St. Thomas� life to come alive on screen
KOCHI: With Hollywood epics like Ben-Hur and the Ten Commandments in mind and with a budget to match, the Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore will produce a Rs.30-crore silver screen version of the life and ministry of St. Thomas, one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ, who is believed to have spread the message of Christ in India.
Work on the 70mm, two-and-half-hour feature film with Hollywood collaboration and with the bigwigs of Indian film industry on the credit line, will be inaugurated by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on July 3, the feast day of St. Thomas, on the San Thome Basilica campus in Chennai, Archbishop A.M. Chinnappa told The Hindu here.
The Archbishop was here on Tuesday, leading a delegation comprising former Member of Parliament Earnest Paul and the film�s research leader Father Paulraj Lourdusamy to make a presentation on the project before the Kerala Catholic Bishops� Council (KCBC).
The film project is backed by Ivan Cardinal Dias, the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of Faith, and the bishops� community in Tamil Nadu, said the Archbishop during his presentation before the KCBC.
St. Thomas is the Apostle of India and his tomb is a pilgrim destination for people of all religious affiliations, said the Archbishop. The film will have at its core the message of peace and harmony among people of all beliefs, he said.
The film has special significance for Kerala and Tamil Nadu where St. Thomas spent the majority of his time in India. He is believed to have established seven churches in Kerala. He is believed to have been martyred in 72 AD in Mylapore.
Films like Arunachalam of Thiruvannamali and Annai Velanganni, have had the effect of people receiving spiritual consolation, said the Archbishop. He felt that a film on the life of St. Thomas would have similar effects as it evolved around the theme of human equality and dignity for all.
He said that he wanted to seek the cooperation of fellow bishops in Kerala and from people of all religious communities here. The Archbishop said that the entire Christian community in Kerala was inspired by the ministry of St. Thomas.
Father Lourdusamy said that the film would initially be made in Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi and later dubbed into various other languages, including English and French.
As per the current schedule, the shooting will begin at various locations in December this year and end in about 12 months.
Chief Minister will inaugurate the work on July 3
It will initially be made in Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi