Fundraiser: Chosen: Custody of the Eyes

Chosen: Custody of the EyesA young nun’s journey into a cloistered religious order in Rockford, Ill., has been captured on film to become a feature-length documentary.

Through her study of the religious order, the 36-year-old Reese, an independent scholar and interdisciplinary artist, developed a close, yet respectful, relationship with Heather, a young woman who began in 2005 to think about joining the Poor Clare Colettine order. This is a strict community of nuns that follows an 800-year-old religious rule.

For example, the nuns wear traditional habits, often go barefoot, stay behind structures with barred windows and can be seen praying while kneeling on hard surfaces.

Abbie Reese is using crowd-funding to help raise money for post-production work on the film…She’s chosen the website since she believes it is a good source for such artistic projects. Her goal is to get all the funding in place and then begin post-production work on the film. Her goal is $25,000, and she has raised close to $3,000 so far.

Read whole article at The Quad-City Times

The crowdsourcing campaign at Indiegogo

The film’s official site

Small films with religious messages

Hannah McGill at The Scotsman wrote about religious films on the account of “God Help the Girl“:

God Help the Girl PosterIs this a Christian film? And what if it is? “The Bible’s my tool,” trills our ravishing protagonist, named Eve, in the course of the film’s first song. Later on, she and a friend talk positively about going to church. But this element of the story is kept rather coyly in the background; and viewers of the film to date, even in an America somewhat obsessed with religious identities and divides (it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, in staunchly Mormon Utah), haven’t paid it much mind.

Against the overwhelmingly secular, cynical, lefty-liberal backdrop of American indie’s favourite festival, the effect [of showing a devout movie] was near-exotic (though it didn’t make the film any better). Sundance hasn’t exactly had a conversion since, but subsequent American faith films have built a certain box office profile for their kind. 2010’s Letters to God was rewarded for having “prayer warriors” on-set by entering the US Top Ten.

More recently, the unsubtly-titled lies of God’s Not Dead And Heaven Is For Real (which strayed from the usual path of the faith film by featuring a name actor, Greg Kinnear) have won studio backing and done respectable business.

Read full article

Center presents film series on justice, religion, and peace

ParzaniaA Palestinian father’s moving gesture of peace, an intimate story of the 2002 Gujarat riots in India, an account of the election of a military dictator in Chile, and a look at the Egyptian revolution through the eyes of six protesters.

These are the stories that will be presented in the peace studies film series hosted by the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict [at Arizona State University] this September.

The films highlight issues of justice, people’s struggle, religion, and peace, and each screening of these four acclaimed films will be followed by a discussion led by a distinguished faculty member with expertise in the subject matter of the film.

Heart of Jenin – Wednesday, September 3rd
Parzania – Thursday, September 4th
No – Wednesday, September 10th
The Square – Thursday, September 11th

Detailed information

May in the Summer – movie review

May in the SummerMay in the Summer has a whole lot going for it, but in an embarrassment of thematic riches, it seems to lose sight of the core story it set out to tell in the first place: May’s story. Encapsulated in the question of, “Should I get married to the man to whom I am engaged?” are questions of faith, and of religion, and of family, and of identity, but too often they’re explored on a superficial level. There’s a desire here to push beyond that into meaningful comments on a host of important issues, but along with diversions in the narrative vision, technical shortcomings in the filmmaking would still hold it back from much of the poignancy that May in the Summer perhaps ought to possess.

Read full review at

The film at IM

New Film Explores Kabbalah, the Need for Religious Identity

Kabbalah Me PosterA case of truth in advertising if nothing else, Steven E. Bram’s Kabbalah Me is much less interested in explaining the beliefs and secrets of this mysterious Jewish practice than it is in its relevance to the eponymous “me”: Bram himself. The picture’s first-person focus makes it surprisingly uninformative and occasionally annoying; while commercial prospects are brightened by celebrity-fueled interest in the topic, word of mouth will be lukewarm and the market remains open for a more competent doc.

Bram, a secular Jew with little interest in religion, becomes curious about Kabbalah during a midlife crisis he says was triggered by 9/11. As a New Yorker with a large extended family, he has ready access to relatives with plenty of information to share. Soon he’s dragging his skeptical wife and kids to celebrations at the home of some orthodox cousins, trying on the idea of becoming religious without really embracing it…

Read full review at The Hollywood Reporter

Official home page


Centre bans movie on Indira Gandhi assassination

Kaum De HeereFollowing serious concerns raised by the Union home ministry about Punjabi film Kaum De Heere, based on former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination, the Centre on Thursday banned the movie’s release.

…The film’s producer, Pardeep Bansal, said the film is based on true incidents, according to the findings of the Justice Thakkar Commission that had probed the assassination.

“It is a completely balanced film wherein no religion or sect has been belittled. Some people are unnecessarily trying to create a controversy without watching the movie,” he said.

Read full article at India Today

The film’s Facebook page

Andrew Keegan starts his own religion called Full Circle

Full Circle logoHE starred alongside Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You but now 90s heart-throb Andrew Keegan has started his own religion.

The 35-year-old former teen heart-throb has launched a Venice Beach, California-based spiritual movement called Full Circle.

The movement claims, per a statement on their official website, to be the “home of a conscious social movement, we provide an experimental environment designed to creatively expand consciousness through visual and performing arts, movement classes, workshops, forums and healing therapies.”

Read full article at

Full Circle website

2014-15 Religion And Politics Film Series: “Divided We Fall” Screening

Divided We Fall: Americans in the AftermathDiscussion With Filmmakers Valarie Kaur And Sharat Raju at Washington University in St. Louis

Date – 09/09/2014 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath (2008) by Valarie Kaur and Sharat Raju will be the first film presented in the Religion and Politics Film Series. Valarie Kaur was a 20-year-old college student when she set out across America in the aftermath of 9/11, camera in hand, to document hate violence against the Sikh community. From the still-shocked streets of Ground Zero to the desert towns of the American west, her epic journey confronts the forces unleashed in a time of national crisis – racism and religion, fear and forgiveness. This critically acclaimed film was the first feature documentary on post-9/11 racism in America that toured 200 U.S. cities and received a dozen international awards. (Run time 110 minutes)

Detailed information about the event 

The film on DVD

Why Every Christian Should Watch ‘Calvary’ … and Avoid ‘God’s Not Dead’

CalvaryHeaven is For Real and God’s Not Dead are not Christian movies.

They are not even religious movies. They are schmaltzy, vacuous, “inspirational” movies.

[...Calvary] is a dark, dark comedy. I found myself laughing and cringing, angered and saddened, hopeful and despairing. But never, ever lost. Calvary is an incredibly profound and hopeful portrait of a priest and the crisis facing the modern church.

It’s a film that is mean to be discussed and wrestled with.

And that, to my mind, makes it truly a religious movie, or at least, a
movie for the religious. You won’t find the vacuous escapism into the white-washed world of God Is Not Dead. You won’t find the naivety of afterlife experiences of a little boy of Heaven is For Real. You won’t find simple reassurance that everything is going to be okay.

Read David R. Henson’s full article at Patheos

Life of Crime Giveaway (1More Film Blog)

Life of Crime1More Film Blog runs  a giveaway to offer a $15 gift card form Fandango. To be eligible, check out the Life of Crime trailer on their site, then leave a comment in the comments section with your favorite part.

Life of Crime: Two common criminals get more than they bargained for after kidnapping the wife of a corrupt real-estate developer who shows no interest in paying the $1 million dollar ransom for her safe return.

Go to the giveaway