How did this project come to be?
This project was birthed out of a vision MORE Productions’ founder Mark Rodgers had to create a counter-narrative of the 21 Coptic saints’ martyrdom. Mark traveled to Egypt in January 2019 and while there was reminded that the 5th anniversary of the saints’ death is coming in February 2020. As he reflected on the courage, peace and steadfast faith of the 21, Mark was moved to pray about producing a film that would do what the ISIS propaganda piece did not: demonstrate the spiritual victory won by the martyrs as they refused, even unto death, to betray their faith and their God. As MORE Productions began to explore the idea of a short animated film memorializing the 21, they received ample encouragement and connected with dozens of Coptics willing to help bring the project to fruition. The team behind the 21 Martyrs film is always growing and we hope you will become a part of it, too!
When will the project be completed?
We anticipate that the film will be finished and begin a film festival route in Spring 2021. We did not meet our original release date of Summer 2020 in large part to the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 that delayed animation production.
Update as of December 2020: We have all dialogue and key sound effects recorded, which the animators will use to guide how the characters move, speak and act. We are in the final stage of pre-production before we launch into animation. Our head animator Tod Polson is working with a crew of artists from around the world to produce the key art needed for each scene in the film. Once those are complete, we'll greenlight the animation team.
What are your plans for the film?
Once the full film is complete, we will screen the film at a number of prominent film festivals, with the goal of gaining global attention and recognition for the 21 martyrs.