Cardinal Urges Faithful to See "Bella"

Film's Lead Actor Considered Catholic Role Model

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HOLLYWOOD, California, OCT. 26, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The film "Bella" is destined to have an extraordinary impact on people's lives, said the chairman of the U.S bishops' conference committee on pro-life activities.



Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia, said the film, released today in the United States, "has a message that is so connected to life: to the problems of life, the challenges of life, the value of life." The cardinal wrote to his fellow bishops encouraging them to host advanced screenings of "Bella" with the hope of spreading the film's message.

The film won the 2006 People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival.

"Bella" is a story about a young pregnant woman who loses her job, and a man who is unable to recover from a tragic accident in his past. Their friendship changes their lives and brings new hope to both.

The film features actors Eduardo Verástegui, Tammy Blanchard, Manual Pérez and Ali Landry.

Verástegui, a teen heartthrob during his years as a professional musician and actor, is now known as a Catholic role model. After a spiritual conversion that brought him back to Catholicism, he is now an outspoken defender of the right to life, chastity and his faith.

In a Spanish-language interview with the Eternal Word Television Network in July, Verástegui noted that he has clear "the purpose of my life, of our lives -- I was not called or born to be an actor, nor created to be famous, nor rich, nor an engineer, a doctor, a success. I was called to be a saint."

Alejandro Monteverde directed and co-wrote "Bella," produced by Metanoia Films. Steve McEveety, producer of "Braveheart" and "The Passion of the Christ," was the executive producer.

To locate a theater showing "Bella," see www.bellathemovie.com.