Those in the film industry claim 2014 is set to be a banner year for movie’s with a biblical message. If producers of a film about the Nicene Creed have anything to do with it 2015 will be even bigger.
Writer, producer and director Jamil Dehlavi has joined the team as director of Nicaea, an epic feature film about the Council of Nicaea.
An independent filmmaker of Pakistani and French origin, Dehlavi read law at Oxford and was called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn in London before studying film at Columbia University in New York where he received an MFA in directing. He has made many award-winning feature films and documentaries and is fluent in five languages. He has just completed his current project Seven Lucky Gods, a psychological thriller about an illegal Albanian immigrant who infiltrates the lives of a group of Londoners with devastating consequences. The lead actor is Albania’s rising international star Nik Xhelilaj.
Dehlavi is developing the cinematic elements of Nicaea so that it is true and effective in bringing the historical story to the screen.
“It’s a fascinating challenge and we are well on our way,” Dehlavi said.
Former Wall Street hedge fund manager and private investor Charles Parlato is the films executive producer.
Nicaea seeks to tell the story of Constantine the Great, the first emperor to embrace Christianity, and Athanasius of Alexandria and how their actions at Council of Nicaea in 325AD established the theological and political underpinnings of the ancient Christian Church in Europe.
While Dehlavi says the value of the film’s message is ultimately up to the viewing public, Nicaea has the potential to communicate a critical biblical message to a world filled with confusion.
See an early production trailer of the film:
“Today’s world is becoming increasingly difficult for the individual to understand, and especially who they are in it,” Dehlavi said. “Unless one can come to an understanding of how the world today came to be, the answers to all subsequent questions remain elusive.”
Dehlavi notes that politics, economics, civil rights and religion have historically energized and propelled civilizations.
“Nicaea revolves around a foundational moment in the religious and philosophical dynamic of the ancient world which had a tremendous effect on how people understood their God, their religion and themselves. This picture of the world engendered the civilization and the world we live in today.”
The Council of Nicaea was the first general council of the ancient church. It affirmed the basic apostolic tenets of the faith, which had been under attack by the Arian heresy. This heresy contended that while Jesus was the first among mankind, he was not part of the Godhead. Indeed, Jesus prefigures the council and the eternal question of his very nature by the question he put to his disciples in Matt 16:15, “But who do you say that I am?”
Dehlavi contends the film serves as a reminder to not take so many important historical events for granted.
“There are many millions of people who are now long gone, who fought and wept and bled for things we too seldom acknowledge,” Dehlavi said. “Nicaea brings to life a crucial time in the development of the Christian religion. The story of how the early Church came to grips with the Roman World, and how it came to define itself in that world. To do this, it first had to reaffirm what it meant to be called ‘a Christian.’ It had to tell the world who Jesus Christ was, and to clarify his message to the world, and the worlds to come.”
Dehlavi says many of the so-called “religious” or “biblical” films attempt to tell a familiar story in a “familiar” way while others venture to tell these familiar stories in a less traditional way.
“All of these artistic efforts bring joy or dismay to their viewers and critics as they may,” Dehlavi said. “Nicaea cannot be fairly viewed if one is restricted to this perspective. The civil, social, military, dynastic and religious upheavals that whirl around this story have never been brought to a motion picture screen before. A great storm passed across the face of the ancient world long ago, and that world changed forever in its aftermath. The vortex of that tempest was… Nicaea.”
Dehlavi’s most recent film, Seven Lucky Gods, has won its second award. It received Best Feature Film at the Canada International Film Festival. It has also been nominated for Best Production Design and Best Supporting Actress at the Milan International Film Festival awards and is in competition at the Salento International Film Festival and Worldfest Houston.
To learn more about this film and see behind-the-scenes videos, visit Nicaea the Movie
Looking for more Christian entertainment news? Check out ‘Veil of Tears’ Tells Gripping Story of Persecuted Women in South Asia
Russ Jones is a 25-year award-winning journalist and correspondent. He is co-publisher of various Christian news sites, and is the founder Christian News Service, LLC. He has served as media consultant to a number of political and cause-oriented campaigns. He is a regular freelance correspondent for the American Family Radio Network and various Christian TV networks. Jones holds degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia and St. Paul School of Theology. Russ is married to Jackie and together they have four children. To learn more visit ChristianNewsService.