Worth Watching: Navis Pictures, and a Local Screening of "The War of the Vendee"

“Children’s Cinema.”  Quick, what comes to mind?

It may sound less than thrilling, but I assure you, one movie company has not just invented by perfected this genre of film.

Navis Pictures, based in Connecticut, has produced two (so far) fascinating movies with Catholic themes, featuring the acting of scores of children from the very young to teenage years.  It may sound like a strange way to portray complicated events, but with great production, music and casting, it really works.  Here is founder Jim Morlino explaining what “children’s cinema” is all about.

“The War of the Vendee” tells the story of France’s civil war and religious persecution in the years following the French Revolution.  is the recent winner of the “Best Film for Young Audiences” award at the 2012 Mirabile Dictu International Catholic Film Festival.  Featuring a cast of over 250 young Catholics, and a great orchestral score, the story is dramatic and violent, but still safe for the whole family to watch.

This wasn’t the first time I had encountered Navis Pictures.  Several years back, we happened upon EWTN one day during the last 15 minutes of St. Bernadette of Lourdes, and all of us, kids, mom and even dad, who rarely watches television, were completely entranced by it and dropped everything to watch it.  Wow!

So when I read about “The War of the Vendee,” several weeks back, I thought it was time to get our own copy, not only to see it, but to support this great filmmaker and their ministry.  I am so glad that I did–“The War of the Vendee” is just as good as “St. Bernadette of Lourdes.”  Our whole family cannot wait until Navis Pictures releases Robin Hood–The Good Spirit of Sherwood.

Imagine my surprise when the filmmaker, Jim Morlino (read his bio here), e-mailed me after my order was placed, to say that he was coming to the Peoria diocese for a screening of “The War of the Vendee” this weekend.

“The War of the Vendee” will be screened Saturday, October 13, at Holy Trinity Parish in Cherry, Illinois.   There may be other screenings as well in that area over the weekend, and I will update as I learn about them.

Here’s the trailer, so you can see the great cinematography, the score, and just in general why you want to watch it: