06/03/2020, 16.51
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Fr Anil Philip, priest and director, releases his latest film

by Biju Veticad

Michael's Coffee House tells the story of living with HIV. The priest won an award at the 34th Kolkata Film Festival. He collaborates with several Indian directors. On set he offers spiritual advice to actors.

Thiruvananthapuram - (AsiaNews) – Michael's Coffee House, the new film by Father Anil Philip, will soon be released in Indian cinemas. It is the story of someone living with HIV and their family, “a romantic film," Fr Anil said in an interview.

Fr Anil, a member of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate (CMI), has dedicated his life to cinema. For him movies and other media are great tools to bear witness to family values.

His debut film, Madhuram EE Jeevitham (This Life is sweet), also addresses the issue of family values, drawing from the Chavarul (Chavara’s Sayings) of Saint Chavara Kuriakos Elias, the founder of the Congregation.

The film won the Oustanding Achievement Award at the 34th International Kolkata Cultural Film Festival.

Since its foundation, the charisma of education, family education and cultural growth through art, the media and cinema have played a major role in the history of the CMI.

Father Abel, one of the Congregation’s greatest visionaries, founded Kalabhavan, an arts school, in 1969, which has trained many important film actors in Kerala.

Father Anil graduated in journalism from Farook College in Kozhikode, and pursued screenwriting and film direction studies at the Neo Film School in Cochin (Kerala).

Since 2012 he has collaborated with several directors in southern India, as well as worked as assistant director in some recent Malayalam-language films that have enjoyed considerable commercial success.

The priest has managed to reconcile his two vocations. “I celebrate Holy Mass and recite my prayers early in the morning, and during the day I am always absorbed in my work,” he said.

“On movie sets they come to me as Mr Philip, not as Father Anil. Often, however, many actors and crew members ask me for spiritual advice.”

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