The Sultan and the Saint Project

With the rise of new forms of extremism across the Middle East and North Africa, Christians and Muslims around the world are facing a media narrative that pits both communities against one another. FAN is excited to be partnering with Muslim film production company Unity Productions Foundation (UPF) to bring about a film that will serve as a counter-narrative to inspire Muslims, Christians, and others to take risks for peace and greater understanding.

In 1219, in the midst of the disastrous Fifth Crusade, Francis crossed enemy lines to gain an audience with al-Kamil, the sultan of Egypt. Francis, who opposed the warfare, hoped to bring about peace by converting the sultan to Christianity. He didn’t succeed, but came away from the peaceful encounter with revolutionary ideas that called for Christians to live harmoniously with Muslims. Thus began a relationship between the two that lasted the rest of their lives, each man risking his life to promote peace between their faiths. This story, which is well known among Franciscans, has mainly, until now, been told from the Christian perspective. UPF had the idea for producing a live action docu-drama from the Muslim perspective and approached FAN for some Franciscan experts in this area to include.

UPF films have been viewed by an estimated 150 million people worldwide via public television and have won dozens of national and international awards. They have partnered with prominent Jewish, Muslim, Christian and interfaith groups to run dialogues nationwide in classrooms, community centers, living rooms, government offices and religious congregations. Their films (Enemy of the Reich, Islamic Art) have received numerous awards and have been viewed by people around the world. There is currently a contract in place to have “The Sultan and the Saint” released on public television. Here is a short trailer with FAN's own Patrick Carolan, Sr. Marie Lucey and Cardinal McCarrick talking about the film to date:

UPF and FAN have partnered to establish pre-screenings of the film in joint Muslim-Franciscan Communities across the nation. As part of our Peace Making mission, FAN is thrilled to have the opportunity to assist in fostering dialogue among these two faith groups. In 2017, FAN is continuing to work with Franciscan and Muslim groups and communities in hosting screenings. If you or someone you know is interested in a screening, please contact Sr. Marie Lucey, at lucey@franciscanaction.org.

Many faith leaders, including Cardinal McCarrick and Imam Magid have endorsed the project. Click here to see a video of the two discussing the importance of this story.

Help us tell this great story of Muslim-Christian peace. Click here to support this project. Be sure to choose "Sultan and the Saint" in the Designation drop down menu.

For a printable information page on the film, please click the attachment link below.

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