Where did the idea to do the film come from?
The idea for the film began at a conference in Germany at the beginning of 2014 in preparation for the 100-year Jubilee Celebration. The official organizers of the Jubilee invited the Schoenstatt leaders from different countries throughout the world to offer a gift from their country, with a list being presented with possible options. A DVD of the event was one of the options. Fr. Jesus Ferras, the United States mediator present at the conference, knowing that there was a growing community of Schoenstatt filmmakers in Austin, presented us with the idea of creating a film, which in his head was simply recording the event and putting it on a DVD. We saw this as an opportunity to do something bigger than that. To create something that would really show the life that exists throughout the movement worldwide, would share the history of the past 100 years of the movement, and would capture the beauty of the Jubilee Celebration itself, which was such a joyous occasion.
Who helped with the project?
This was an endeavor led by us here in Austin, Texas, but there were many people throughout the world who offered their skills and time to make this project come true. Katie Martin in Austin helped with producing. Phil Carlson and Yayo Sanchez composed some original music for the film. We filmed the majority of the footage ourselves, but we received footage from the official videographers at the celebration in Germany and Rome, from the German youth who filmed the Fackellauf torch relay, from a company who filmed in Burundi, and various others. On top of that, many people from throughout the world helped with financial support, translations, moral support, spreading the word about the project, and many, many with prayer!
How did you select the “characters” of your film?
We decided that in order to really show the beauty of Schoenstatt, we have to see the way it has impacted the lives of particular individuals and marked culture throughout the world. So we found individuals that captured the Schoenstatt spirituality and who live it out in their daily lives. We chose countries where Schoenstatt has had a particularly unique history or large impact in the county, and we chose individuals from the various branches within the movement, in order to show how this spirituality is unique within each culture and for people of all ages, professions, vocations, and states of life. The Blessed Mother really had her hand in helping us find the right people.
How many countries did you film in? Which are they?
Our characters came from Germany, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Burundi, and the United States. We filmed with each of them in their home country. We also filmed in Germany and Italy for the main celebrations of the Jubilee.
Why is the film Titled “Seed of a new World”?
“Seed of a New World” is the title of a talk that Fr. Joseph Kentenich, the founder of the Schoenstatt Movement, gave in Milwaukee during his time in exile. It seemed like an excellent metaphor for our 100 year history, our mission, our spirituality, and our future. Schoenstatt has grown by “seeds” being planted in the hearts of individuals, starting from the initial idea of Fr. Kentenich in Germany. When that seed sprouts, each person wants to share this gift they have discovered...they go and plant more seeds throughout the world. That is how Schoenstatt has grown and has even been shared between so many cultures throughout the world. Also, Schoenstatt is rich with natural and organic ways of understanding life, community, and faith, which are especially important nowadays in this technological age. It seemed particularly fitting.
What is the central idea of the film?
The central message of the film is to show the beauty of the Schoenstatt spirituality, which has come to be so important to us and to millions throughout the world over the last 100 years. By showing the movement's history, spirituality, and significance to individuals and cultures throughout the world, it becomes a lived experience of Schoenstatt. We also wish to show that this is not only the end of the first 100 years of Schoenstatt, but it is a beginning of the next 100 years, and that we are each called to bring Christ and Mary to the world.
What did you discover through the process of creating this film?
Working on this film was like a year long retreat. We had to really discover what it was that we wanted to share through this film, and we also had to discover more deeply the Schoenstatt spirituality so that we could transmit it through the film. It was a huge challenge, but we learned so much about the art of filmmaking, about the Schoenstatt spirituality, and about ourselves through this experience.
“I learned that the Blessed Mother really wanted this film to happen. Concerned that the project would die after my work schedule wouldn't allow me to direct the film or work as hands on as usual, I observed Mark and Alex step up and take care that the film moved forward. This film could have very easily not been made if it wasn't for the their persistence, sense of mission, and attentiveness to Our MTA's direction.”
- Sean Schiavolin
How can someone see the film?
To see the film, go to our download page where it is available to download in 7 different languages. From there, we hope that people throughout the world wish to share the film with others through organizing group showings, because it makes it a very special experience to share this film in community.
Do you have plans to make more films?
We would love to make more films! And we definitely plan to. We need to see where and how God is calling us to use our gifts.