Festival director, Liana Marabini, explains that this year’s films were chosen from a total of 1800 entries. The films selected to compete all promote “universal moral values” and positive role models. This year’s “Year of Faith” theme was also a central motif.The jury choosing the winners includes Msgr. Franco Perazzolo, who works at the pontifical council, Italian Princess Maria Pia Ruspoli, the Belgian journalist and producer Michèle Navadic, Italian journalist Armando Torno and the American author and film producer James Heartfield IV.
Marabini explains that many of the films chosen to compete focus on the priesthood because, she says, priests are often “overlooked” or portrayed in a negative light in films. “They need to be valued, loved and welcomed” by the laity and the wider community.A special side-event is dedicated to Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, to whom the 2013 edition of the festival is dedicated. It features the screening of the film “In her footsteps” that tells the story of the first American Indian Saint, canonized by Benedict XVI, now Pope Emeritus in October 2012.