Once upon a time, there was a little movie called Bella.
It was 2006, and a beautiful film came out of nowhere and shocked moviegoers by being pro-life without a soapbox. There was no megaphone-in-your-face sanctimonious lecturing. Instead, Bella showed us a beautiful love story with a life-affirming message. Not only did it win awards and gain the attention of even the most cynical Hollywood insiders; it also became a powerful tool for life. To this day, the Bella Hero program is committed to making sure everyone who visits a crisis pregnancy center leaves with a DVD copy of Bella.
Mexican actor and producer Eduardo Verastegui and his fellow producers at Metanoia Films had started something. They were making movies that lifted the human spirit instead of encouraging it to wallow in cynicism. They were making movies that affirmed the beauty of life. Could they possibly transform Hollywood and, by extension, the culture? They were certainly going to try.
Fast-forward to 2013, and a little movie called Crescendo is making a similar impact. Winner of eleven international film festival awards, including Best Short Film, Crescendo premiered worldwide on February 28. Featuring an international cast including Ali Landry, Montserrat Espalde, and Jennifer Cadena, Crescendo packs a powerful message into its few minutes, telling the kind of story you can only hint at without spoiling: a young mother – abused, frightened, in despair – faces an impossible choice.
There is nothing preachy or pushy about Crescendo. Yes, it has a message, but it has more than a message. It has a story – a true story – to tell. And more than that, it has work to do. Proceeds from Crescendo will fund crisis pregnancy centers across the country.
Executive producer Pattie Mallette, better known as Justin Bieber’s mom, and producer Jason Jones, through his organization Movie to Movement, have found a way to do more with Crescendo than just tell a beautiful story; they will also create beautiful stories, as this life-affirming movie literally raises money to save lives.
The story of Crescendo is the story of a woman in crisis, tempted by abortion and suicide, and it echoes the story of Pattie Mallette’s pregnancy with the child she didn’t know would become an international superstar. In her memoir, Nowhere But Up, Mallette tells the story of living in a pregnancy center. Though she has made it clear she’s not interested in the politics of abortion, she has committed to helping Crescendo’s creators raise $10 million for women in need.
“The pregnancy center that I lived in is now closed because of lack of funds,” Mallette told Newsday, “so I thought it was a really important thing that they’re doing to raise money.”
Through Movie to Movement’s program, anyone can order and host a screening of Crescendo. Half the funds will go to continue Movie to Movement’s work of bringing a much-needed infusion of life-affirming art to Hollywood and the world. The other half will go to fund the crucial and life-saving work of crisis pregnancy centers.
“My wish,” says Crescendo actress Jennifer Cadena, “is that this little film will help women who are in crisis pregnancies know that they are not alone and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. That is why Pattie joining the team was so special[.] … I think her testimony and story give hope to women everywhere.”
Visit CPCMovie.com to find out how you can host a screening on campus, at church, or anywhere.