There Be Dragons director talks to UA&P officials, guests

There Be Dragons director talks to UA&P officials, guests

by Daryl Zamora, CCO on October 21, 2011 - 11:54 am

There Be Dragons will be shown in select theaters starting November 9.

A self-confessed “wobbly agnostic,” There Be Dragons writer and director Roland Joffe wasn’t the type to describe film-making as “a spiritual experience.”

But he did it.

In a teleconference with about 40 journalists, academics, and guests at UA&P Monday, Mr. Joffe said film-making transcends the material for two reasons.

One, like any spiritual endeavor, film-making “doesn’t work if it’s not honest.” Two, “it uses imagination… [which] uses energy to materialize what’s in the mind into physical form.”

“So it’s a strange way of dreaming,” he said.

Breaking time-space barriers from Amsterdam, Mr. Joffe said he was “delighted” in having the hour-long teleconference. The event took place at 9:30 pm Manila time, after a series of special screenings of There Be Dragons at UA&P’s Li Seng Giap Auditorium.

Set in the Spanish Civil War, There Be Dragons is Mr. Joffe’s latest work, which weaves the early life-story of Opus Dei founder St. Josemaria Escriva (Charlie Cox) and a fictitious childhood friend-turned-persecutor, Manolo Torres (Wes Bentley).

Mr. Joffe has been nominated in the Academy Awards and is known for epic films such as The Mission and The Killing Fields.

‘Courageous journey’

Roland Joffe during the teleconference

Mr. Roland Joffe during the teleconference

Asked about the effect that filming There Be Dragons had on him, Mr. Joffe admitted he was “humbled” by the experience and discovered something new.

He said, “I had to suspend any kind of clever intellectual judgment about what I thought religion was. And that taught me a lot, because it really humbled me. And I really began to see the full, open path of spirituality. And I began to realize that spirituality is a journey, and it’s a very courageous journey, and it’s a very crucial journey.”

Mr. Joffe confided that, in order for him to write the movie, he had to “accept honestly and utterly that Josemaria was telling the truth.”

Aside from UA&P President Jose Maria Mariano, among those who spoke with Mr. Joffe were MTRCB official Atty. Toto Villareal, Dr. Veronica Isla of the UA&P School of Communication, playwright-filmmaker Christian Vallez (Juan Ekis), and young filmmaker Caloy Soliongco.

Regular screening

UA&P President Jose Maria Mariano comments on Mr. Roland Joffe's new film

There Be Dragons has been shown in several “pre-screenings” in Metro Manila, Pampanga, Cebu, Laguna, Batangas, and Cagayan de Oro. Last October 15, UA&P organized one such event at the Mall of Asia for the benefit of the University’s scholars and credit cooperative. UA&P was founded in 1967 (as Center for Research and Communication) inspired by the teachings of St. Josemaria.

Starting November 9, regular screening of the movie will be held at SM North, SM Megamall, Trinoma, Greenbelt 3, Glorietta 4, and Alabang Town Center.

For more information about the movie, visit dragons.ph.

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