Bella, the heart-warmingindependent film that took the 2006 Toronto Film Festival by storm, has now officially secured a major distributor for U.S. audiences. The Hollywood Reporterconfirms a July 26 scoop by LifeSiteNews.com that had reported Bellawould be released nationwide in U.S. theatres by Oct. 26 by a major distributor. Metanoia Films, the producer, finalized the contract with the distributor. Now, it is reported that Roadside Attractions has acquired the rights to distribute Bella, making the independent film its first acquisition since its partnership with Lionsgate in July.
While Metanoia Films has not marketed Bellaas a strictly pro-life movie, many pro-life and pro-family groups across the country and internationally have embraced the film for its unapologetic celebration of life, the beauty of family and for its honest look at the difficult issue of what to do about an unplanned and “unwanted” pregnancy.
Bella takes place during a single day and follows lead characters Jose, once a famous athlete and now a chef at his adopted brother’s restaurant, and Nina, a young waitress at the restaurant who is fired from her job after discovering near the beginning of the film that she is pregnant. Scared and alone, Nina seems to have decided that she cannot continue her pregnancy and plans to abort the child, until Jose spends an unusual day with her in New York City.
The film stars acclaimed Mexican actor Eduardo Verastegui and is his first debut since a profound conversion transformed one of Mexico’s hottest television and music stars, known for an immoral lifestyle, into a humble, devout Catholic, who now says he is driven in everything he does to become a saint.
Metanoia films, which says its mission is to “make movies that matter and have the potential to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives,” is promoting Bellawith a multi-million-dollar marketing campaign, including national TV ads for mainstream and Latino outlets. A grassroots campaign by churches and pro-life groups is already helping to promote the film and pre-book tickets at theatres across America.
“The film is a crowd-pleaser about humanity, family, friendship and the unique magic of New York City,” Roadside co-president Eric d’Arbeloff said. “Bellawill win the hearts and minds of Latino and mainstream audiences alike and we hope it finds the same success as previous Toronto People’s Choice Award winners Life Is Beautiful, Whale Rider, Hotel Rwanda(and) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”
Last September, Bellawon the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it received a standing ovation after airing. The film has also received acclaim from film reviewers all over North America.
A version of this article originally appeared August 31 on LifeSiteNews.com and is reprinted with permission.
What is being said about Bella:
“(Bella’s) one of those rare films that catches you by the emotional short hairs and refuses to let go. By the time the final reel plays, you’re going to be weeping tears of commingled sadness and joy … Bella is really not so much a love story (in the sense of two people falling head over heels) as it is a story about love and how it can heal psychic wounds and enrich our lives.”
– John P. Meyer, American Film Institute.
“Bellais a romantic drama full of heart, soul and beautiful messages. It’s a film that will stay with you forever! Powerful, passionate and unpredictable, Bella is a rare gem, a true surprise. A movie that can transform your life and keep you thinking.”
– Maria Salas, NBC-Miami
“The last film with Bella’s momentum was the Passion of the Christ. The Passionshowed how Christ died for us and Bellashows how we should live for others.”
– Steve McEveety, producer of Braveheart
& The Passion of the Christ