Filipino film ‘Ignacio de Loyola’ wins top award at Vatican festival
The movie “Ignacio de Loyola” was awarded Best Film at the recent Mirabile Dictu International Catholic Film Festival in Vatican City, making it the first Filipino produced film to win the award.
“Ignacio de Loyola,” a movie on the life of the revered founder of the Society of Jesus, was directed by Paolo Dy. It bested “Saint Bridget of Sweden” by Fabio Carini (United States), and “Fatima the Ultimate Mystery” by Andres Garrigo (Spain).
In a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) News post, Liana Marabini, festival founder and organizer, said, the jury was so impressed with the film.
“The most important thing to say about Ignacio de Loyola is that it is the first time in the history of the festival that this happened. There were no discussions about it. The membersof the jury appreciated the script, the actors, the decorations ,the costumes, the music of the film – in one word, everything,” she said.
Producers Pauline Mangilog Saltarin and Ernestine Taman awere in Rome, Italy, to accept the Silver Fish trophy.
“It was truly a humbling experience to be called on stage to receive the award. Ignacio de Loyola was made with blood, sweat, and tears, literally! We share this important recognition with our director and screenwriter Paolo Dy and the whole cast, crew, and production staff who made this film with so much passion and grace and turned it into a genuine labor of love,” Saltarin said.
Executive Producer Fr. Emmanuel Alfonso, SJ, said, “We are greatly honored by this award. It comes as a real surprise-because the film was our first attempt at filmmaking. We ,therefore, share this with all those who struggled with us to be able to produce this film. We hope that more people will be inspired by the example of St. Ignatius!”
In 2016, “Ignacio de Loyola” first made history when it becamethe first Filipino film to premiere at the Vatican. Produced by Jesuit Communications Foundation Philippines and top-billed by Spanish actor Andreas Muñoz, it enjoyed a success ful-theatrical run in the Philippines last year and has been shown in many countries, including the United States, Spain, and Mexico, where it won the Audience Choice Award at the 12th Cine Con Valores Film Festival.
The ‘Mirabile Dictu,’ the CBCP said, is the Oscars of Catholic films. It receives more than a thousand film entries each year from all over the world.
It aims to encourage producers and filmmakers to create documentaries, docu-fiction, TV series, short films, and programs that promote universal moral values and positive models.
Now on its 8th year, it was conceived and created in 2010 under the High Patronage of the Pontifical Council for Culture (Pontificium Consiliumde Cultura) during Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the council, was present at the awarding ceremonies and gave the message on how the power of film can transform lives.