Family Theater Productions Brings Hollywood to Anaheim

We brought a bit of showbiz to our booth at the 60th Annual Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, from Friday to Sunday, Feb. 26-29, 2016, at the Anaheim (California) Convention Center.

On sale for a special Congress price were DVDs of four of our recent short films – “Down From the Mountaintop,” “Family Dinner” and “40 Hours,” which we produced, and “Guardian Angels,” which we acquired – which all included study guides for educators and parents. (A full set of our DVDs and study guides went to a nun who came all the way from her ministry in South Sudan!)

Both Friday and Saturday, we conducted on-site video auditions for young adult men and women for our upcoming catechetical Web series, conducted by executive producer David Impastato. Among those auditioning were two very familiar faces to FTP fans: actor Alex Miller (“Mountaintop,” “40 Hours”) and actress/singer/songwriter Paulina Cerrilla (“Mountaintop,” “40 Hours,” “Family Dinner”).

Fans were excited to see the pair, which signed autographs, DVDs and posters, and posed for pictures.

Cerrilla and Miller did interviews with both English- and Spanish-language media, including Franciscan Media – which also talked to our Head of Production, Father David Guffey, CSC.

In addition, the actors sat down with Social Media Manager Kate O’Hare, a former entertainment journalist, to talk on video about the challenges and joys of being a young person of faith working in the mainstream media.

Over the course of the weekend, O’Hare did video interviews with some other Congress attendees: popular New Orleans priest Father Tony Ricard; “Catholic Answers” radio host, author and speaker Patrick Coffin; Joseph Guadalupe Nesta, senior community relations officer for Immaculate Heart Radio; and Sister Nancy Usselman, the newly appointed director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies at the Daughters of St. Paul apostolate in Culver City, California.

All discussed how Catholics can relate to the media, and the importance of prayer, as emphasized by Family Theater’s founder, “Rosary Priest” Father Patrick Peyton.

Father Guffey – also a writer, producer and director for Family Theater Productions, and who holds a Masters degree in Film and Television Production from Loyola Marymount University – gave two talks to attendees.

On Saturday, Fr. Guffey spoke about “Video and Film for Evangelization, Catechesis and Community Building,” explaining how Catholics can participate in media and use existing mainstream-media productions.

He and Senior Producer Anthony J. Sands also attended the Film Showcase on Saturday night – sponsored by the LMU Center for Religion and Spirituality, with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles – which included the trailer for the upcoming feature film “The Young Messiah.”

O n Sunday, Fr. Guffey and Sands conducted a “Catholic Video-Makers’ Forum,” with practical advice for individuals and parishes seeking to exhibit, create and distribute video content. The two also answered many questions from the audience, which offered suggestions and tips of its own, making for a lively and informative exchange. LAREC1