Jeffrey M Geniesse and Baraga's Watchman (the MQTcinemaCOALiTiON) met in the fall of 2009. Ever since, they have teamed in efforts to artistically create for the big screen. Set on their pillars of seeking TRUTH, portraying BEAUTY, and creating CINEMA, the two filmmakers near the end of their first major motion picture in this project.
Jeffrey graduated from Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Digital Cinematography. He has worked in television and commercial production—including time spent on the Dr. Phil show—most of his adult life. B. Watchman graduated from St. Norbert College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religious Studies and would go on to finish his graduate studies at the University of St. Thomas with a Master of Arts Degree in Catholic Studies focusing on the Art of Cinema. The coalition is Watchman's first professional engagement with the world of cinema.
We desire to get the film out to as many people as possible! Here we have a film with a universal message of faith, hope, and love taking place overseas and in the very recesses of the human heart. Covering topics of the Christian life and leading us to a greater understanding of who we are as a people, the film carry's over into all facets of life. Both documentary and fiction, we feel this film will inspire those who watch it. With all the new ways of distributing film these days, we look to take an active role in the whole process. We will explore and consider all distribution options. The plan is to take the film on a tour throughout the country and elsewhere to meet and show our gratitude to all who helped make this possible.
A year ago, 55 people from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA ventured to Madrid, Spain for an international youth gathering of over 2 million people called World Youth Day. As they traveled, we followed.
This is a film, which speaks of life as a pilgrimage and expresses the universality of the human condition; namely, that we, along with the youth of the world, are not alone and we are all fighting a great battle, yet seek to encounter the divine. If we only look to our peers, and where our people gather, we might find hope in the community of the human family; together we may find thee common Denominator that binds us all.
We began production in the late summer of last year when we decided to film a group of Catholic faithful from the Diocese of Marquette Michigan travel to Spain for the World Youth Day Pilgrimage. The event gathers youth between the ages of 18 and 35 from all over the globe reaching into the millions. As filmmakers, we went into the event with an open mind and lens and simply filmed the action and discussed the events with those in attendance. Though we traveled with the group from Michigan, we branched out to groups representing 6 of the 7 continents and captured some great interviews from some honest and outgoing people.
Upon coming home, we had decided that if we wanted the documentary to be a full-length feature, we would have to incorporate side stories - or vignettes, as we have come to call them - in order to enhance the film. In doing so, we have now created a mosaic of a film that relates personally with the audience through visual encounters in the lives of teens and young adults alike. Unlike the documentary portion of the film, the vignettes are fictional and were filmed entirely in the state of Michigan and performed by local theater or first time actors and crew. We were and still are very please with the efforts of the local people and their willingness to help put together this very engaging film.
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