Category: Angela Calabro

Mary of Nazareth: A Beautiful Reflection of the Blessed Mother

We were asked to be a part of the blog tour/rosary crawl, along with many other inspiring bloggers, for the release of Mary of Nazareth on DVD and we were happy to say “yes”!  See the recap of the #RosaryCrawl HERE.

As part of the tour I am excited to share a clip from the film.  This scene is of the Crucifixion and Death of our Lord.

“And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’ …

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!’ And having said this he breathed his last” (Lk 23:33-46). 

“‘Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures’ (1 Cor 15:3)” (CCC, 619).

Our Father, 10 Hail Marys (contemplating the mystery), Glory be to the Father.

MON_pieta_webWhat struck me in this scene was, at the moment before Christ’s death, the screenwriter gave Mary the line of “I am the servant of the Lord.  Let what you have said, happen to me.”  The screenwriter gave her this same line at the moment before the conception of Christ in her womb.  The screenwriter was clearly linking these two moments for the audience.  Why?  This moment during the Annunciation is known as Mary’s “fiat”…her “yes” to God.  It was this moment that she accepted the gift of Christ, reversing the “no” of the first sin of Adam and Eve, giving us the hope of redemption.  By reminding us of this, the screenwriter is reminding us that this moment, the moment of Christ’s death, is the moment when that hope of redemption becomes a reality.

MON DVD fr willy  webBy saying “yes”, not only did Mary accept the joys of being the Mother of Christ, but she also accepted the sorrows that came with it…including witnessing his suffering and his death.  She did not run.  She was there through it all.  Before he died, Christ gave his mother to us.   And she is with us through our joys and sorrows too.

Mary of Nazareth is a wonderful film for the whole family that beautifully tells the story of Christ through the eyes of his Mother.  The film is a great meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary.  And since October is the Month of the Rosary…what would be a better way to celebrate than to watch this film?  We would like to help you do that!  Thanks to the wonderful folks at Ignatius Press and Carmel Communications, we have a DVD of Mary of Nazareth to give away.  Leave us a comment here or on this post on our facebook page by Thursday (October30th ) and we will randomly draw a name to receive this DVD as a special gift.

We are the final posting on this blog tour. Even after this blog tour has ended, please continue to spread the word of the Mary of Nazareth film.


“FAMILY DINNER” – Family Theater Productions Announces New Release in DVD Series for Teens

family at table webWe here at Family Theater Productions are excited to announce the release of our latest project…FAMILY DINNER!

Family Dinner is a half hour teen drama about a young girl, Christina, who makes a deal with her parents to help them with their projects and cook a family meal.  In return, they will meet her boyfriend so that she can start dating.  Along the way, Christina starts to ask herself…what is true love?

christina communion webThis is the latest DVD in a series for teens that focuses on the Mysteries of the Rosary.  Family Dinner focuses on the contemporary issues of true love and dating and parallels with the Fifth Luminous Mystery, The Institution of the Eucharist.

Families will love this modern teen drama that will help them discuss together the meaning of true love and the selfless service of Christ that we are all called to.

Look for the release of Family Dinner on DVD October 1st….just in time for the Month of the Rosary!

mom kids grandma webIn celebration of the release we will be hosting a Photo Contest on our Facebook page.  Post your photo of your family dinner…be creative!  Then have your friends and family vote for the photo.  The photo with the most votes at the end of the contest will win a DVD copy of Family Dinner and several of our other films in this series.

For more information on where you can obtain a copy, visit our store.

The Song: A Beautiful Lyric Not to be Missed

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Photo credit:

Many years ago I worked in a music store selling CDs.  One day a man came in and asked me if I had any love songs.  I looked at him, pointed to the entire store and said “yes!”  Most songs are written about love because that’s what moves us, what touches our souls.  One of the greatest love songs ever written is in the Old Testament…The Song of SongsThe Song of Songs has been attributed to the writings of King Solomon, who had the gift of wisdom.  The Song of Songs is essentially erotic love poetry about a man and his wife.  It is meant to be a metaphor of the love of God and his people, of the love of Christ and his Church.

When I heard that there would be a film based on the story of King Solomon and the Song of Songs, I had two thoughts…1) what a great idea! and 2) wow…that is very ambitious!  So I was excited to see how it would turn out.  I wasn’t disappointed.

The Song, from City on a Hill Productions and Samuel Goldwyn Films, is a film about love, marriage, and the cross.  Aspiring singer-songwriter Jed King writes “The Song” inspired by his new wife, Rose.  “The Song” becomes a huge hit propelling Jed to stardom.  But life on the road and in the spotlight threatens to destroy his marriage, his family, and his life.

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This movie takes a look at the difficulties of married life and how if marriage is not properly looked after, it can wither and die.  This movie also takes a look at how the role of confession, penance, and redemption can save not just a marriage but also a man’s soul.

Music lovers will enjoy this film as the soundtrack is fantastic!  In fact, I would say the music is a character all its own, pulling the film together and moving it along.

Couples will love this film as it will give them hope and encouragement for their own relationships.

Singles will enjoy this film as it will give them the hope of finding that same joy of their own someday.

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Photo credit:

I would not recommend this film for young children as there are some serious adult themes dealt with, such as sex, drug use, drinking, and adultery.  However, I would recommend this film for teens, especially when watching with their parents (don’t worry Mom and Dad, it’s done in a tasteful manner) as a conversation starter on these very important topics.

You can find resources for couples and families at the website for The Song.  This film will be just as helpful with strengthening marriages and families as Fireproof was.

The Song opens this Friday, September 26th.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is a Flavorful Treat

posterwebOver the past few years, I’ve become quite the foodie.  So I was delighted to see a new film from producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey that stars…well, food!  I was excited to see The Hundred-Foot Journey starring Helen Mirren (The Queen) and wasn’t disappointed.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is a charming film (based on the best-selling novel) about the Kadam family, who was forced from their home of India and make their way to a quiet village in France to open their family restaurant.  But there is one problem…they are opening it next door to a very respected and celebrated French establishment run by Madame Mallory, played by the always fabulous Helen Mirren.  Madame Mallory wants them gone, until she discovers that the young Hassan Kadam has potential to be the next 3-star chef, and she takes him under her wing.

fathersonhelenwebIt’s a wonderful story about love.  Love is found all around…in the bond between father and son, in the blossoming relationship between the son and his neighbor, and of course, in the love of food.

The love of food is what draws all the film’s characters together as a family.  The love of food is what helps them to discover, that although they are all different culturally, they are all part of the same human family.  And it’s the love of food that brings them home to their family.  As Papa Kadam notes when asked by his son where was home, “Home is where your family is.”helenofferingsweetsweb

Audiences will find this film to be a lovely two hour retreat into the French countryside, a film that doesn’t have any unnecessary sex, violence, or bad language…a rarity these days.  But a word of advice before watching this film in the theater: DON’T GO HUNGRY!  This film will make you want to run right out and eat at the best French restaurant in town.

EWTN, the Global Catholic Television Network, Set to Open West Coast Studio at the new Christ Cathedral in Orange County

EWTN LogowebWe here at Family Theater Productions are excited to hear EWTN is opening a west coast studio at the new Christ Cathedral in Orange County.  EWTN broadcasts Catholic and family programming around the world, through television, radio, and the internet, while inspiring and educating the faithful.

The announcement was made by EWTN Chief Executive Officer, Michael Warsaw and Bishop Kevin Van of the Diocese of Orange at the Napa Institute being held this week.

Christ Cathedral. Photo credit: Diocese of Orange

Christ Cathedral. Photo credit: Diocese of Orange

Christ Cathedral is the formal Crystal Cathedral that was built by Dr. Robert Schuller , the television evangelist who hosted the “Hour of Power”.  After the TV ministry went bankrupt in 2010, the Cathedral was bought by the Diocese of Orange to be turned into a center of Catholic worship and outreach throughout Southern California and beyond.

The new studio will be operational and begin broadcasting news and Masses by the end of 2014.

Michael Warsaw added that the new west coast studio location will be an asset to the development of their programming by giving “EWTN a presence in an area of the country where the Network will be able to execute programs that would be difficult to produce elsewhere, particularly for our Spanish-language channels.”

We welcome EWTN to the west coast and offer them our prayers in this new endeavor.  National Director of Family Theater Productions, Father David Guffey, C.S.C. adds “EWTN has been a long time friend of Family Theater, one of our major broadcast partners who regularly play our TV and film content.  We congratulate EWTN and welcome them to the very rich, sometimes challenging media environment of Southern California.  Our prayers are with them in this new venture.”

Disney’s Maleficent Brings a New Twist to the Fairy Tale

auroraandphilpwebFairy Tales are a staple of childhood, especially the animated Disney versions.  They are stories of a courageous hero/heroine who overcome their fears to do what is right and defeat the villain.  And what little girl doesn’t dream of being a Princess?

Disney’s recent release Maleficent is a Fairy Tale with a Twist.  It’s the story of Sleeping Beauty, but from the point of view of the villain, Maleficent.  While it is an entertaining and creative twist on the Disney favorite, be aware that it is not the Fairy Tale you grew up with.maleficentweb

Angelina Jolie is perfectly cast as the lead heroine/villainess.  That’s right…she’s both.  This is the story about how Maleficent becomes a villain.  The film explores her back story and we discover the reason she made the choice to become evil.  Which leads us to question if she is really evil at all.

The film does a good job of exploring the pain and consequences that our actions can have on others, especially when we choose evil.

mothermaleficentwebThe film also shows how the unconditional love of a child can melt even the most hardest of hearts.  Audiences will appreciate the maternal love that grows in the heart of Maleficent and the mother/daughter relationship that develops between her and Aurora.


Credit: The DisneyWiki

Credit: The DisneyWiki

While there are some good messages in the film, I also found there to be a problematic one.  What happened to the Prince?  Unfortunately, there is not one good male character in the film (I’m not counting the sidekick to Maleficent as he princephilipwebis technically a crow).  While Disney has given us great Princesses, they have also given us great Princes…Prince Charming, Prince Naveen, Prince Adam, Prince Eric and of course Sleeping Beauty’s Prince Philip (just to name a few).  But in Maleficent, the male characters are presented as either evil, corrupt, or (in the case of Prince Philip) completely useless.  Not exactly the message that needs to be presented in regards to men.

If you want to see this film with your family, be aware of what you are going to see.  It’s entertaining and the costumes are quite spectacular.  Angelina Jolie is fantastic in the lead role.  However, some parts may be a little scary for younger viewers.  If, however, older kids want to see it, it’s a good idea for the parents to go with them so that they can discuss the themes that the film presents.