Think of the films that have been imprinted on you, challenging you to be the best version of yourself. I can always go back to Rocky and remember that with faith and perseverance one can achieve greatness. I have an image of what it means to make a personal sacrifice for a greater good when Rick tells Ilsa to get on that plane in Casablanca. I understand the joy of simplicity when re-watching Forrest Gump and my natural sense of adventure is revealed after seeing Back to the Future.

Inspiration is the taking in of beauty, allowing it to transform you. Film can capture beauty like no other medium and bring it to a vast audience. When it is at its best, a film's beauty can leave a lasting imprint on the human character.

Now, take a deep breath… let it go. There is a correlation between Inspiration and breathing. Inspiration from the Greek, "theopneustos" (God-breathed), helps us compare our own inspired moments with that of a life force. Imagine your own moments of struggle and the instant you find peace or resolution, the way Frodo does after finally releasing the ring of power. Though difficult at times, he was inspired to take on a mission… and exhaled with relief after finally fulfilling his journey. I remember taking my own deep breath, inhaling his sacrifices, absorbing the beauty of the film, and allowing its imprint to mold my character. But what good is it to inhale something beautiful if we don’t exhale it back into the world?

JP2 challenged artists when he said, "What affinity between the words 'breath - breathing' and 'inspiration?' The Spirit is the mysterious Artist of the universe. I would hope that all artists might receive in abundance the gift of that creative inspiration which is the starting-point of every true work of art.” (John Paul II, Letter to Artists)

We are looking for films that inspire us, that is, films that reveal such splendid beauty that we are compelled to breathe in their message, allowing it to transform our thoughts, feelings, and give us something new to exhale into the world.

We challenge our filmmakers this year to transfer their own inspiration into a living art form, one that breathes on its own; inspiring generations of viewers.



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