Productions

Highlights

Cross or Sword?

Language: English, German, Russian
Year of production 2017
Duration 42 min

Two great symbols in the human history — the Cross and the sword meet. The Cross did not stop wars but at the end, often against our will, brings you to salvation. Basing on unique and unknown video archives, the film depicts how after each bloodfull war people literally turn to the Cross.

The Aachen cross was made in 1946 and till now there are people who carry this 150-kg cross along the German cities. The Coventry Cross in England, although compiled from two burnt black ugly pieces of wood, became a symbol of reconciliation. Totally unknown nowadays, the pilgrimage of crosses of 1946 in French town of Vezelay…. Then all nations, winners and victims, having realized that they were to live in Europe ruined by war, made this pilgrimage of penance bringing wooden crosses to the ancient cathedral. In those times, in 1946, Europe could be united as a Christian continent, totally different to what happened later, 20 years after.

In the «Cross or Sword?» docu-drama, for the first time the stories of Wolfgang Borchert, classic of German literature and the top man of expressionism, were televised. A German soldier of the II World War as any human being, goes his way to the Cross.

From Francis to Francis

Languages: Russian; English lower thirds

Year of production 2016

Duration 31 min

The documentary continues the Pontiff topic. The film explores spiritual tradition of Franciscans in the Western and the Eastern Church and why the Jesuit Cardinal Bergoglio chose the name of St. Francis.

The documentary is filmed in Assisi (Italy), Argentina and Russia. It shows the heritage of spiritual tradition of St. Francis of Assisi and its continuation in the work of the present Pope.

 

Belem: river flowing to Faith

Language: Portuguese, Russian
Year of production 2016
Duration 37 min.

The pilgrimage to Our Lady of Nazareth in Belem, Brazil, is the biggest Catholic pilgrimage in the world and it brings together about 2 mln people. The Faith is alive, it transforms people, changes their lives and transfigures life in general.

A pilgrimage is a challenge to the secular world of our days. The term “pilgrimage” is almost the same age as Christianity. And yet the secular world brings pilgrimage down to the level of anachronism or a very narrow, very church event, without wide public character not mentioning national level.

The Belem procession is not just a Catholic affair. It is open to all Christians who have devotion to Our Lady.  This multi-denominationality, the unity of roots is in line with the mission of Blagovest Media to help the dialogue of the Churches.

The visuals are impressive: pilgrims arrive by different means of transport including by boat. Thousands of boats travel along the Amazon following the ship carrying the relic. For 5 hours on Sunday a procession will move slowly along the city towards Basilica, around the flowers-decorated palanquin with the statue. The majorities of pilgrims walk bare foot and are dressed in special garments resembling death-clothes and carry crosses and candles.

All this dramatically visualises the beauty of a Christian pilgrimage and expressiveness of Faith.

Day with an Icon (cycle)

Language: English
Year of production 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Duration 1 minute’ segments

The segments could be used in different forms — TV spots, Internet spots and mobiles.

Premiere series of 60-seconds segments combine video of an icon, Church music and a short prayer of the day. The series use the rich tradition of the Orthodox icons and music and the Western Catholic culture to present the key moments of the common human experience.

Basing on the Church Calendar, the series reveal the emotional state of every feast that can be shared by every person of whatever denomination and Faith.

  1. Church Great Feasts — 13 segments, including Resurrection of Our Lord
    Sample: Baptism of Our Lord
  2. 12 segments based on the miracle-making icons of Our Lady
    Sample: Our Lady of Kazan<
  3. 14 segments on Saints of the Undivided Church
    Sample: icon of St. Nicholas
  4. Passions of Christ, based on Via Dolorosa Stations of the Cross and Icons of Passions. Plus to traditional one-minute segments, a13-minutes’ video on the Holy Week Passions is available

Stalingrad Madonna” docu-drama

We have no right to forget. But we have to learn how to forgive

Language: English, German

Duration 48 min.

Year of production 2013

This prize-winner film was broadcast by Western TV channels (sampling Austrian-Swiss K-TV and Hong Kong Catholic TV channel). In February 2015 it opened a session of the World Interfaith Harmony Week in Brussels 2015, at the European Union info center.

The docu-drama has nothing to do with pacifism. It presents another view on War and Forgiveness between nations and denominations. The story is tragic to its extreme but full of hope.

On Christmas Eve of 1942, Kurt Reuber, an artist, Protestant pastor and Wehrmacht soldier, paints an icon, in a tank cut near Stalingrad in Russia. The icon was named Stalingrad Madonna combining in an unthinkable way the names of Our Lady and Stalin. It was announced a symbol of reconciliation in 1991 by bishops of cities fully destroyed in the II World War – Berlin (Germany), Stalingrad (Volgograd, Russia) and Coventry (UK). The bishops presented three Christian denominations – Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox.

Fragments from war letters and the diary of Reuber go accompanied by music of war as the new generation understands it – music of the world-known Swedish rock-groups Nightingale and Sabaton. Unique video and photo archives of the II World War, drawings of Kurt Reuber from private collections and museum rarities are used in the film.

Interdenominational talk-show DIALOGUES

Broadcast at EWTN — Europe since 2012

Language: German

Year of production 2012, 2015. 2016

Duration 30 min. each program

For the first time at least in the history of Russian mass media, it has become possible to invite two clerics of both Churches to a TV studio and to invite them not for a conference or dispute, as has happened in the past, but for dialogue.

This series serve the dialogue between the Catholic and the Orthodox Church which is considered by the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as a special goal of ecumensim. The talk show host Nikolay Goryachkin converses with the Russian-Orthodox priest Andreij Jelisejew, senior priest of St. Nicholas Church in Nice, France, and the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church at the European Union and with the Catholic priest Kirill Gorbunov, press secretary of the Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Russia, about topics that concern the Catholic Church as well as the Russian-orthodox Church: about history, their lives and their common challenges in Europe today.

Cycle 1 — 2012

  1. Christian Church and modern secular world
  2. United Europe and the place of the Christian Church in the new world
  3. Family problems: mixed marriages
  4. Pilgrimages to common holy places
  5. Fast and Lent: its significance for Catholics and for Orthodox
  6. Chirstianity and Islam

Cycle 2 — 2015

  1. Christian Church and modern technologies
  2. Persecutions of Christians
  3. Christianophobia
  4. Church in the modern life of people
  5. Conscience in the modern society
  6. Orthodox minority in Catholic countries and Catholic minority in the Orthodox ones

Cycle 3 — 2016

  1. Mercy
  2. War and Peace — 1
  3. War and Peace — 2
  4. Meeting of the Pope and the Patriarch, February 2016 — 1
  5. Meeting of the Pope and the Patriarch, February 2016 — 2
  6. 100th Anniversary of Fatima Apparitions
  7. Youth and the Church
  8. Church and modern cinematography
  9. Terrorism
  10. Immigration
  11. Restriction of Christians’ rights
  12. 100th Anniversary of the Russian Socialist Revolution

Dawn Forerunner. II Vatican Council. Glance from Russia

Language: Russian, English dialog list

Duration 48 min.

Year of production 2013

In 2012 the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the II Vatican Council, the crucial event in the history of the Catholic Church in the XX century. The intrigue of the documentary is to see the influence of the decisions taken half a century ago on the Church life and on the life of common believers.

Cardinal Arinze, the last living participant of the Council, shares his personal feelings of having been there. Marco Roncalli, a descendant of the family of John XXIII, provided unique photo archive on how the Council was called and started.

Video archives are from the Pontifical Council on Social Communications.

Portraits

On the Way to Church. Life and Fate of Fr. Alexander Mien

Language: English

Year of Production 2001

Duration 58 min.

Fr. Alexander Mien was and still is more than a priest for Russian history. His village parish united thousands of people of different social statutes, nationalities, different educational and intellectual level and professions. The spiritual children of Fr. Alexander all around the world show an example of union that the modern secularized world lacks.

The story of the life, mission and the heritage of Fr. Alexander is greater than a Russian national event. His name became a symbol of the tragic fate of Russia, of a country that has saved Faith during the years of the Communist regime. The blood of a martyr — priest and righteous man, became a symbol of a new sacrifice of Russia. In 2002 it was awarded the special prize on Ecumenism and Inter-Religious Dialogue at the V International film Festival “Religion Today” in Trento, Italy.

One Day I Shall Understand Love

Language: English

Year of production 2005

Duration 90 min.

In 1949 in a deep Canadian forest a Russian immigrant Ekaterina Kolyshkina de Huek Doherty founded a Christian community «Madonna House». World famous now, it has branches in 19 countries.

St. Petersburg noble, she was saved miraculously from the Bolsheviks’ and immigrated to England. She converted to Catholicism there and then left to US. She worked as a washer, cleaned streets, finished several universities. She traveled around the whole continent preaching, married to the most famous and rich US journalist Eddy Doherty. Having given all her money to the poor, she spent the rest of her life in the community, leaving the world in 1985.

She became the most prominent woman of XX century, the Russian Francis of Assisi. Russia does not know her. But thousands of people in the world found out about Russia, Russian spirituality and Orthodoxy thanks to Ekaterina. In the midst of Canadian forests there are Russian wooden churches. There in front of the traditional Orthodox iconostasis Catholics pray — former Hollywood stars and homeless, militaries and average Americans. Everybody who once thought about the meaning of life found God in the soul.

The film-parable reflects on the place of God in the human soul and the place of a man in the world.

Video archives are granted by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Pope Benedict XVI

Language: German, English script

Year of production 2007

Duration 50 min.

The documentary presents the Pope not as a Pontiff but as a simple man who became the highest Catholic hierarchy.

We follow the life story of Joseph Ratzinger from his early years through his life highlights to elections of the Pope. His life is seen through the eyes of his relatives, schoolmates and friends. We visit the house where he was born, and the house where his brother Georg and he dreamed to live when retired. We will see post-war Germany, destroyed but seeking God.

Unique photo images of the priest ordination of two brothers and their private life are discovered and for the first time presented to the public.

Shrines and Relics of the Undivided Church

Orthodox Rome. Invitation to Pilgrimage

Language: English

Year of Production 2003

Duration 42 min.

Historical and spiritual dialogue of the Churches, the common holy places and objects are depicted in the project “Shrines and Relics of the Undivided Church” opened by the film “Orthodox Rome. Invitation to Pilgrimage”. The hero of the film – an Orthodox priest during his pilgrimage to Rome speaks about holy things common to all Christians, both to Orthodox and to Catholic Church.

The project is continued by the series “Orthodox Italy”.

Orthodox Italy

Language: Russian

Year of production 2009

Duration 31 min. – part 1, 28 min. – part 2

The second film of the cycle tells about the Christian history and Italian relics that are commonly revered by both Christian churches — Catholic and Orthodox. An educational aim of the film is to show the common shrines and relics, to remind the believers that first of all here in Italy and especially in Rome the Christianity was born as a state religion.

Hand in hand with authors of the film we come to know the relics of Rome, Florence, Milan, Padua and others ancient Italian cities. The major part of these relics is either forgotten or unknown for Russian pilgrims at all.

It is impossible to imagine the film about Italian relics without talking any word about Venice and its main shrine — Basilica di San Marco. Venice takes up a special place, combining the West and the East, Catholic and Greek traditions of the common Mother-Church. The story about Basilica di San Marco in Venice and Basilica di San Nicola in Bari is the main idea of the second part of the film.

Human Face of God

Language: English

Year of production 2010

Duration 26 min.

We recognize the Face of Christ on any icon, on any painting. How do we know how He looked? Where does this certainty come from? In 1999 Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer, Professor of the Gregorian University in Rome, announced that in the monastery of Manopello village in the Italian region of Abruzzo, he had found one of the Holiest Relics of Christianity— Veronica, which was considered forfeited for centuries. The Holy Face on it resembles the Shroud of Turin and the first Orthodox icon ever — the Savior Not Made by Hands. Do we know now how He really looked like? Did they have one prototype? This documentary answers some of the questions and forces you to learn more.

The Manopello Image is neither known nor accepted by all. Some researchers think that this image was made in the Middle Ages. Nevertheless pilgrims from all over the world go to the small village in Abruzzo mountains to see the Holy Face. One of such pilgrims was the Pope Benedict XVI.

Tunic of Christ

Language: German, English dialogue list

Year of production 2012

Duration 25 min.

In the German city of Trier on April 13, 2012 the world pilgrimage started to one of the greatest relics of Christian world, to the Holy Tunic of Christ. This pilgrimage was dedicated to the 500th anniversary of the first public presentation of the Holy Relic. The Tunic is considered to be the true cloth of Christ, the one that was gambled for before His crucifixion.

Through the 2000 years of the Christ Tunic, through the world art and culture, though the personal witnesses – believers and non-believers — we try to approach and understand the holy relic of the Christ’s Tunic.

Social service of the Churches-sisters

Open the Doors of Mercy to Me

Language: English

Year of production 2003

Duration 30 min.

The film is dedicated to the unique phenomenon, more social than religious. In a small town lost in the Ural steppes a common parish priest adopted 53 children. In this historically poverty-striken region Russian perestroika left deprived thousands of people. The Moscow seminary graduate Fr Nikolay Stremsky came here as a missionary. He took orphans and children whose parents refused from them, he took homeless and children of alcoholics. Also Fr Nikolay founded House of Mercy where he admitted about 30 homeless old women.

How this family lives – the biggest in Russia and probably in Europe, how the parish lives that now builds main cathedral, main for the whole region, it is a miracle possible only in Russia.

The film is awarded at the International film festival at Niepokalianov (Poland) and by the special award of the Patriarch Alexy II

I have come to save not the righteous but sinners

Language: English

Year of production 2004

Duration 28 min.

“Equality is to be found only in the spiritual dignity of man, and that will only be understood among us”.

The documentary is filmed in a town where Dostoevsky spent his last years. There he wrote his most famous novel “Brothers Karamazov”. It may sound strange but in about 100 years little has changed in this town. It remains a provincial little town and symbolizes the old Russia.

But reality of today brings hard social and psychological problems up high. Following Dostoevsky’s novel the documentary raises eternal questions of faith, love and human existence that moved to the new reality. Authors of the film seek answers in a clinic for alcoholics, in a prison specifically for murderers, and in an orphanage. These questions are sharp and vital in such places where no TV is allowed to film.

I met God in the Dark

Language: Russian. Voiced to English

Year of production 2005

Duration 26 min.

The film is the part of a huge project dedicated to the heaviest plague of our times – drug-addiction – is started with parallel documentaries – “I Met God in the Dark” filmed in Russia, about a sole priest that without any support from the state began the healing with work and prayer. It is awarded by the Critics’ union at the SIGNIS festival in Belarus’ in 2006. The second one is filmed in Brazil and presents the solution of the same trouble in the communities called fazendas founded by a German priest Hans Stapel. Catholic and Orthodox Churches prove that in their social mission they go the same ways.

Former drug addicts, their mothers, representatives of the state bodies on drugs’ problem and the main hero of the film Fr. Sergiy reflect about all this. It is a film-reflection, film-confession, different from TV reportages, in spite of the unique criminal video archives.

Hope Speaks Portuguese

Language: Portuguese. Voiced to Russian. English script

Year of production 2007

Duration 54 min.

Film tells a story of creation of the rehabilitation spiritual centers through destiny of their heroes: father Hans, Nelson Giovanelli and the first recuperates. The spiritual way of different people has connected them in one point, at “Fazenda of Hope”, which has become the essence of their life and service. The style of the film is typical for aesthetics of «Blagovest-Media’s» works: through an image, a metaphor, hidden presence of a prayer the producers trace almost twenty years’ history of Fazendas.

What does the Faith bring to a person — even apparently most hopeless and despaired? What happens to a stray and embittered soul if it feels a touch of the Lord? How does God’s Earth, its sense, beauty and pleasance open not only to the ones, who went through the hell of drug addiction, but also to everyone who has come to help sufferings? How thousand human lives, involved in the sphere of “Fazendas of Hope”, have been rescued? Authors and heroes of the film try to answer these eternal questions.

Faith is dead without deeds: work of Aid to the Church in Need in Russia

Language: Russian

Year of production 2009

Duration 27 min.

The name of Fr. Werenfried van Straaten, Dutch Catholic priest and the founder of “Aid to the Church in Need”, one of the biggest charities in the world, until present is vaguely known in Russia. At the same time he is one of the most bright and inspired personalities of the Christian Church in the XX century.

He started his service immediately after the II World War with the call to help those who were former enemies. He was certain that the spiritual and caring help to afflicted is the same important as the material help. And to donators it opens the way of personal address to the Lord, soul salvation and fidelity to the Church. His idea was to help Russian Orthodox Faith to grow through the gift of generosity and the interest of our benefactors. We believe in the same teachings of the Bible and the same 10 commandments.

Today the charity “Aid to the Church in Need” has representative offices in 17 countries. The charity works thanks to the donations of hundreds of thousands Christians, Catholics mainly. The majority of donators are not exuberant in means but they donate to those who have less.

Sacraments of the Christian Church

Sacrament of Baptism (Orthodox tradition)

Language: Voiced to English

Year of Production 1999

Duration 30 min.

Many of us, living on the edge of millenium, are baptised as most of those who lived before us during two thousand years. But what does it mean — to accept Sacrament of Baptism? Common people can hardly explain the essence and meaning of the first — and principal Sacrament of Christian Church. More likely we accept Baptism following family tradition but not our own decision.

This film, depicting an average St.Petersburg parish, explains a great significance of Baptism for babies and adults, its influence on a further and eternal life, shows the important role of godparents.

Sacrament of Baptism for Catholic Tradition

Language: English

Year of Production 2000

Duration 28 min.

Baptism unites people with Christ, delivers them from sin and opens the door to the Sacraments and to the eternal life. Bishop Clemens Pikkel and his parish give witness of their lives after baptism. This gives us a chance to see the action of this Sacrament in the common people’s life.

Sacrament of Holy Orders for Catholics

Language: English

Year of Production 2003

Duration 31 min.

Sacrament of Holy Orders for Orthodox

Language: English

Year of Production 2006

Duration 28 min.

Sacrament of Marriage for Orthodox

Language: English

Year of Production 2010

Duration 28 min.