The International Consecrated Marian Society hosted a screening of the new, independent, faith-based film Hearts of Mercy on Friday, April 6 at the Centro Asturiano de Tampa Historic Theatre located in Ybor City. The event included a Red Carpet VIP Reception with priority seating and a ‘Meet the Stars’ after party.
Filmed locally in Tampa at various sites throughout the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Hearts of Mercy is based on the experiences of a Christian woman who communicates with Mary, Mother of Jesus, through visions and dreams. The docu-drama follows the lead character, Lina, through a fantastic journey into the spiritual realm as she tries to make sense of her supernatural encounters.
As her faith grows deeper and her prayers become more powerful, she finds herself an outcast and an object of ridicule, gossip and hatred in the community. The film explores these issues and identifies how our reliance on faith and prayer affects our daily lives, relationships, addictions and even our health.
“The entire process has been a powerful experience for everyone involved in this project,” said Executive Producer Celina Okpaleke, who resides in the Tampa Bay area along with a majority of the actors. “It was like conducting an orchestra using the best musicians in the world. The entire production has been an awesome walk of faith.”
Stuart Mackey, owner of Mackey Productions in Brandon, edited the film. His company assists local businesses and organizations increase its brand awareness and recognition through video content. Hearts of Mercy was Mackey Production’s first feature-length film edit.
“Celina and I are continuing to refine the edit of the film,” said Mackey. “Movies are rarely done at the first premiere when they are small independent films like this one. She is hopeful that she will be able to pick up a distributor soon.”
The Tampa premiere launched a series of national and international screenings, which will take place in 25 major cities including Miami, Atlanta, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles as well as Lagos, Nigeria; London, England; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.