There is holy light in all creation. Even in your sorrow.
Project type: Narrative Short
Project status: Production
Writer/Director: Ercoli Crugnale
Producer: Amy Geist
Director of Photography: Paloma Criollo
Production Designer: Ming Fen Congdon
1st Assistant Director: Sean Prange
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After a confrontation with the man who is both the head of her order and her abuser, a nun must navigate the increasingly harrowing nature of her reality and learn to speak her truth to free herself.
While giving confession, Father Omar is interrupted by Samantha, a nun in the monastery he leads, announcing her intentions to leave the monastery immediately. Father Omar’s tone shifts from conciliatory to manipulative as he tries to convince her to stay, but Samantha stays distant; she bends under these emotional currents, but does not stray from her conviction. Over the course of the conversation, it is revealed that Father Omar has abused her. As she begins to build strength in her truth, he grows more menacing. Broken down by the shaming and gaslighting, she is threatened into a forced penance for her “sins”; she will keep vigil in prayer and beg for forgiveness at Mass tomorrow.
Running into Sister Sandra, Samantha and her have a conversation about the nature of faith and the confusing expanse of pleasure and pain in the world. Samantha wonders if God will forgive her, and while Sandra asserts that while she cannot speak for God, Samantha can speak for herself. That night, in prayer, Samantha experiences an obtuse and traumatic vision involving her being drawn into the confessional booth and witnessing someone, or something, flailing in the distance, all of which culminates in her being drawn further into the blackness, or perhaps grabbed. In desperation, the next morning she climbs the church’s bell tower and throws herself at God, acknowledging the depth of her emotions and asking for God to kill Father Omar. Instead, the church bells begin ringing and deafen her, leaving her in a total silence and finally freeing her of Father Omar’s manipulation. At mass, Samantha tells the congregation all and leaves, ready to face a new and uncertain life in the wake of this.
Meet the Filmmakers
Ercoli Crugnale – Writer/Director
Art saved Ercoli Crugnale’s life. He considers his life mission to be a witness for his own experience and the experience of others, to find the universal within them, and to illustrate the impossible density of all human experience within the crushing scale of our world. Ercoli was a semi-finalist in the 2018 Screencraft Pilot Launch competition, and released his debut short, Nurse Logs in 2021. Aside from movies, he enjoys photography, music, and yoga, and seeks to deepen the mystery further.
Amy Geist – Producer
Amy’s feature film and television work include Blade Runner 2049 (Alcon Entertainment *Academy Award Winning), Little (Universal), Bar Fight (Signature), #FBF (Bazelevs), and The Exorcist (Fox). Her screenplay for the short horror film Dysmorphia won best short film screenplay at the LA Crime & Horror Film Festival and Independent Horror Movie Awards. When she isn’t making movies, you can spot her in the mountains with her partner and their dog.
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