- Published: Wednesday, 20 February 2019 22:52
GOD EXISTS, AND HER NAME IS PETRUNIJA
Now, here is a heading go get some attention, if not (I hope).
This is the tile of the film which won the Ecumenical Prize at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival last week.
The Berlinale provides an opportunity to highlight some of the Church’s worldwide activities with cinema, the work of SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communications. This organisation is a merger of two Catholic organisations, the fruit of Catholic Action in western Europe in the 1920s. 2018 saw the 90th anniversaries of these organisations, OCIC (Organisation Catholique du Cinema) and Unda (Catholic Association for Radio and Television) who merged in 2001 as SIGNIS. A third organisation, UCIP (International Catholic Union of the Press) also established in 1928 has also become part of SIGNIS in recent years.
About Petrunija… This is a film from Macedonia, a look at aspects of the Orthodox Church, its hierarchy and male dominance. In the story, Petrunija is an out or work 30ish historian who, when the bishop casts the cross into the water for the men to dive and retrieve it, jumps in on impulse and wins. The men are outraged, mysogenistic to say the least! So, a wry comic look at men and women in the churches – the persecution and vindication of a female figurehead.
Each year in Berlin, members of SIGNIS meet with their Protestant counterparts in Interfilm, to review the year’s activities (especially with 16 Ecumenical Juries throughout the world) and plan the coming year.
The German Media Bishop with Guido Convents, secretary SIGNIS Cinema Desk, Peter Malone, Australia.
The German Churches are outstanding in their support of cinema ministry. In Berlin there is a public gathering on the Sunday evening (one year at the Catholic centre, the next at the Protestant centre). The Catholic media Bishop always speaks, an opportunity of solidarity for those who work for the Churches in media.
On the final day, there is an award ceremony for all the independent juries, including the Ecumenical Jury. One of the Catholic jury members of 2019 was Sister Dominic Dipio, pictured, a film lecturer and maker for the church in Uganda.