Bella producer conducts screening of new short film at King's
Financial District, NEW YORK–Jason Jones, co-executive producer of the pro-life movie Bella, which won the 2007 People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival, conducted a screening at The King's College on Thursday, March 14, to show his newest short film, Crescendo, which was completed in 2011. Jones, who flew in from Hawaii to show the film at the United Nations earlier the same day, compared the creation of the movie to the building of a cathedral: the goal of the movie is to represent human dignity in a timeless way. In order for the film to be timeless, Jones said, it is based on a true story. To give the film additional rapport with a contemporary audience, Justin Bieber's mother, Pattie Mallette, was recruited as an executive producer.
The fifteen-minute film is based on the life of Maria Magdalena Keverich, the mother of Ludwig van Beethoven, and is set in 1770's Germany. The film explores the difficulty of making a life-changing choice. The film has received eleven international film festival awards.
After the film was shown, Jones shared the testimony of his first encounter with abortion. He shared how his high school girlfriend had been forced by her father to undergo the abortion of her and Jones' daughter while Jones was away at basic training. "Since that day," Jones said, "the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about before I fall asleep is ending abortion."
Jones explained that his passion for ending abortion preceded his higher education and Christian faith, and encouraged King's students to consider their own ability to act on behalf of the pro-life cause. While Jones' was a self-described "high school drop-out from the South side of Chicago" and an "outspoken atheist" when he began his pro-life mission, many King's students have grown up in strong Christian families and all are clearly pursuing a faith-based college education. Jones exhorted students, "how dare we be pessimistic in the face of NARAL and Planned Parenthood...not with the grace that God has given us."
During the brief Q&A period following the screening, Joseph Holmes ('16) asked Jones how the film had been made to navigate a topic like abortion without sounding preachy. Jones responded that sincerity was the key to avoiding such negative elements.
Leah Stratton ('14) affirmed the film's success in avoiding a sententious tone. Stratton remarked, "It was really neat to see something with a message [that] wasn't blatant and in your face, but it evoked the feeling and the thought of 'Yeah, this is what's important, life is important.'"
Jared Umberger ('16) thought that the subtlety of the film was one of its key strengths. He explained that the climax of the film, which relies on providence rather than human choice, "kind of covers up the pro-life agenda," meaning that the film "can be perceived as something that isn't pro-life and thus reach a farther audience, which I think is actually a very interesting, though admittedly underhanded, bent to it."
Crescendo will become available on Youtube in September of 2014.