"Tree of Life" by Leo Thaddeus awarded Second in feature film category at 21st International Catholic Film Festival at Niepokalanow, PolandMay 23.: "Tree of Life", a prolife documentary film by Kerala based film director Leo Thaddeus has been awarded the Second Prize in the feature film category at the XXI International Catholic Film and Multimedia Festival, NIEPOKALANOV 2006, held at Niepokalanow, Poland.
Produced by the Mampillil Brothers and presented by Jesus Youth, it revolves around an abortion dilemma that portrays relationships, career, decisions and the value of life in the struggle faced by a modern nuclear family and their 10 year old son.
The film has been broadcast on channels like Asianet, Jeevan TV and Shalom TV and was previously adjudged the best tele-film in the State. It has also received the prestigious 2005 "Yuva Prathibha" award from the Kerala Catholic Bishop Council (KCBC), and the Film Critics Television Award for the best screen play and the best videography.
The International Catholic Film festival organized by SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication, from 17-21 May this year, received 114 entries from 11 countries of which 26 were selected. "Definitely this is a great honor for the producers and Jesus Youth" an elated Thaddeus remarked.
Leo Thaddeus, who earned his Diploma in Mass Communication with a specialization in film from the Gregorian University, Italy, has been a prominent name in the theatre and movie industry. A former Jesus Youth Central Team Member and one of the pioneers of the Jesus Youth Audio Visual Ministry, Leo has already directed various short films, ad films and documentaries. He credits the success of "Tree of Life" to the support and encouragment of the Jesus Youth family and the special intercession of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, an Italian Physician-Mother who bore heroic witness to the sacredness of life.
The festival at Niepokalanow preceedes the visit of Pope Benedict XVI's pilgrimage to Poland from May 25-28.