The Chance of a Lifetime: How You Can Help Bella Save Lives

Regnum Christi
November 18, 2007

Bella is an award-winning movie directed and produced by Regnum Christi members who wanted to use their talents for a noble mission.

Director Alejandro Monteverde, starring actor Eduardo Verastegui, and producer Sean Wolfington got into the film-making business for more than a profit. They wanted to make a difference in people's lives.

And so, Bella was born: a beautiful pro-humanity movie that wins respect by its own merits as a work of art, and wins hearts because it touches people on a level deeper than any argument can reach. It's a simple story about real people with flaws, mistakes, and a tragic past who are nonetheless capable of rising to the occasion and making extraordinary decisions. It's about people who take a risk and give love and life a chance, in spite of the past.

The Regnum Christi team behind Metanoia Films wanted to show the beauty of love and life in such a way that it would change people's lives. What they didn't imagine was that this movie would also save lives. So far, Bella has already given hundreds of women second thoughts about pregnancies they were thinking of terminating. After seeing the film, they took a risk and gave love—and life—a chance.

Bella has already shown its true colors in the awards it has won and in the lives it has saved. By its artistic merits alone, Bella won the People's Choice Award at the largest film festival in the world, the Toronto International Film Festival. This is no small feat; past winners have included Life is Beautiful, American Beauty, Crouching Tiger, Hotel Rwanda, and Chariots of Fire, among others. Director Alejandro Monteverde was honored at the White House for his contribution to arts and culture, and the Smithsonian Latino Center granted him the Legacy Award for outstanding achievement. Critics note the movie's "freshness and lack of affectation," while it is "incredibly charming," and "complex and sophisticated while losing none of the humor." And there is some talk of the Oscars and Academy Awards which tend to follow past winners of the Toronto Film Festival.

But all of those awards are secondary in comparison to Bella's true mission, which is to recall people to what is most important in life, to remind them of their own humanity and of the beauty of choosing life and learning to love. If a movie like Bella is widely viewed across the nation, it could be a significant factor in turning the tide toward a culture of life.

And that's where we come in, as Regnum Christi members and apostles.

Our Mission to Support Bella

The Regnum Christi team behind Metanoia Films is asking all

Movement members to rally in support of what is really a pro-life, pro-values apostolate: they want you to share in Bella's mission by adopting a theater and inviting everyone you know to the movie's debut on the big screens during its opening week, which begins this October 26th. And while you're at it, you may as well invite three other friends to adopt theaters in their own area as well. This would multiply Bella's impact exponentially in theaters nationwide.

Adopting a theater is easier than it looks. All you have to do is go to the website and click on the ADOPT THEATER button on the home page or call 1-888-474-6025. The web page or the phone operator will help you reserve a standard 300 person theater at an average of $10 per ticket, for a total cost of $3,000.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

The pro-life battle has long been fought with words, and there comes a time when pictures and stories convince more deeply than rational arguments, especially on such a volatile issue as an unwanted pregnancy. Bella is a picture, a story that convinces on the level of the heart; it touches the spot where most women make their deepest decisions for or against life. The mix of simplicity, humanity, humor, and pathos makes its message even stronger; seeing this movie makes people think again about what it means to be human, and what it means to give joy to another person.

Such potential should not be squandered or left to be just a flash in the pan. The movie needs our help in order to have all the impact it could have on people's lives, and the upcoming premiere on October 26th offers us the perfect opportunity to do just that. If Regnum Christi members, teams, and sections across North America take up the mission of promoting Bella, we will have done something significant to evangelize our country and change the tide on the culture of death. We can reach all kinds of people from all walks of life, and use this movie as an introduction to the human and Christian values that make life worth living. With intelligent promotion and good follow-up, Bella could be the perfect vehicle to reach our unchurched peers in secular society.

The Bella promotion effort could also be a great way to introduce more people to Regnum Christi; after all, as producer Sean Wolfington himself said, "Bella is the fruit of Regnum Christi" and it shows in action what the Movement is all about: evangelizing by bringing human and Gospel values to modern culture in the most effective way possible; adapting to the needs of time and place in a media-driven culture; working vertex-to-base with real artistic talent but also person-to-person on the grass roots level (get going on those ticket sales!); helping people to accomplish more by working as a team. Bella is the fruit of Regnum Christi because it fulfills our essential mission: to make the truth shine in all its beauty and to bring souls to Christ.

It is true that one swallow does not a summer make; one battle won't win the war, and it will take a lot more than a movie to change American culture and make everyone rediscover what it means to be open to life and love. But if a movie can change or save even one life—and Bella has already saved hundreds before hitting the big screens—then it's well worth the effort.

Call it the chance of a lifetime—yours and someone else's.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.