BRITAIN-LEONARDO/ REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SOCIETY ENTERTAINMENT)
A new documentary about people's claims of seeing the Virgin Mary, "The Triumph," is scheduled for release in five countries and two dozen U.S. cities as Catholic believers help the film gain steam.
"The film is having a major impact on dialogue during the Year of Faith," Sean Bloomfield told the South African radio show, Radio Veritas. "People are so amazed that such a strong message of hope can also be so real -- it's really touching the audience in ways that I never anticipated."
The filmmakers are hoping the audience can view the movie with an open mind, as they interview skeptics, priests, believers, and non-Christians who claim they have seen an apparition of Mary.
"This is without a doubt one of the greatest Historical and Spiritual Phenomenons that has ever happened in the history of mankind and the great thing about it is that it is happening right now, during our time -- during your time. We felt it was very important to allow the audience to explore the phenomenon for themselves with an open mind and an open heart and then decide what to make of it," said "Triumph" producer Zaid Jazrawi. "Explore the controversy and ask yourself: Is it a hoax?"
The film centers around the Bosnian town of Medjugorje, where these apparitions seem to constantly occur. Over 30 million people from all over the world have pilgrimaged to the town in hopes of catching a glimpse of Mary.
"The long-running and highly controversial apparitions at Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina have made Catholics worldwide stop to consider what they really believe," notes Michael O'Neill, who has studied Marian Apparitions and runs MiracleHunter.com. "Prudence in these matters is essential but it would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of Marian apparitions in the life of the Church. Throughout the history of the Church, apparition stories have been woven into the fabric of tradition and played a significant role in the lives of the faithful as evidenced by millions of conversions...and the origination of devotionals (including the rosary)."
The filmmakers decided to make this movie a global event upon hearing about people's experiences and testimonies.
"We decided to launch a crowd-funding campaign designed to bring this film to those audiences and what better time to launch it than when we confirmed our 5th country," said Mr. Bloomfield in a press release. "It's an ambitious goal, but if we can bring this message of hope to every corner of the globe, why not -- that's what the New Evangelization is really about -- talking to folks who don't yet know how much God loves them."