Fr Malone Book Launched at Film and Faith 2 Seminar

Jan 14th 2008

The Communication Foundation for Asia has returned to book publishing with the launch of “Film and Faith”, the newest book by international film reviewer and author Fr Peter Malone, MSC. This stimulating book is, in Fr Malone’s words, “an essay”, but it is also part film history, review and analysis, and part theological and philosophical discussion of films that are intended not only to entertain, but also educate. The book comprehensively covers and supplements the themes presented during the series of Film and Faith seminars conducted by Fr Malone at CFA, starting with the basic human drives, to the search for God in films.

In the book, Fr Malone states: “The search for God is one of the greatest enterprises in human history. God has made known an infinite love for us through Jesus Christ, but to many, Jesus is unknown, and to many others, merely a name … Today’s films contribute to the questioning of life and its values and therefore, form an important part of the search for God. In so far as they communicate to worldwide audiences who can, in turn, communicate their response to one another, many films aid people in their search.”

The Film and Faith 2 seminar where the book was launched was held in CFA on 12-13 January 2008, and drew more than 100 participants from as far north as Bayombong to Naga City in Southern Luzon. This ACN-funded seminar is the sequel to Fr Malone’s first Film and Faith workshop (then funded by Signis), also held in CFA in January last year. While Film and Faith 1 dealt with Jesus figures in popular films, this year’s discussions focused on movies as a moral compass, and on how films relate to basic human drives. He also called films “modern parables,” observing that they “challenge the values of their audience” and make a moral point.

The participants represented a wide spectrum of institutions, mostly involved in media use and production for evangelization. These include the Jesuit Communications Foundation, Daughters of St. Paul, Evangelion Foundation, University of Sto. Tomas Institute of Religion, East Asian Pastoral Institute, Titus Brandsma Media Center and Signis Philippines.

“[Film and Faith 2] expanded my perspective in film analysis, and the connection between films and our faith,” said one participant after the seminar. Another participant (a literature teacher) said, “What I learned was that movies can be educational and pedagogical, if viewers will be trained to base their judgment [of films] on intellectual norms, rather than upon emotional reactions … Fr. Malone’s Christian humanist perspective in analyzing films is very useful for transformative education.”

Two days after the Manila seminar, CFA conducted a reprise of the “Film and Faith 1” Seminar at the University of San Carlos in Cebu, with the help of Dilaab Foundation as local organizer. In Cebu, Fr Malone presented his lectures on Jesus movies and Christ figures to an audience of 60 teachers, church leaders and catechists on January 15-16, 2008.

Because of participants’ positive reactions, CFA Management plans to hold a third installment of Fr. Malone’s lectures early next year. At that time, a week-long festival of inspirational Signis award-winning films will be held concurrently with the lectures.

[To order copies of Fr. Malone’s book, “Film and Faith,” please contact CFA’s Sales Department, Tel: (+63-2) 713-2975; use the same number for fax. Or E-mail: sales@cfamedia.org. A DVD of “Film and Faith 1” is available from the same source.]


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