- (Photo: Armondo Linus Acosta/Academy One Studios)
Director Armondo Linus Acosta, who has a storied background working with the Vatican, is developing an exciting, unprecedented film project, "The Last Supper According to Judas."
In the 1960s, the visionary filmmaker was commissioned by The Vatican to create, write and design 15 short feature films illustrating the Psalms from the Bible.
The films were screened at the Vatican Pavilion and at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. Among the award-winning films is "The Soldier" featuring a then-fledgling actor, William Shatner.
More recently, in 1990, Acosta released his first feature film "Romeo.Juliet," which was met with international acclaim. The film included a star-studded voice-over cast of Dame Maggie Smith and Vanessa Redgrave, among many others.
However, today, the 75-year-old filmmaker has opened up about the thought-provoking new motion picture project surrounding The Last Supper.
Armondo, who is also a Siddha meditation master, disclosed that the idea for the complex film came to him in a dream state.
"I truly had a revelation, if you can believe it or not," the director told The Christian Post.
"You are receiving information from source, in Christianity we know that it is Christ the Lord, in other cultures they know it as something else," he explained.
In his "The Last Supper According to Judas," Acosta will present Jesus' Passover meal with His disciples as never before explored on film. The project will focus on the Apostles of Jesus and the pivotal 24 hours before the Last Supper.
"I'm a filmmaker and so I listened, and awakened having heard the information. Being logical, I thought, 'It's never been done before," Acosta continued.
Although he cited past films such as "The Silver Chalice," Acosta knew his idea for a film about The Last Supperwas unlike any other from the past, and the director noted his experience with religious works.
"It's understanding the Judaic principle that blends itself in Catholicism, so my intellect was working," the director recounted of the film's inception. "I realized my career started with the Vatican. They wanted me to put Psalms on film and I started working with the first Pope of my career."
Acosta first worked with Pope John XXIII, and then just two months ago, the director received blessing from the newly elected pontiff Pope Francis.
In fact, the filmmaker presented Pope Francis with a silver bas-relief of The Last Supper and spoke about "The Last Supper According to Judas" at the inaugural ceremonies in March when he received the pontiff's blessing for the project.
Consistent with his promise to reveal the Apostle's unique journey in the film, Acosta assured CP that a cast of Oscar-winning actors would fill the roles of a lifetime.
"It is a work of devotion, not for hire. No one, behind the camera or in front of it, will do this film for money," said the director. "This film is not for any of reason other than passion for their craft and passion to see that this story is told."
This approach ensures that each actor will fully realize their character's depth and richness and unveil their own acting talents in what is "high" theater, said Acosta.
While the director has not yet locked in cast members, he met with "Apocalypse Now" cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, who was interested in the film.
He then expressed interest in actors Hugh Jackman as well as Al Pacino for starring roles in "The Last Supper According to Judas."
"Doubt is not a part of my life or my vocabulary," Acosta declared when asked about the challenge of casting such actors. "I've been given grace to do this, I want members of the crew to have the right purpose."
Furthermore the director admonished "traditional, corny renditions with Biblical characters standing on rocks with robes blowing in the wind."
Instead, Acosta's intimate character studies of the Apostles in "The Last Supper" will be a distinctive work of the highest beauty that will reveal the omniscient, profound relationship between Christ and His disciples.
In closing, the visionary filmmaker told CP that he hopes the film will bring audience members closer to God.
"If I have anything I want people to go away with- we have the ability to make direct contact with source, the source of creation," said Acosta.
Meanwhile, filming will take place inside the incredible Vatican Basilica as well as other locations around the world, and Acosta is aiming for unique releases of "The Last Supper According to Judas" within the next two years.