In 1999, the late Pope John Paul II challenged artists to respond to the world’s need for Truth, Love, and Peace through the use of art. With the coming generations, it is becoming more and more apparent that the world hungers for meaning. For this reason, the John Paul II International Film Festival was founded in 2009, ten years after John Paul II’s Letter to Artists.
The organizers, 7eventhDay Media, Inc., are committed to hosting the annual Film Festival which will give a home to filmmakers who have chosen to use this medium to express and share a message of hope, struggle, triumph, and Love to the world.
Why John Paul II?
Karol Wojtyla, the man who would become Pope John Paul II, was an actor, a playwright, and a human-rights activist years before entering the seminary. This shaped not only his future teachings, but his understanding of the human person. His artistic background became a tool to understand beauty, civil rights, and his own Maker. Thanks to this deep understanding, the now Pope John Paul II wrote a letter in 2009 encouraging artists of all kinds and faiths to use their talents to uplift society, to teach and preach human dignity, and unveil the mystery of Man and God alike. He worked with Jewish and Muslim leaders to open up interfaith dialogue as well, being the first Pope to speak at a mosque and praying at the historic Western Wall. The JP2IFF came to fruition as an answer his artistic and inter-faith invitation and to challenge filmmakers and the community to do the same; to use their gifts to create a deeper understanding of our human race, regardless of their faith and background.
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