IGNACIO DE LOYOLA, Nothing Less For God’s Glory!

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It’s been quite a while since my last film related post, and I’m back with a thrilling announcement that another beautifully crafted, locally produced film is about to come to life on the silver screens this July.

Produced by Jesuit Communications and co-presented by Jesuit Asia Pacific Conference and One Meralco Foundation, IGNACIO DE LOYOLA promises nothing less, especially for God’s glory.

What makes me especially proud and excited about it is that this film is the first Filipino produced film that was screened at the Vatican, arranged by Pope Francis himself no less. I personally love watching films. Ever since taking up film classes in Ateneo, I’ve learned to appreciate the many aspects behind the elements of screen arts, and even got hooked on both my European and Asian Cinema classes. From the musical score, lighting, cinematography, art direction, framing, and so on—everything counts in building a rich narrative. Seeing the trailer of IGNACIO DE LOYOLA reminded me again why I absolutely love the medium of film. It gave me instant goosebumps, and it’s an understatement to say that just watching the official trailer impresses me!

Just take a look at it here

Ignacio De Loyola, literally translates as Ignatius of Loyola and is a full-length feature film about St. Ignatius of Loyola of course, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), and like all saints… he was once a sinner, and has a glorious story to tell. Just by reading the film’s synopsis, I see how this based-on-true-events plot creates a magnificent formula for an epic movie too.

​Here’s the full synopsis:“IGNACIO DE LOYOLA is a full-length independent feature film about St.  Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. It is an incisive and thrilling look at the life of the man behind the legend, following his transformation from a brash impulsive youth obsessed with woman and sword-fighting; to the masterful charismatic leader of an order that would change the face of Christendom forever.

Chronicles the life of a young soldier, Iñigo who was forced to give up his dreams of knighthood when he was crippled in battle. He starts pursuing a wild desire to become a saint – only to realize upon being arrested by the Spanish Inquisition for heresy, that he must now pay the true price of sainthood: obedience to God’s voice, even unto death.”

More than the plot and getting to know who “Iñigo” really is, another thing to look forward to are the people behind the birth and production of this film.

Here’s a list of the impressive proudly Filipino roster:

Direction/scriptwriting: Paolo Dy  – award-winning director (Anvil Awards, Gold Quill Awards of Excellence, finalist citations at the New York Festivals, 1st place at MTV Asia’s The Pitch Screenwriting Competition)

Production: Pauline Mangilog-Saltarin and Ernestine Tamana of Jesuit Communications Philippines – award-winning producers (Telly Awards, The International Festival of Audiovisual de Barcelona, Japan Prize, Catholic Mass Media Awards, Poland’s XXIX International Catholic Film and Multimedia Festival)

Lighting Design: Lee Briones (Works include, Sana Pag-ibig Na, multi award-winning film Tanging Yaman, and international film, Amigos)

Musical Scoring: Ryan Cayabyab – Filipino musical legend, multi-awarded composer/conductor, board member of ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra

Production Design: Leo Velasco, founder of Tawang Lipod Creative Studios, Studio Arts Major at the University of the Philippines, started out as a special effects make-up artist and transitioned into production design

Art Direction: Cari-Dawn Cornejo Campbell – award winning shoe designer and special effects make-up artist, a creative writing major. Works include Westgate, and Boy Golden

Costume, Hair and Make-up Design: Juvan Bermil – award-winning hair and make-up artist. Works include, Boy Golden, Felix Manalo, and Kubot.

This bunch of award-winning talents definitely doesn’t settle for less, so as expected, the cast is also on a different level! They clearly want the story to be as authentic as it can be, so what better way to do it than hiring Spanish actors, and shooting in Spain!

The film stars ANDREAS MUÑOZ as Iñigo/St. Ignatius, best known for his works as a Disney Channel Spain actor. Having started his acting career at a tender age of 9, his debut film was directed by Guillermo del Toro and produced by Pedro Almodovar. His recent works include a leading role in the Italian production, Terrazzo, le 24 Volte directed by Guilio Rubinelli

​Here’s a list of the rest of the International star-studded cast members:Javier Godino as Santi
Julio Perillán as Padre Sanchez
Pepe Ocio as Montes
Mario de la Rosa as Calixto
Ricardo Reguera as Martin
Raghad Chaar as Magdalena
Cristobal Pinto as Garin
Lucas Fuica as Don Beltran
Gonzalo Trujillo as Frias
Isabela Garcia-Lorca as Dona Ines
Ben Temple as Master Ardevol
Marta Codina as Ana
Jonathan Mellor as Figueroa
Tacuara Casares as Frias

Here are some teaser shots and scenes from the movie:

Upon doing my research on the production of the film, my respect for the people behind it grew even more. Their commitment and devotion to the mission, and seeking for Divine grace and intervention in crafting this piece is impeccable. Here’s another video behind its production that took my fancy.

Coming from a Jesuit-run school, I’m all for learning more about Saint Ignatius of Loyola. To be honest, I never knew he had such a deep past, and rich backstory. I am so ready to see this film, with an open mind, and heart. I’m sure I’ll be inspired not only with the story, aesthetics of the promising state-of-the-art cinematography, and skillful direction treatment, but most importantly by how talented our Filipino filmmakers and artists are. Cheers for the love of good film, great artists, and epic stories that transcend time!

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