We are very proud to announce that Magic Lantern recently made our first, modest grant of $2,000 to assist production of the forthcoming PBS documentary, Saving Place, Saving Grace, a film being shot here in the northern Valley which tells the story of the sustainability efforts of the Holy Cross Abbey in Clarke County.

“Saving Place, Saving Grace” is the story of a Trappist monastery’s struggle for reformation of their home by embracing an intense sustainability initiative. Witness the monks land stewardship, prayer, and work ethic as the core of the community at Holy Cross Abbey. It’s a race against time to retain their rural home along the iconic Shenandoah River in the shadow of The Blue Ridge Mountains.

Ecology meets theology. Saving Place, Saving Grace portrays an extraordinary place and grace in the spirit of contemplative prayer and lifestyle that is the soul of Cool Spring. And—without the active engagement of the internal and external communities—this 1,200 acre property and community could disappear.

Today, the Cistercian monks’ endeavors and the colorful array of people who support the community’s sustainability should be a shining example for all who share the planet. Their humility and recognition of the divine in nature call for a spiritual awakening that we all should deeply ponder. Ancestral residents and caretakers moved through the area with what we can imagine to be equal appreciation for the fertility and extraordinary landscapes. And the iconic Shenandoah River of the Chesapeake Bay watershed—we must take serious action to eliminate pollution and restore water quality in order to conserve our most valuable natural resource.

The Director and Producer each became acquainted with the monastery and its community over the last 10 years. We have been granted unprecedented access to the unique community and place. The film offers viewers an opportunity to explore and learn about this “sacred ground,” with the invitation to be swept away with the story. We hope a “call to action” will be the answer to its inspiration.

Part of the MLT’s mission has always been to encourage local filmmakers; we hope that this will be but the first of such grants — within our modest capabilities.

Find out more about “Saving Place, Saving Grace” at the Picture Farmer Films website HERE

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