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Angel Meets With Alejandro Monteverde, Director of "Sound of Freedom," to Introduce "Cabrini" to Their Theatrical Slate

Still from Cabrini trailer, Credit, Angel Studios

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Many have taken note of the fact that thanks to a certain director, “faith-based cinema” has been given a real shot in the arm. The Sound of Freedom has accomplished what no other faith-based film has been able to since The Passion of the Christ, which is to remind Hollywood that there is a massive latent market for faith-based film in America. Generally, Hollywood isn’t turned on by religious material, but greenbacks can certainly motivate some interest on their part.

Of course if you’ve seen Sound of Freedom in theaters, you’ll take immediate note of the trailer that appears before the film, a strikingly beautiful trailer for an upcoming film, Cabrini. This film was made in-between that difficult period when The Sound of Freedom was shelved by the purchase of Fox by Disney, and the covidian fallout, where Angel Studios experienced streaming success with The Chosen, and Disney has come on hard times, having overextended their political battles in Florida. This difficulty may have been the necessary impetus for Disney selling off some of their Fox properties, including Sound of Freedom, to try and stay affloat.

Cabrini livestream, Credit, Angel Studios on YouTube

I have to admit, I wasn’t a fan of what appears to be a “feminist” message in the trailer, but once I understood her story more, this was an important aspect to her career, as a sister who did so much good, even though she was a frail and sickly woman. This was by the mercies of God, not by virtue of her femininity. So, I will accept that there will be far more context and complexity in the actual film, instead of what might appear as the sales pitch coming through in the trailer. Hopefully, her true historical presence will shine forth in this film, as I believe Monteverde can accomplish. The livestream discussion also makes this more clear, and as you continue to watch it, you can understand that these people were true students of who Cabrini really was, and the good she was trying to do in the world.

If you are Catholic, you may know the story of Cabrini, who was the first saint who was also a US citizen. As a missionary sister, and changing her name to Francis Xavier after the patron saint of missionary service, she helped the defeated and downtrodden in the late 1800’s in America, especially as an advocate to the abandoned Italian immigrant children of the New York City slums (a setting which the film “Slums of New York” also tries to capture). In a way she was the Mother Theresa of the United States, though she also had a great heart to help people in India and China. She wasn’t granted that right to help in the east, however, because the Holy See called her to fill the need to help the poor immigrant children who were dying on the streets of America. See her Wikipedia to give you a quick summation.

Angel should be given massive credit here for helping Monteverde bring new life to both films and now, helping bring this newer project, Cabrini, to theaters (coming in March 2024). This kind of marketing help can cost a company millions, but watching the trailer, you can immediately see that this is not much of a risk. The trailer is beautiful, and as mentioned before, Sound of Freedom (like The Chosen) has reminded Hollywood that they have been leaving an enormous amount of money on the table, as it comes to this underserved market- faith-based cinema. I say “cinema” because it isn’t just about watching the obligatory film with a Christian message. It’s about actual cinema that has artistic value and represents an applied craftsmanship.

Artistic believers must take note that just because Hollywood will work in a marketplace to reap rewards, it doesn’t whatsoever mean that these investment interests have any desire to learn about the religious material, nor are they inspired to be authentic in their search for storytelling material. They simply seek to exploit the source material for selfish gain. Our previous article on “What we should learn from success” can explain some of this. Stick with what may be called an authentic faith-based financial help instead, such as Angel, or, or those investors in your own local community. Don’t betray this true message for which your true fans will thank you.

Alejandro Monteverde’s past & present work should also be studied here, to understand what he is doing to attract dollars and what he has done in his body of work to develop himself as an artist. He starts with Bella (2006), as they discuss. It should be noted that the person who partnered with him to make Cabrini AND Bella is present in the livestream itself. Then he goes to Little Boy (2015), another visual feast, but it is this film, Cabrini, that really takes the cinematography, lighting, visual subtext, and mise en scene, to the next level. Monteverde even states that it felt like he was returning to film school when he was preparing to make Cabrini.

Primarily, I think studying the beauty of this trailer, something really comes together for me. Angel is turning a corner to really accomplish great art instead of what we typically see in faith-based film, the minimum craft to make the maximum profit, a shameful prospect for western civilization if there ever was one. We are not simply an industrial process to entertain, nor to extract resources, as Christian artists. We are so much more.

I speak of the craft of filmmaking. These people at Angel are not joking around, they seek to put their money where their mouth is and make a difference through their compassion and also through their craft, and I respect that. Most every other faith-based outfit cannot bring themselves to make this kind or level of commitment, because we can see that their craft is clearly not the best. But even worse, it often feels like they are doing the least amount of work required in order to get people to come through the doors, and certainly not enough to commit themselves truly to reach the higher standards required to compete with the rest of Hollywood.

So what are we to conclude from this inability of most faith-based film producers to work “as unto the Lord”? So, tell me, is God the God of all, but just not the God of “the arts?” Is this what we are to conclude from this? God forbid. American Christians & Evangelicals have much to answer for in not submitting to the idea of Christ as creator, and that God is the God of the creative arts as well, not just the God of preaching or making money (The Prosperity Gospel).

As a Christian artist myself, I have been working on many believers to get them to understand where we have gone wrong. But most of this falls on deaf ears. Much can be said on this but this is very in depth, so more on that later. In the meantime, supporting Christian & Catholic artists who are great craftsmen and understand their true calling, such as Mel Gibson, Dallas Jenkins, & Alejandro Monteverde is something we can do.

Cabrini trailer, Credit, Angel Studios on YouTube

Watch this trailer and Livestream above to see what I’m speaking about, and support this film when the time comes. If you support it, come March 2024, more art, even art that we have planned at Media Moses could one day come true! Our culture can be reformed, but it takes supporting these authentic art movements, to make this happen!

Keep in touch with Angel and the progress of the picture here.

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