Elder Joseph the Hesychast documentary nominated for three awards at international festival (+VIDEOS)

London, April 7, 2020

Photo: orthodoxianewsagency.gr Photo: orthodoxianewsagency.gr     

A new documentary on the great 20th-century Athonite spiritual father Elder Joseph the Hesychast has been nominated in three categories of the annual London Short Film Festival, reports the Orthodoxia News Agency.

The film features 5-time Emmy award winning actor and convert to Orthodoxy Jonathan Jackson in the role of St. Joseph. The world premier of the film will take place in May.

The documentary, “Elder Joseph the Hesychast,” has been nominated in the Best Screenplay of a Documentary and Best Actor categories, as well as for a special prize for the producer and the participation of monks in the documentary.

Vatopedi Monastery on Mt. Athos was responsible for producing and supervising the shooting of the film on Mt. Athos and in other places associated with the Elder’s life.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the festival will be held online this year.

On March 9, Elder Joseph and Elders Daniel and Ephraim of Katounakia were officially canonized by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Elder Ephraim was a spiritual child of Elder Joseph and is also featured in the documentary.

View the trailer for the film below:


In an interview with the Orthodoxia News Agency, Jonathan Jackson spoke about his experience taking on the role of St. Joseph the Hesychast, which he called perhaps the most challenging role of his career and a great blessing:

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Mom5/20/2020 6:19 pm
I want to thank the platform for making room for Great Saints! Orthodoxy teaches a positive loving way of seeing and living therefore there is no room for negativity or hate.
Ariane T Montemuro4/15/2020 6:02 pm
Because this movie is a truely gift from God has anybody that criticizes it is blind. We need to use our spiritual vision-like St Matrona The blind says- and feel with our hearts are not our mind the people involved in this movie are so pure. Jonathan is a true Christian. I know him as a friend. He has experienced the difficulties and horrors of being a Christian actor. I know this... trust me not all movies are good but this one is the most beautiful in a spiritual sense. Every Orthodox Christian should see it and this movie is for everyone This movie is for sinners alike we are all sinners!!! Who isn't a sinner? This beautiful monk above here has graced us with his words. Thank you!!! Get to know this Saint and Jonathan by listening to podcast #20 here: www.fellowshipofsaintmatronatheblind.com
Jeremiah4/13/2020 10:42 am
Dear Jason, probably I should let you know that I am old and I am a monk for decades now. I don’t spend time on the internet. I only from time to time follow s few serious pages that offer an honest perspective of our Church’s life today. So, leaving aside all that I have said, I will end this conversation with one last comment. For me, the fact that an elder as Abbot Ephraim of Vatopedi, one of the greatest spiritual Fathers Orthodoxy has today, a descendant of St Joseph the Hesychast, and an elder that has been very close to so many other saints of our days (e.g. St Ephraim of Katounakia, St Ephraim of Arizona, etc.) the fact that he gave his blessing for this step, that is to say, he allowed for the film to participate in the contest, for me this is enough. And the reason this is enough for me is because I know that people like elder Ephraim act inspired by the Holy Ghost in ways that the rest of us, of whom I am first, do not always comprehend. Christ be with you.
Jason4/13/2020 4:04 am
Please forgive me Jeremiah, had I known that you knew how to write in Greek I wouldn't have dared questions you, since knowing Greek automatically makes you a great Christian, Theologian and wannabe monk, right? Maybe one day, when you grow up, you will learn how to have a serious conversation without throwing an emotionally based red herring into the discussion. I find your attempt to derail and distract the conversation from its main points as dishonest, and very unbecoming for an orthodox Christian.  You have yet to answer one single point that I made, with any biblical and/or patristicly theological support, but make an emotionally based argument, and attack my person. You have yet to show why it is appropriate for a movie about the life of a Holy Orthodox saint to be sharing a platform with an organization that supports and promotes anti-christian lifestyles, and furthermore you have not made one single biblical or theological argument to defend your position that Christ sought out the approval of prostitutes, homosexuals and others. You dare to compare a harlot throwing herself at the feet of our Lord in contrition and repentance to the act of this actor (actor comes from the Greek word hypocrite) placing a movie about the life of saint on a UNREPENTANT platform that PROMOTES (not repents of) the very lifestyle that the harlot, St. Mary of Egypt, St. Joseph the Hesychest and many others fought against with all their strength, simply because Jonathan Jackson, and those who made this film want to win the approval, acceptance and "awards" of this institution that promotes anti-christian and godless lifestyles. It would have been far more appropriate to present this film at the Dove Christian Awards, which is an organization that at least tries to be consistent with Christian values.  This is simply an attempt for the actor to add another worldly award to his record and promote his name and career!  God's mercy is everywhere, but very few SEEK and FIND it....Matthew 7:7-14 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15
Jeremiah4/12/2020 8:29 pm
To Jason: Καλό Πάσχα, dear brother! I only pray that in time, after you get old, you may come to know that mercy is not afraid of the World, but can be present anywhere and everywhere. Our Lord's love be with you, and pray for me a sinner!
Jason4/10/2020 7:15 am
Dear Jeremiah, thank you for your attempted rebuttal, but I must say -with respect- that your thinking is highly flawed. You seem to be confusing the word "approval" with "evangelism". Our Lord did not seek the "approval" of any man (John 2:23-25), but instead brought sinners to repentance, as was the case with the harlot, the tax collector -St. Matthew the Apostle- and many many others.Do you not recall the Holy words of the Messiah to the woman caught in the act of adultery, "go and sin no more" (John 8:11)? In addition, the Holy Orthodox Church recently celebrated the life of St. Mary of Egypt whom you may recall was forbidden from entering the church where the True Cross of Christ was being venerated, and this was done to bring her to repentance and lead her to the desert where she CONTINUED her repentance and NO LONGER led her former life of fornication! The Most Holy Theotokos, did not allow her to enter the church, so as to awaken shame in her soul, which led to her repentance.Our Holy Fathers St. Paul and St. Peter teach us that the people of Christ, must be a separate and unique people (2cor6:15, 1peter2:11 etc..) Our Lord Jesus Christ -glory to His Holy name- teaches that His disciples should be the salt and light of the world, so as to guide men out of the darkness of this world into the light of Truth who is Christ. Our Lord did not enter the pagan temples of the ancient Babylonians or Greeks, but only spoke, worshiped and proclaimed the truth in the Temples of the true and living God. In the case of this news article, there is NO call for evangelism, but a triumphant glee from the authors that appears to come from the fact that this "international festival" would consider worthy of domination, this "short film" alongside films that glorify the LGBT lifestyles, adultery and other subjects which are in direct opposition to everything Orthodoxy teaches and EVERYTHING St. Joseph the Hesychest stood for! He fought against the demon of fornication with all his might through God's grace, strength and power, and he conquered that demon through Christ. Read the book called "Monastic Wisdom" to learn more. By sharing a platform with films that teach morals against the faith, what are we actually saying to the audience? We are merely confusing them and furthering the modern-day lies that all religions are "equal", truth and morality are "relative", and "love" is blindly accepting and never "offending" anyone who is enslaved to the demon of homosexuality! Such new age methods are not Orthodox, and are inconsistent with the teachings of Christ, the Holy Apostles, the Holy Fathers and the lives of the Saints, and have thus far proven to be ineffective and pathetic! Simply look around you and see how the LGBTQ(RSTUV?) have grown in strength, power and influence. Their voices are the loudest in public discourse and they attack with great energy any Christian voice that dares to proclaim the Orthodox truth on fornication, homosexuality and the so called "trans"! Go ahead and reach them with the Truth, but you do not have to lower our Holy Faith by legitimizing the platforms of the demons/world! "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. AND HAVE NO FELLOWSHIP WITH THE UNFRUITFUL WORKS OF DARKNESS, BUT RATHER REPROVE THEM. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light."-Ephesians 5:8-13
Jeremiah4/9/2020 6:23 pm
This goes to Jason: Dear brother, according to your thinking, our Lord Jesus Christ was fatally mistaken when on his earthly days He visited the houses of publicans and sinners, and He allowed prostitutes to kiss his feet and sit in His countenance. Yes, He must have been wrong! Why would He want the approval of those people? Why go to their feasts? There were so many devout Israelites that He could have spent more time with. Well, maybe there was another reason as to why He did that. And if yes, then maybe it justifies every effort of the Orthodox Church, the Body of Christ, in trying to address every audience, including the LGBT lost sheep which you so devoutly attack…
Jason4/8/2020 10:17 pm
Are you wondering what the "London Short Film Festival" is? They have movies that deal with the LGBT lifestyles, gothic, "family affairs" and other wonderful topics. They were initially called "The Halloween Short Film Club" when they started in 2003. The founder Philip Ilson says it was started out as "left field and underground" organization. Watch an interview with him talking about it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDdV7AlUulM Honestly, I just want to hear from orthochristian.com, the actor and mount Athos as to WHY IT MATTERS, that the so called "London Film Festival" that orthochristian.com calls an "International Festival" is important? Why is it news that this organization which shares its platform with LGBT movies is good for a film about the life of an Orthodox Saint? Why are you so proud about that? Why are you soooooooo desperate to have the approval and recognition of such organizations? St. Joseph the Hesychest abandoned the world, for the love of God, and here you are desperately trying to win the world's approval and acceptance. I find it pathetic and insulting to the saint. Shame on us Christians who are so desperate to be loved by a godless, self-centered world. Here is more information about the "London Film Festival" https://shortfilms.org.uk/about Finally, I watched the trailer to this movie, and all I see is man dressed in monastic clothing crying....a lot! St. Joseph is a great saint, and his life story is correctly and completely described in Elder Ephraim's book "My Elder". Please please read that book, and learn about the greatness of this Holy Saint. Its much better to learn from the book, than from the documentary in my opinion.
Editor4/8/2020 8:09 pm
At this point, all we know is that it will premier in May. We haven't seen any other details.
Jeannie Karamigios4/8/2020 7:44 pm
Please let me know how and when to see this beautiful documentary. Thank !you
Kalliopi Theophanous4/8/2020 3:49 am
Greetings May God and Panagia save and heal.us all. I live in NY and would like to know when where and how can I see the documentary based on Elder Joseph? God bless Kaliiopi
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