Tribunal Movie Filmed in Cincinnati, Stars Cincinnatians
Filmed in Cincinnati and starring Cincinnati actors, The Tribunal will debut Oct. 7th at Cinemark Oakley and Cinemark Western Hills.
Also written by a Cincinnatian, the feature film from St. Michael Movies explores romantic relationships in our secular culture, and the difficulties young Catholics have understanding how Catholic teachings ultimately lead to what is best for each person’s life and soul.
The plot focuses on a woman and the two men who love her. Civilly divorced, Joe wants to marry his devout Catholic girlfriend Emily. He asks his best friend, Tony, to be a witness before the Catholic Tribunal investigating Joe’s petition for an annulment – but Tony is also in love with Emily. All three are trying to do the right thing in a confusing world. Who will sacrifice for the good of the others?
“As they each fight for whom they love, the Tribunal slowly answers the ever-present question hanging over the proceedings, ‘What does God want?’” say the films’ publicists. “Why it matters to these three is the reason it matters to every person. Our souls will not rest until they rest in the arms of the Lord.”
(Email subscribers: click on the post headline to watch the film trailer at our website).
Filmed at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center in Norwood, OH (home of Sacred Heart Radio’s studios) and Harrigan’s Tavern in Dayton, The Tribunal stars actors from Cincinnati or the Greater Cincinnati region: Ryan Wesley Gilreath (familiar to many from annual stints in Playhouse in the Park’s A Christmas Carol), Oxford native Laura Mock, Louisville native Chris Petty, stage and screen actor Chuck Gillespie, character actor Jim Damron, Annie Kalahurka, Victoria McDeviit, Ray Smith, Larry Cole, David Baum and Tim Morton.
Dayton resident Michael Mergler wrote, and produced the film with an experienced team of filmmakers: Marc Leif, of Los Angeles, directed; film and television composer Tony Stone composed the score; Cincinnatian Roger Holliday directed the photography, and Mark Stucker acted as production designer.
St. Michael Movies has a number of other films in the works, including a sequel to The Tribunal. All are designed to engage the world in the New Evangelization through films that reflect contemporary situations and problems.
“In today’s world, the single largest reason why people are alienated from their Catholic faith is their marital situation,” Mergler says. “With contemporary society’s sexual and relationship mores, readily available birth control and abortion, easy divorce and litigiousness, it’s no wonder that marriage as a permanent commitment has almost ceased to exist. But our hearts are instilled by God with the understanding that we can have only one spouse, so people try to rationalize their divorces and remarriages by rejecting the teachings of Jesus and His Church.
“In this ocean of expediency, only the Catholic Church, the pillar and bulwark of the Christian faith, stands as an island of truth about the indissolubility of marriage. Ironically, this makes its determination that a marriage is null – that it never existed in the eyes of God – the only way to be truly free to marry another in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Pope Francis’ emphasis on making the Tribunal process quicker and at no cost to the Petitioner is a recognition of the need for this healing process on a massive scale.”
The annulment process, Mergler says, is misunderstood, and often feared. The film attempts to change that.
“The Tribunal stands as both a poignant drama about three souls trying to do the right thing and as a beacon call to everyone alienated from their Catholic faith through a broken marriage to come home, and be healed through the Tribunal process,” he says. “Very few films today plumb the depths of this pain and ask the viewer to search his or her soul for what really matters. The Tribunal is driven by this search for the truth, the truth that sets us free.”
For more about The Tribunal, see the film’s web site for still photos, cast and crew bios, featurettes, information about upcoming films, and more.
Featurettes on the site include:
- Filming the Courtroom Scenes at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center
- Filming with a crane in Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center’s Chapel
- Getting it right: filming a Catholic wedding
- Getting it right: filming the Mass
- On location at Harrigan’s Tavern in Dayton
Photos courtesy St. Michael Movies.
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