While we’re waiting for the Academy Award people to call, I thought it might be helpful to provide some answers here on our web site to some of the questions we’re receiving about the PBS documentary about the abbey, Saving Grace, Saving Place that was recently released:
How has the film been received so far?
Very, very positively. We have heard from all kinds of people that they enjoyed it very much and that they loved that it wasn’t specifically just about monks, but rather about how one group of monks is struggling with, and in many ways succeeding in, sustaining themselves, their land and buildings. People have commented on everything from the beauty of the filmmaking to the interviews, music and narration and it has been all positive, a real testament to the film makers.
Speaking of film makers, did the monks pay for and produce this film? Did they have a say in the content?
No on paying for it and producing it, yes on having some input in the content. It is produced and directed by George Patterson and Deidra Dain, veteran film makers, who also raised the money to produce it. They, of course, worked with Father Robert and Father James mostly to make sure the content was in line with what the monks have been doing but the monks did not have control over the content in any way. This is an independently produced film. [The film makers are continuing to raise money for the film, having ‘foot the bill’ themselves. You can help if interested; more information at–www.picturefarmerfilms.com]
Will it be broadcast on other PBS stations?
The film makers expect that other PBS stations will pick it up and broadcast it. Keep an eye on your public TV station’s listings.
DVDs to be produced for sale? If not right away how can I watch it without having to wait for my TV station?
Yes there will be DVDs but not immediately. For the time being the way to watch the film is to go on line and plug this into your browser:
My parish wants to show the film. How can we do that? Would a monk come to my church?
As mentioned above DVDs are coming but not immediately so the only way to broadcast to a larger audience is by hooking a computer up to a projection unit (don’t ask; no idea how to do that). As to monks traveling, you know we are a cloistered community so monks will not come to represent the Abbey. But if you are having a parish or other type of event and I can do it I would be glad to come to represent the community to answer questions and even give a talk if interested. We see this film as a wonderful way for us to get the word out about the monastery so I will make every effort to join you and your group or parish for the showing. You can contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 540-486-5674.
Any other public showing of the film?
This Friday, January 27th the Landtrust of Virginia in conjunction with Goose Creek Association and Blue Ridge Wildlife Center will offer a free viewing at the Hill School Performing Arts Center in Middleburg, Virginia. It starts at 6pm and preregistration is encouraged to Kerry@landtrustva.org.