Several news updates on the Bella opening this weekend found at Catholic News Service.
- “I decided to have the archdiocese arrange a private screening to help promote the success of ‘Bella’ because of its powerful message about the sanctity of life, as well as the desire to support the efforts of talented individuals attempting to use modern means of communication for the promotion of positive values,” Archbishop Naumann (Kansas City) wrote in a note to those who attended the screening.
- The back story of Metanoia Films, opening its first feature film, “Bella,” nationwide Oct. 26, could be called The Miracle on Bedford Drive.
That's where former 20th Century Fox entertainment lawyer Leo Severino met Mexican pop singer/telenovela soap opera star Eduardo Verastegui — outside Good Shepherd Church in Beverly Hills after attending mid-week Mass in 2004.
Severino, 35, couldn't help but notice Verastegui, 33. Besides being the only other young person at church, he was unabashedly devout, praying after Mass with head bowed and raised hand touching the church's indoor statue of Christ near a side exit.
“I was really moved by that,” said Severino, who was struggling to reconcile his Catholic faith and new job responsibilities requiring that he draw up contracts for programs “not exactly what the Blessed Mother would be watching on her television.
“I was going to daily Mass just praying for deliverance and guidance from the Lord. I didn't know it was going to come in the shape of a 6-foot-1-inch, ridiculously good-looking Mexican superstar,” said Severino. Not wanting to interrupt Verastegui during his private devotions after Mass, he passed by without saying a word on his way out to the parking lot.
It is uncommon for a film to make a clear, confident moral statement from which audiences of all demographics can benefit. It is even less common for a film that does make such a statement to be good.
“Bella” (Roadside Films/Metanoia Films), which will be released Oct. 26, does just that — it takes a moral stand and exhibits the qualities of excellent filmmaking.