Irondale, AL (EWTN) – “Kateri,” an EWTN original movie production, was selected from hundreds of films to receive the prestigious Capax Dei award on June 23 at the Mirabile Dictu International Catholic Film Festival. Representatives of EWTN were in attendance, including the film’s Director James Kelty, who accepted the award during a banquet held at the Vatican’s Palazzo della Cancelleria. The event, which has enjoyed the support of Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, since its start in 2010, was attended by Cardinals, actors and actresses, producers, and composers.
“‘Kateri’ was screened earlier in the week at the Vatican’s Palazzo Cesi to great reviews,” said EWTN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw. “We are honored that one of EWTN’s original films is now included in the roster of previous Capex Dei award winners, such as ‘For Greater Glory,’ and Bishop Robert Barron’s ‘Catholicism.’”
Liana Marabini, foundress and president of the Catholic film festival, said “Kateri” was honored for its subject matter (“a saint we love and admire”), its artistic and technical merit, and, most especially, for its ability to inspire others by showcasing courage in all its many forms, something she believes gives “Kateri” great power to evangelize.
“The film shows the courage [of the missionaries] to introduce a new religion to the natives, the courage to withstand the rigors of the climate for their faith and, above all, Kateri’s courage to oppose her tribe and its traditions for Jesus,” Marabini said. “We need today testimonies of courage related to the Faith. We Westerners have become the champions of faded passions by dint of being politically correct. I think history obliges us to find again the courage of our predecessors; those solitary missionaries who, centuries ago, made a better world, risking their own lives. We must make a better world of ours before it sinks into nothingness. We have to give up the desire to please everybody and to stick to the Truth. Let’s take the example from Kateri.”
“It’s been a fun, thrilling week,” Kelty said. “I had been in Italy before, but this was my first time in Rome and my first time at the Vatican. It was overwhelming!”
Although Kateri was previously honored at the Vatican during her canonization, Kelty was overjoyed at the significance of this event for a saint with whom he has developed such a special affinity. “To think that Kateri – this little Mohawk girl from the wilderness – would have had her name and image displayed in Rome at the Vatican 400 years after her death is pretty amazing.”
Kelty is currently working with EWTN Acquisitions Director John Elson on a new film on Father Vincent Capodanno, whose life was popularized in the book, “The Grunt Padre.”
“I’m going to Vietnam at the end of August,” Kelty said. “We will shoot with Fr. Daniel Mode, author of “The Grunt Padre,” and three of the Marines who were with Father Capodanno the day he died. So life is just coming at me fast and furious but, God willing, we’re going to get this thing done!”
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