's a crisis of the person. We don't know who we are, so who are we in relationship to this God is very confused."
"So we want to draw on the best of sacred art from the Church, the tradition, but be able to tell it in a modern and contemporary way through the technology that we're given and through modern man's experience."
That's why it's so essential for modern sacred art to speak with an authenticity, something Berden and his crew worked hard to achieve.
"If the filmmaker makes something for him or herself, not as a selfish enterprise but as something that really speaks to their life, that's the only chance you're going to have for it to resonate into somebody else's life," he said.