The awards ceremony of the second edition of the International Catholic Film Festival “Mirabile Dictu,” wanted and created by Liana Marabini, under the high patronage of the Pontifical Council for culture, took place on the 19th of May at the Vatican Auditorium.
Introducing the evening, the writer Valerio Massimo Manfredi: “Liana Marabini believes that cinema, as a great popular show, can have a very important role in the spread of the religious sense.”
“Our aim – has noted the same Liana Marabini – is to evangelize through art and culture. I feel a moral obligation to spread the faith, to love God and to transmit this love to others.”
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Honor Committee of the festival, has noted in his greeting speech: “The purpose of this Film Festival, for which the Pontifical Council for Culture gave its patronage, is the promotion of universal moral values and edifying models of behavior. We are all aware of the great potential of cinema for good and evil, as a means of diffusion of ideas and behaviors and as an agent of cultural changes. In several countries the cinema was, along with television, the main prototype of a cultural evolution whose importance we can only guess. It is precisely this ability of the seventh art that makes it an effective instrument in the service of the spread of the True, the Good and the Beautiful.”
Capax Dei Foundation, committed in the sacred arts, has awarded a prize ex aequo to two masterpieces presented during the festival: “La città invisibile” (2010) by Giuseppe Tandoi, love story set and filmed in earthquake stricken Aquila, and “L’uomo del grano” by Giancarlo Baudena (2009), biography of Nazareno Strampelli (1866-1942), scientist who was able to greatly increase the productivity of the land for wheat cultures, thus fighting hunger in the world.
These are the prizes that were awarded by the jury, chaired by Andrea Piersanti and composed by Carlo Degli Esposti, Msgr. Franco Perazzolo, and Maria Pia Ruspoli:
– Best Film: “Duns Scoto,” by Fernando Muraca, Italy 2010. (The story of the medieval philosopher John Duns, also called Scotus because of his nationality – Scotland, who lived between the thirteenth and fourteenth century.) Co-production: Francescani dell’Immacolata with TVCO.
– Best Documentary: “La última cima,” by Juan Miguel Cotelo, a documentary on the life of a Spanish priest, philosopher and theologian, Pablo Dominguez, who died in 2009 at only 42 years as he descended from the Moncayo, the highest altitude (2,314 meters) of the Iberian mountain range. It was, for the experienced climber Don Pablo, the last top. He died one week before defending his doctoral thesis in theology in a prestigious Pontifical University of Rome.
– Best Short Film: “Kavi”, by Gregg Helvey. (This film faces the child exploitation in a labor camp in India).
– Best Actor: Adriano Braidotti, in the role of Duns Scotus.
– Best Director: José Luis Gutierrez, director of “Marcelino pan y vino”, Mexico 2011. Remake of the famous film, whose main hero, an orphan in love with Jesus, is played by a remarkable child actor, Mark Hernández Mosqueda. The action takes place in Cristeros’ Mexico.
The prize “Pesce d’Argento” (the silver fish), inspired by the first Christian symbol, was given to the winners.
During the ceremony, a Lifetime Achievement Award was also given to the actor Remo Girone, who said: “For me it’s a great honor to receive this award. I recently played a film about Pope Pius XII (“God’s Mighty Servant”,) a film that worked very well in Germany and that I hope will be distributed also in Italy.”
Among others, were present at the ceremony: Cardinal Velasio De Paolis (President of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See), Father Pedro Barrajon, LC (Rector of the Pontifical Athenaeum “Regina Apostolorum”), Msgr. Nicolas Thévenin (member of the Pontifical House), and Msgr. Bernard Ardura (President of the Pontifical Commission for History), and Prince Sforza Ruspoli.
Liana Marabini closed the evening, giving appointment to the third edition of the Festival to be held next year in June.