Festival Organizer Sees Films as Vehicles of Hope

Review of Spiritual Cinema Begins in Rome

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ROME, DEC. 3, 2002 (Zenit.org).- A festival specializing in films with spiritual themes opened in Rome, its nine-day agenda packed with 20 movies.



The Tertio Millennio film festival is the only cinematographic event of its kind sponsored by Vatican organizations. It will show films including Roberto Benigni's "Pinocchio" and Roman Polanski's "The Pianist."

Screenings at the Lucky Blu cinema run until Dec. 11. The festival opened today. Its key event will be the presentation of Lux Vide's production dedicated to the Book of Revelation.

Andrea Piersanti, president of the Entertainment Corporation, the Italian institution that organized the festival, explained that the initiative "seeks to bring a ray of light, a message of hope, to the most unfortunate areas of the world."

"Missionaries," he said, "are committed on the front line, both at the material level -- food, water, clothes, development -- as well as the spiritual, which is proper to them. Perhaps, on this second front, the cinema could give a hand."

"There is a great production of quality films and, therefore, of values in film productions throughout the world, which might be useful to restore some hope," Piersanti told Vatican Radio.

The purpose of the festival is to facilitate "a place of meeting in which lay people and Catholics can come together in peace to discuss the ethical responsibilities of the agents of social communication," Piersanti explained.

"To be able to call the attention of lay people to the magisterium of the Church on communication topics, seems to us a very important result," he added. "Now we are thinking about the future. We want to export the model of the Tertio Millennio festival to the missionary areas of the world."

"We want to create something, so that a different cinema will come into being -- a cinema that pays more attention to man and woman," Piersanti concluded.