Saturday, June 23, 2012

Local church backs filmmaker’s goal of making Christian movie

St. Catherine of Siena Roman Catholic Church, one of the largest parishes in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, has placed its support behind an independent filmmaker and parishioner with a mission to bring Christian films to a wider audience.

Kevis Antonio, founder of Rising Faith Productions, is the creator behind the film currently titled, “Five Blocks Away.” He wrote the initial screenplay and plans to direct and produce a five-week production schedule in the early fall using members of St. Catherine.

Antonio, 31, said he came up with the idea for his film last summer after attending a movie screening of the Christian film, “Courageous,” produced by Sherwood Pictures, a ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany. In 2008, the company produced the highest grossing independent film of the year.
“I noticed how packed it was and after seeing the film, I thought to myself, ‘Why hasn’t the Catholic Church done a project like this before?’” recalled Antonio.

“You’ve got Sherwood Baptist doing great films that have done very well out in the box office. You’ve got other churches stepping up too, with movies like ‘The Grace Card.’ So I saw the opportunity and started thinking, ‘This is a project that needed to happen.’”

“Five Blocks Away” tells the story of a young man named Anthony Seton, who has his sights set on fortune in the operation of a marketing business with three friends. His dreams begin to crumble in light of new relationships, family turmoil and illegal events, as he struggles to find what really matters in life.

Father John Matejek, pastor of St. Catherine, liked the idea behind the film when Antonio approached him about it. He said he welcomed the church’s involvement as a great way to evangelize.

“I’m never afraid of a challenge, especially in this third millennium, when Christianity is being beat up pretty badly,” said Matejek, a St. Catherine parishioner before entering the priesthood. “I always support my parishioners in whatever they do.”


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