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SIGNIS India organizes the Mother Teresa International Film Festival

Tuesday 26 July 2016, by SIGNIS

Kolkata, July 26th, 2016 (SIGNIS India). SIGNIS India is promoting and coordinating the 4th edition of the Mother Teresa International Film Festival (MTIFF4) to commemorate her canonization.

The Roman Catholic nun, who passed away in 1997 after serving the poor and sick on the streets of Kolkata for 45 years, will be declared a saint on September 4 by Pope Francis in the Vatican City. On this occasion, the MTIFF will start in Kolkata on 26 August 2016 (Mother’s birthday) and will continue until August 29th, 2016.

The festival director, Sunil Lucas, said they would present the best and the biggest repertoire of films and documentaries made on the Nobel laureate and inspired by her life. "The objective is to spread the message of Mother Teresa before the world. We want to raise awareness and sensitize the people," he told PTI.

MTIFF 2010 had 18 films, 64 screenings and catered to 45,000 adoring fans in Kolkata alone. It traveled to 52 centers in India and 20 countries worldwide. This time, SIGNIS India is aiming for 100 centers in India and 50 worldwide, at least. Although the complete list of films to be screened in the festival is yet to be finalised, the organisers are planning around 20 movies out of which two will have world premieres : "Love till it hurts" by Pauline Sisters and "Memories of Mother", by a London-based filmmaker.

Most of the films in the festival are documentaries, and notable among them are ’Making of a Saint’ and ’In the Name of God’s Poor’, which stars Charlie Chaplin’s daughter Geraldine as Mother Teresa.

Another important work is from Emmy Award winning directors Ann and Jeannette Petrie who made "Mother Teresa: The Legacy". Chronicling Teresa’s rich legacy, which is carried out through the Missionaries of Charity founded by her in Kolkata, the film also has her interviews and other video footage.

Besides films on the Mother’s life, there will be works which take a cue from her teachings like the Bengali film "My Karma".

This is the fourth edition of the festival, which is held only on special occasions associated with the Nobel laureate. "No saint or blessed in the Catholic Church’s history has had an international festival of films dedicated to him/her," said Fr C M Paul, who had led the first and second edition of MTIFF. The first MTIFF was held in 2003 immediately after her beatification, the second on her 10th death anniversary in 2007 while the third edition, in 2010, marked her birth centenary.

The festival is supported and endorsed by the Archdiocese of Calcutta and the Missionaries of Charity. SIGNIS India is partnered by the Government of West Bengal, and Catholic Relief Services.

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