In 2019, the Council General International of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul celebrates the 180th anniversary of its establishment. Among the various events and initiatives organised to commemorate this anniversary was the Film Festival: The Seven Founders, aimed at stimulating and spreading, in an entertaining and engaging way, the knowledge and research of the founders: Ozanam, Le Taillandier, Devaux, Lamarche, Lallier, Clavé and Bailly de Surcy. These seven young men were the precursors of a prosperous institution that today is present in more than 150 Vincentian countries, with around 800,000 members serving the most vulnerable and needy.
The Council General thanks all those who participated in this contest and submitted videos and films of short and medium-length, as well as the National Councils who helped promote this event. The Organising Committee, after receiving submissions from various countries, decided to award one work, the best of all works submitted, that would receive a prize of 2,000 euros.
Our brother William Alves, the festival organiser remarked: “With this Film Festival, focused on the legacy of the seven founders of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, the Council General seeks to promote deeper knowledge about these key individuals of our institution by highlighting the early life of the Society and the ideals that impelled those young men to found, in 1833, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.”
After a thorough analysis performed by the judges, the Council International is pleased to announce the winner of the Film Festival ‘The Seven Founders’:
Title: SSVP: A origen (SSVP: its inception)
Running time: 68 minutes
Director: Jailson Severino de Silva (member of Saint Catherine Conference in Jacareí, São Paulo, (Brazil).
Cast: Benedita de Lourdes Rodrigues, Jailson Severino da Silva, Paulo Marcos da Silva, Mariana da Silva, Rosana de Cassia Aparecida Pedroso da Silva, Izabel Cristina Faria Zanardi Sangion, Lívia Maria Barros Bastos, Domingos Carlos Leite, Jose Luiz Ferreira, José Rogério Ferreira, Guilherme Mendicelli, Sandro Henrique Mendonça Nogueira, Gabriel Antônio Franklin Moraes Gomes, Luiz Eduardo Troily Pedroso de Souza, Ailton Santos, Roberto Tarcísio de Abreu, Bruna Ellen Dalmas Costa, Samuel Alvarenga de Souza, Thiago Luiz dos Santos, Rafael dos Santos Cardoso, Marina Miranda, Marcos Roberto Zamana, Carlos Ribeiro, Joana Aparecida Ferreira and Dalila Pereira Bernardo da Silva.
This film portrays the final moments of Frédéric Ozanam’s life as he lies on his death-bed in his room in Marseille. With him is his daughter, Marie Josephine, and together they recall some interesting facts and anecdotes when he and his friends founded the Society.
In the film, Ozanam’s daughter, in an attempt to cheer up her father (who was already at an advanced stage of his illness), asks him to narrate the events surrounding the foundation of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Out of love for his daughter, Frédéric endeavours to recall the events with his friends’ support when they called on him. The final part of the film is very moving depicting Ozanam’s death beside his loving wife.
The filming process took 9 months …this all began when the director, Jailson Severino da Silva, was inspired to participate in the festival and invited other members of the Society to become members of the cast … then there was the need to write a script and begin the process of recording and filming … a difficult task that has been duly recognized.
According to Renato Lima de Oliveira, 16th President General, all the members around the world will soon be able to watch the award-winning film (subtitled in French, English and Spanish), via Council General’s media platforms. Our President, Renato Lima stated: ‘I am overjoyed with the result of the festival, for several reasons. Firstly, for the quality of the award-winning work. secondly, because we are diving into the history of our founders in a very effective manner. Finally, we leave a legacy for future generations, a work that portrays the origins of the Society … seven young pioneers, inspired by God, who bequeathed us the mission of serving the poor being faithful to the Vincentian Charism, thus achieving personal holiness.
The film SSVP: A Origen (SSVP: Its Inception) will be presented to the Council General International during this year’s CGI’s Board meeting in November, which will take place in Milan (Italy), the birthplace of Antoine Frédéric Ozanam, in the 180th anniversary of the Council General. Congratulations to the winners! Congratulations to the SSVP!
Besides the film festival, the Council General has undertaken other actions to make known the legacy of the seven founders: The Thematic Years, the international literary contest, the new song dedicated to the seven founders, a special logo with their image, as well as visits to their graves. All of these actions are set out in the Council General’s strategic plan.