Screenwriter to offer inside peek at Hollywood through the lens of Catholic faith

Vicki Barbara (courtesy photo)
Barbara Nicolosi (courtesy photo)

It’s easy to embrace and live the faith comfortably when surrounded by people with similar beliefs.

However, the faithful live full lives outside the walls of the church and home and face a depraved world void of true love and hope, which is often depicted in motion pictures.

Realizing the importance of telling compelling stories that challenge audiences while communicating God’s truth, the John Paul II Resource Center for Theology of the Body and Culture will host its annual Celebration of Heroic Love and Life titled, “Catholics in Hollywood: An Insider’s View of Faith, Film, and the New Evangelization.”

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Catholics in Hollywood

‘An Insider’s View of Faith, Film, and the New Evangelization,’ sponsored by the John Paul II Resource Center for Theology of the Body and Culture

When: 7-10 p.m, Feb. 7
Where: Xavier College Preparatory, Virginia G. Piper Performing Arts Center, 4710 N. 5th St., Phoenix
Info: (602) 354-2179 or email: kzeno@diocesephoenix.org
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The Feb. 7th event at Xavier College Preparatory begins at 7 p.m., and features Barbara Nicolosi, a former nun and founder and chair emeritus of Act One, Inc., a nonprofit program that trains and mentors Christians for careers as Hollywood writers and executives.

Admission is free, but a ticket is required.

Nicolosi has been a script analyst, production company executive and consultant on scores of entertainment and media projects including “The Passion of the Christ,” television shows “Joan of Arcadia” (CBS) and “Saving Grace” (TNT) and the animated video series “Antenna Tales.”

Katrina Zeno, coordinator of the resource center, said Nicolosi was asked to address how current culture forms values and beliefs.

“In our current social setting, the communications media often replaces Catholic culture as the means through which people are formed and especially their understanding of the body and human sexuality,” Zeno said. “Barbara’s message is one of seeing the value of the communication arts to convey the fundamental truths of the human person.”

During a recent conversation, Nicolosi told Zeno she was talking with her student screenwriters and friends about defining particular themes that should imbue cultural works made by Christians.

“My idea is to present projects as Christian not in light of their overt subject matter, but in terms of the presumptions on which they are based and the Gospel values that inhere in their themes,” Nicolosi said. “I think as the culture becomes more and more antithetical to overt Christianity, we are going to have to find ways to posit Christian ideas in a more subliminal way.”

During the three-hour event, Nicolosi will share her experience of being a Catholic in Hollywood and the challenges involved in writing and producing faith-based projects as well the significance of the arts and culture for the New Evangelization.

A dessert and coffee reception will follow her talk and her newly released book, “Notes to Screenwriters,” will be available for purchase.

An experienced public speaker on art, culture, media and spirituality, Nicolosi has delivered hundreds of addresses at universities, conferences, churches and assemblies all over the world.

Notably, she was a featured speaker at a Vatican conference on media in 2001, at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California in 2004 and 2005, and gave the keynote address at the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars National Conference in 2002.

Nicolosi received a bachelor’s degree from Magdalen College in Warner, New Hampshire, and a master’s degree in film and television from Northwestern University.