NewsSIGNIS North America and Malaysia network bring online movie reflection for Lent

SIGNIS North America and Malaysia network bring online movie reflection for Lent

(SIGNIS Malaysia). More than seven hundred viewers watched the movie reflection on the film The Lunch Box, which was discussed online on 21st March 2021. The online movie reflection was part of the Lenten Campaign (LC) program organized by the Archdiocesan Office for Human Development (AOHD).

During the lockdown, AOHD was looking for creative ways to enable Catholics to actively participate in the LC while strictly observing the “Stay home, Stay safe” rule. The online movie discussion, called Connecting Experiences, not only brought a value-based movie into the LC and added a cinematic flavor to LC, but also enabled an alternative way for the participants to share their views and feelings during a pandemic.

The objective of the movie reflection was to enable participants to connect their experiences, encounter themselves, and grow from situations of HOPE portrayed in wholesome moviesThe LC has been promoted in parishes over the past few decades, to help parishes critically reflect on Lent, and empower the faithful to better understand and act on Catholic social teachings.

In finding new ways to promote the LC, the coordinating team reached out to Dr. Frank Frost who regularly hosts a parish-based film discussion series, called Movie Moments of Grace, in Washington, DC, USA. Dr. Frost, an award-winning television producer, is the director of the Teilhard de Chardin Project ( and president of SIGNIS North America.

After studying the theme of the LC, which was Live Hope in Self, Family and Community, Dr. Frost proposed ten international movies that “fit the theme.” He wrote the synopsis and guidelines for each of the movies for reflection during Lent.

The faithful were invited to view the movies in the comfort of their home anytime during the Lenten season. The movies were available on YouTube, Netflix or were downloadable. Selected movies with synopses and clips, along with teasers, were promoted by the various social media platforms provided by the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur and AOHD.

An Asian Bollywood movie titled “The Lunch Box” (2013) was selected for viewing and for online reflection and discussion via an online meeting platform.

Melissa Fernando, a local TV channel producer, hosted the online movie discussion, while Justin Victor, senior lecturer at the School of Media and Communication, Taylor’s University, Malaysia, led and facilitated the movie reflection by highlighting the implicit values, especially HOPE, that were manifested in the characters and situations. Appropriately, Justin is also the director of Befrienders Kuala Lumpur, a non-profit organization that provides emotional support and counseling for all forms of stress.

Adeline James, LC program coordinator and secretary of SIGNIS Malaysia, said, “This is the first time an online approach has been initiated to use ‘value’ movies for reflection in the context of Lenten Campaign. We hope to go beyond the Lenten season and take movie reflection online on a scheduled calendar year.” She concluded to say, “We would like to thank Dr. Frost and his team at Movie Moments of Grace, based in Washington DC for giving us the timely support when we were planning this initiative.”


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