Background of story:
February of 2020 will be the 5th anniversary of the martyrdom of 21 Coptic saints by ISIS in Libya. In a now-infamous video, ISIS terrorists beheaded 21 men on a beach, claiming that they would turn the oceans red with the blood of executed infidels. What ISIS did not realize is that, by showcasing the courage and unshakeable faith of the martyred men, they proved the point that faith is stronger than fear and terrorism cannot triumph over divine peace.
Purpose of film:
To date, the ISIS propaganda video is the only publicly available visual storytelling concerning the 21 martyrs and their courageous stand for their ancient faith. That video does not depict the spiritual victory won by the martyred saints, thus creating the need for a counter-narrative that makes clear what really happened on the beach in Sirte. The 21 Martyrs film project aims to meet this need by presenting a more accurate account of the sainted men’s abduction, detention and execution.
We are working with dozens of Coptics, including iconographers and clergy, to craft a compelling film that honors the Coptic faith and history. The impact of saints and martyrs on the formation and strength of Coptic faith is of special importance. Additionally, the example of love and forgiveness demonstrated by the martyrs and their families will be held forth for the world to appreciate and emulate.
The film will be animated by a world-class team of artists headed by Tod Polson, formerly of Cartoon Saloon. They will utilize the Neo-Coptic style in creating the aesthetic for the film and consult with a number of Coptic iconographers as they do so. Original music will be composed and recorded by the renowned Ayoub sisters, classically trained musicians who incorporate Coptic hymns and liturgy into their music.