Tim Drake of National Catholic Register talks with Anthony Ryan, marketing director of Ignatius Press, about the soon-to-be-released film, Restless Heart: The Confessions of Augustine:
The film was originally produced as a two-night television special. What did Ignatius have to do to the film to adapt it for theater?
These films are often 200 minutes. When we decided to make this a film that could be released to theaters, we spent a lot of time and money editing it. We hired a professional Hollywood film editor, John Laus. Laus is a gifted film editor and a solid Catholic. He loved the project, and was able to get it down to about 128 minutes. We’re really pleased with it. It flows well. It’s shot in high definition, and it’s in English. It’s epic-looking. The producers spent $20 million making this.
Ignatius Press is primarily a book publisher. Why pursue a film project like this?
We’ve already licensed a number of films and released them on DVD. Why we decided to do this on a bigger level is because we understand the importance of films for impacting the culture in modern society, and the importance of evangelizing the culture through the film medium. Catholics need to get on board with that. The Protestants have done a better job at that than we have. We decided that if we were ever going to try to work with groups to bring a movie to theaters, this was the perfect movie to do it with.
Why with this particular film?
St. Augustine’s story is timeless and well known because of his Confessions. I think it will impact men especially because the temptations with which he grappled mightily, and for a long time, are the same temptations that men of today wrestle with – the temptations of the world, the devil, and the flesh. St. Augustine had a long spiritual battle before he was able to overcome these temptations. Men today have these same struggles against the temptations of the flesh. That’s why this is a great story for today.
It’s also a story that will appeal to the wider Christian market. Protestants love St. Augustine.