He was a soldier, a sinner, and a saint — all rolled into one. He is St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits (or Society of Jesus). His feastday will be celebrated in a few weeks, on July 31. And a movie is coming out very soon on his life.
Ignacio was a most unlikely saint. Here is a writeup from JesCom Films’ YouTube channel.
A modern and very human take on the story of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, often called ‘The Saint of Second Chances.’
As a brash, hot-headed soldier in a time of political upheaval in Spain, the young Iñigo went from living a life of brutal violence and debauchery, to becoming one of the greatest saints in the history of the Church.
This film chronicles Iñigo’s torturous struggle to turn from darkness to light—a struggle that nearly destroyed him, but also gave him the key to a spiritual weapon that continues to save lives to this very day.
Produced by Jesuit Communications Philippines (JesCom), IGNACIO DE LOYOLA was shot on location over two months in the northern regions of Spain.
This was a bold attempt by JesCom to faithfully portray the life of St. Ignatius. Bold because they were on what they called a “shoestring budget”. And yet, the film had to be shot entirely in Spain, in Ignacio’s hometown, with Spanish actors. They attempted to fundraise for the movie via Indiegogo. Unfortunately, the goal was not reached. Here was the video for that Indiegogo campaign.
But everything is in God’s time, I believe. Little miracles happened to the crew. Here’s a post I found from the movie’s Facebook page showing how God works in mysterious ways.
According to JesCom Production Manager Ernestine Tamana, they truly felt the presence of San Ignacio de Loyola while filming. Given the meager budget, the production design team headed by Leo Velasco had to look for a flock of sheep, period-appropriate artisanal bread and cheese, and soil to cover up the already-cemented and modern-looking castle grounds that was supposed to be the castle of Loyola in today’s Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Spain. Tamana said that they were led to the right things at the right time. Leo found a shepherd with a flock of sheep, who also owned a bakery with the particular bread and cheese they were looking for. The shepherd shared these items to the crew free of charge. That same day, they also found a group of men unloading a big amount of dirt from their truck by the roadside. When asked if they could instead deliver the soil to the shooting location, they readily said yes.
On July 23, Ignacio de Loyola will premiere at The Theatre, Solaire at 4PM. This is a ONE NIGHT ONLY fundraising event. Maestro Gerard Salonga will be conducting the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ateneo Chamber Singers while Maestro Ryan Cayabyab will play the musical score. This will be an extra special night. Tickets include great food and an advanced screening of the film. Proceeds from the screening will go to the care of elderly Jesuits and the budget of young Jesuit seminarians.
The film opened today, July 27, 2016 in 56 cinemas nationwide. Here is the list:
If you have had any ties with the Jesuits in any way, have family members who, like me, have had a Jesuit education, want to support the Jesuit community, or simply curious to know more about this solder-sinner-saint up close on the screen, please come and watch Ignacio de Loyola.
Meet Andreas Munoz who plays Ignacio.
And here is the final trailer:
For tickets to the premiere screening, call the Jesuit Communications office at (632) 4265971 to 72 and look for Cathy Cardoz/ Cynthia Estrella.
Production Company: JesCom Films Philippines
Executive Producer: Emmanuel Alfonso, SJ
Producer: Pauline Mangilog-Saltarin
Co-Producer: Ernestine Tamana
Writer/Director: Paolo Dy
Director of Photography: Lee Briones
Production Manager: Ana Carrera Lopez
First Assistant Director: Bombi Plata
Second Assistant Director: Eduardo Huete
Second Unit Director: Aaron Palabyab
Production Designer: Leo Velasco
Art Director: Cari-Dawn Campbell
Hair & Make-up/ Costume Designer: Juvan Bermil
Pre-Production PD: Fritz Silorio