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HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A trio of creative Catholic laymen is powering on to bring one of Christianity's greatest mysteries — Eucharistic Miracles — to the big screen by mid-2021.
The film's director, Angelo Libutti, is appealing to the faithful to help in producing what promises to be a first-class, Hollywood-style documentary about eucharistic miracles. It is scheduled for release on June 3, 2021 — Corpus Christi Sunday.
Libutti is collaborating on the project with Ray Grijalba, CEO of The Joy of the Faith, and Austin Kelly, CEO of Christian Channel. Having passed the midpoint of their fundraising goal, the group has released a promotional video to publicize their efforts.
Libutti, a storyboard artist and member of several Oscar-winning teams, explained to Church Militant: "First we need many prayers and fasting because definitely, Christ's enemy is trying to obstruct this project, big-time."
"This is a chance for all of us to give glory to God in a movie that can be our 'love letter' of thanks for what Jesus did for us by becoming a man and by taking our sins upon Himself," he said.
"As a great theologian beautifully said, 'Christ paid a debt He didn't own, because we had a debt we couldn't pay,'" Libutti added.
The director explained how Catholics can help crowdfund the enterprise and bring it to fruition by visiting the crowdfunding page. Contributions can be made at any level — each level coming with attractive perks — but Libutti points out that a contribution of $1,000 gets the contributor listed in the credits for the film.
He detailed the situation the trio is now facing:
The budget we put together is super tight ... none of us gets paid. I'm working 24/7 wearing many hats to keep the costs low ... and we can't expect everyone to love the Eucharist as we do. Fortunately a few theologians approached us with the same love and zeal. But for making this movie good we need all the help from all our Christian Catholic brothers and sisters who share this love and zeal for the biggest gift Christ gave us — Himself in the Holy Eucharist.
Libutti insisted that obstacles his team has already encountered — including snowstorms, emergency surgeries and participants suffering from COVID — will not stand in their way, nor impede their search for a first-rate actor to portray Jesus. They are also hiring translators to present the movie in many languages to maximize its impact.
"It's a big task, and that's why we need the strong believers to support us. It's a work that cannot be done by the Church hierarchy or with the Church involved because they've lost touch with what the laypeople need," Libutti told Church Militant last fall. "They don't recognize their sheep anymore or their needs and are feeding them dry grass — in areas surrounded by wolves."
Libutti also spoke to how the historic film seeks to address the need his audience has for God and tradition. He said:
As a filmmaker, I need to create something for my audience first, to hear their desire for God and use God-given talents and experiences for them. If I don't spend time with them, and I don't hear their frustration and needs, I will never be able to please their inner spiritual life.
Our audience represents a generation that grew up watching action movies and video games, but at the same time, they have an inner desire for tradition. This is easily seen in how many teens love to listen to classical music or are attracted to filmmaking. This is essential — to know how to translate the message into a movie and to find the right balance to please younger and older generations.
"We can no longer wait for someone else to step up," Libutti declared. "We invite Catholics and non-Catholics to help us create a universal documentary about the Real Presence."
"Let's make the Holy Eucharist great in all people's eyes again," he added. "Corpus Christi Sunday is just five months away!"
The crowdfunding page for Eucharistic Miracles can be found online.
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