At first glance it may seem odd that we would choose “Revelation” as our 2012 theme. Our culture has taken this word and applied mere “end of the world” apocalyptic visions to it. So a sense of devastation and destruction is almost expected to come to your mind when looking at this year’s theme. (Not to mention the Mayan calendar’s culmination in December).
While this may entice filmmakers to submit works about earth’s final chapter, we are hoping to regain the original meaning of “Revelation” and inspire our artists to look deeper into their own humanity. The Greek word for revelation is "Apokolypsis" which means "unveiling". Apocalyptic literature is very popular especially within a religious framework, but at the core of these ideas, rather than death and destruction, is life and new creation.
The autumn leaves beautifully exemplify our theme as they transition from a summer green to a fall yellow, orange and red. In preparation for a period of less light, water and nutrients they “unveil” a hidden beauty that could not be seen before. As a leaf dies it reveals exteriorly what it has concealed. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit”(Jn 12:24).
When a new painting is “unveiled” to the public it is the artist who is unveiled as well, for his or her imprint is irrevocably left on the image. A hidden interior of the human person is outwardly expressed. The inspiration, energy and creative ingenuity for each piece may have died in the artist, but it is the artwork itself that now lives and bears fruit in all who admire its beauty. Referring to the artist, John Paul II writes, “What they manage to express in their painting, their sculpting, their creating is no more than a glimmer of the splendor which flared for a moment before the eyes of their spirit”(1999, Letter to Artists).
Creation seeks vulnerability and this is what we are looking for in this year’s film submissions. We want this theme to encourage artistic expression from the hidden parts of the human soul, the interior castle as St. Therese de Avila referred to it. We hope that “Revelation” serves as a foundation for understanding that, just as the autumn leaves, it is when we are faced with darkness, drought and death that our concealed inner beauty is called out to regenerate life.