Every once in a while decent messages and good film making collide and when they do it is wonderful. You may remember a little while back (thanks to Mrs. T) I was able to let you know about a screening of a movie called “Bella” here in Cleveland. The winner of the Toronto Film Festival (one of the largest in the world) and a number of other honors, “Bella” tells the story of the struggle of choosing life and true love and it did it with aplomb. Here is truly the case of artisans using their skill to raise the standard of man, not pander to his lowest self.
"Bella is the story of Jose and Nina, a rising Mexican soccer star with a secret and an unemployed New York waitress. Bella is a true love story that shows how one day in New York changed three people's lives for ever."
Steve McEveety, producer of Passion of Christ said of Bella, “I have not seen a film with this much momentum since The Passion of Christ. The Passion showed us how Christ died for us, Bella shows us how to live for others.”
It will open in theaters on October 26th. Perhaps (Habemus Papem, are you ready for another project?) those of you who read Adam’s Ale locally would like to get together again for eats, a movie, and discussion as we did for “Into Great Silence”. I know I would like to see it again, first because it was a good movie, and secondly because last night they showed the version that ran at the festival, not the slightly different version that will show nationally.
You can see the trailer, posters, and other cool stuff here.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL
I am not usually one to stay after a movie and listen to the post show discussion but fortunately those with whom I attended the movie were more in to such things. As it turns out, the discussion was led by Spanish heartthrob actor Eduardo Verstegui who told something of his life story, which was as interesting as the movie.
He started out in a boy band and, wanting to be an actor took on roles in soap operas. He came to Miami not speaking any English and was talked into auditioning for a part in a movie. He memorized five pages of monologue, which became the only English he really knew at the time and won the part. From there his career took off and he became a successful actor and singer. But he was not happy. He was not finding fulfillment in life. Something was missing.
He testifies to the power of the prayers of a mother. His mother was praying for him saying that her son was lost and no longer listening to his family. She worried that something bad would happen to him and prayed for God to touch his heart.
As it turns out, his English coach began to have conversations with him about God and how he was using his talents. The English teacher became the answer to his mother’s prayers as he experienced a true conversion of heart to the Father. This prompted him and a couple of his friends to start their own movie company, Metanoia Films, whose goal is to make a difference, to inspire others to better use their talents, to love more, and to want to be a better people. “Bella” is the first film in this attempt.
He knew it was risky. He might never work again. But he said with his Spanish accent, “It broke my heart that I offended God,” and his goal now is never again to offend his family, his friends, or his God. “If I am faithful to God and we are successful, thanks be to God. If I am faithful to God and we fail, thanks be to God. . . I was not born to be an actor, I was born to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ.” Wow. A story to inspire all of us in our lives to use our talents in like manner. There is so much more to this interesting story, but there is not room here for it.
He and his small company truly believe that they can make a difference. “Politics changes laws. Art changes hearts and minds,” and the media has a responsibly therefore to lead, not to pander. In Hollywood he reports many directors, writers, and actors want to produce these types of film but do not have the venue in which to do it. This is a hopeful start. You can help.
Being a small start up company they do not have the backing of a major studio and need support from the bottom up. Go see the film. Tell others about it. Contact your local theater chain and ask them to run this film. Organize a group to go. For more information go to http://www.bellathemovie.com/ or http://www.bellanews.com/. To contact the company via Email go to www.BellaEmails.com.