PREMIERES 2018-04-12T15:48:11+00:00

Augustine: Son of Her Tears

Carthage, Tunisia

The Carthage Film Festival kicked off with a red carpet night (opening) on October 29th. The following evening, the momentum of excitement only continued to flow. Before the theater doors opened, a crowd had grown so large people wrapped around the building and down the street. Once the doors opened, around 700 people filled the 500 seat theater ready to see the long awaited Augustine: Son of Her Tears. As the moviegoers poured in, so did the reporters. As people filed in to find seats, interviews took place in the lobby. The theater chairs filled, then so did the aisles, and still some ended up standing in the back.

In celebration of the Carthage Film Festival’s 50th anniversary, the Tunisian Ministry of Cultural Affairs sponsored the movie’s pre-premier. They were enthusiastic to sponsor Augustine: Son of Her Tears because it celebrates North African culture by depicting the life of St. Augustine, one of the most famous North Africans of all time. Every part of the production was led by North Africans including directing, acting, script writing, etc. Several scenes were filmed on location in Tunisia where Augustine lived which was special because the theater is just a short drive away.

The full length motion picture focused on St. Augustine’s search for truth and finding Christ. Throughout the movie, Augustine wrestles with different philosophies which leave him unsatisfied, wanting more. His Christian mother had tearfully persisted in prayer for him to have a relationship with Jesus, making Augustine the son of her tears. In the end, his mother’s prayers were answered and Augustine concludes that Jesus is Lord. The theater audience of North African non-believers got to watch Augustine confess and turn away from his sin, accept Christ as his personal savior, and also get baptized.

The gospel is clearly presented and the baptism is a major highpoint in Augustine’s story. After much prayer from his mother and lots of grappling for answers on Augustine’s part, his declaration of faith in the Trinity is so hopeful to watch. The lead actor who played St. Augustine, Ahmed Amin Ben Saad, claims to be non-religious but he wants people to remember the baptism scene. He said, “it is a moment that really touched me personally. When we filmed that scene I was very moved.”

For the entirety of the two hour film, the viewers stayed put and shushed anyone who made a sound. They were drawn in and intent on hearing the movie’s message which led them to applaud the ending credits and walk out with great responses. Erick Schenkel, the executive director of Jesus film project said altogether, the film is “a fresh breath of humanity.” He related to “the search for truth, the inner conflict of a desire to do what’s right and yet finding myself unable to, and God’s faithful search for me just as he sought Augustine.”

Two days later there was another premier in the Tunisian city of Sfax. Tunisian news media covered the premier, including interviews with the Christian screen writer.

Future of the film:

The film is currently in Arabic with French subtitles. Work is underway to dub the film into English, French and other languages so the film will be available to as many people as possible.

Timing for the wide release of the film will depend on decisions to present it to major film festivals in Europe as the entry for either Algeria or Tunisia. Please pray with us that God would guide all those involved in these decisions for His glory and the spread of the story of His salvation.

We pray that through distributing this film it will be a wonderful tool that opens many hearts to believe in Jesus as Lord.

Your partnership has opened a door for the gospel to be proclaimed in North Africa and the Arab world in a refreshing unprecedented way. May God richly bless you for the sacrifice in prayers and finances you have offered for the production of this unique and powerful tool.

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​TUNIS (Tunisia)

​This is the very first premiere of “Augustine, son of her tears”, organised entirely by the Tunisian Ministry of Culture and the two producers, Dr Imed Dabbour and Mr Abdelaziz Ben Mlouka. This was done as an inauguration of the “Days of Carthage for Movies”. It was the 50th anniversary of this film festival, one of the most prestigious in North Africa and the Arab world. The theater we used had 550 seats, and was packed with over 750 spectators; more than 200 people had to be turned away. Actors and film crew came from Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia for this special event, and were greatly honored. The reception by the North African spectators was overwhelmingly positive. However, several cinema critics suggested that the film was too long, and should be shortened. Following this, we went to work, shortened the film, and made a new version called “Director’s cut”.​

​SFAX​ (Tunisia)

​Sfax is the third-largest city in Tunisia, and had just been chosen by the Arab League as the “City of Culture” (following ​on ​the city of Constantine in Algeria the previous year)​. To open the celebrations of Sfax becoming City of Culture, the ​Ministry of Cultural Affairs suggested premiering ​​”Augustine, son of her tear​​​s”, so this was our second premiere in Tunisia. One of the most ​famous ​ actors​ in the entire Arab world​, ​ Adel Emam,​ was invited as the guest of honor; ​he ​received the highest recognition ​by the President ​of Tunisia, with a special celebration in the presidential palace.

​Once again, the response of the spectators was overwhelmingly encouraging. Over 750 people attended, and once again, hundreds had to be turned away.
Many articles appeared in the press, and interviews on television and radio channels were all encouraging about the film.​

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One of the greatest honors was to have our film, “Augustine, son of her tears”, premiered at the Vatican in Rome, and presented by one of the top authorities on Saint Augustine in the Roman Catholic world, Cardinal Prospero Grech.

Once again, the event was attended by many ambassadors. The Archbishop of Lebanon sent two special representatives to the premiere, Mgr François Eid, and Father Abdou Abou Kassem.

Most of the actors, actresses and crew and producers were there, as was the composer of the film score, Dr Salim Dada, who did a great performance with the orchestra.

After the showing, during the reception, we did many interviews, and the response of the European media was as as good as what we had in Paris.

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ALGIERS (Algeria)

This premiere was organised by the Algerian Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the Department of Cinema Development, under the leadership of Mrs Chahinez Mohamadi, and under the patronage of the Minister of Cultural Affairs, His Excellency​, Mr Azzedine Mihoubi.​

Over 500 people attended the showing, and afterwards, we were overwhelmed by the press, clamoring for interviews and comments on the film.

Once again, the film was really well received, in Algeria, the country where Saint Augustine was born, and where he later served, until he died, known as the Bishop of Hippo.

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Premiere of “Augustine, son of her tears” in Cairo (Egypt)

The Cairo premiere of “Augustine, son of her tears” was a great success. It took place in one of the oldest Opera houses in Egypt and on the continent of Africa, very much like the Alexandria Opera House. This very prestigious theater always hosts the best of Arab as well as international cultural and artistic presentations.

“Augustine, son of her tears” was presented in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, and was well received by the people of Cairo.

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UNESCO, Paris, France

The very first premiere in Europe took place in the city of light and culture, Paris, France, and at the heart of the world of culture, UNESCO, in Paris.

This event was done under the patronage of the Ambassador of the Republic of Malta to UNESCO, His Excellency Joseph Vella Gauci.

Once again, the theater was packed, and as usual, with every premiere, we were honored to have the Tunisian and Algerian Ambassadors present, since the film is produced with the support of the Ministries of Culture of both Algeria and Tunisia. Many other Ambassadors as well as Delegations to UNESCO, and ecclesiastic dignatories from all major religions were present, as were most of the cast and crew, in addition to the producers, Imed Dabbour and Abdelaziz Ben Mlouka.

Before the showing, we were honored and entertained by Crescendo, a trio of classical musicians.

Again, we had to turn away a large number of very disappointed people, and we will be organising other showings in Paris in the near future.

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