By Steve Jalsevac
October 24, 2007 ( – For those who saw the premier of the movie “Bella” at last year’s Toronto International Film festival it has been a much anticipated long wait for the movie’s commercial release this weekend in the United States. Most were moved and inspired by that premier showing. They naturally hoped millions more would eventually be able to share their experience.

  The “three amigos”, as the Latino American producers of Bella are called, have been encouraging groups to adopt a theater and are promoting advance bulk ticket purchases to ensure the movie gets a solid start in the 800 movie theaters scheduled to screen it so far. Catholic News Agency reported today that “hundreds of the theaters showing the film have pre-sold all their seats to fans” and “Some individuals are buying 100 to 10,000 tickets for family, church groups, and total strangers.”

  There have been numerous positive reviews of “Bella” published in the past few months. See  It’s not an action flic or Hollywood spectacular. It has been described by one reviewer as “a romantic drama that is much deeper than romance”.

  The apparent simplicity of “Bella” has been found to be deceiving by many who have seen the movie. Eduardo Verastegui, the male star of the movie, in a lengthy interview with LifeSiteNews last year prior to the Film Festival premier, described the movie plot. He said, “The film is about a man who had everything and lost it all. And in losing it all – he found everything that matters in life which is family and love, true love – sacrificial love. It shows that there is a time in everyone’s life when a moment will change us forever and life will never be the same again, any more.” Viewers have found that it does in fact powerfully present that message.

The acting, filming and music of “Bella” are first class Hollywood quality. Tammy Blanchard plays the main character who discovers and attempts to resolve her unplanned pregnancy with the help of Jose, the character played by Verastegui. She gives what some consider an academy award quality performance.

  The casting is superb. Many have found the movie unexpectedly sticks in their minds long after leaving the theater. There is much to ponder. Seeing it a second time is recommended because of the subtlety and depth of the various themes in “Bella” which become even clearer with a second viewing.

  The producers have big plans beyond this movie. They want to produce many more films that are, says producer Leo Severino, “timeless and that engage and inspire people.  Films that have that capacity to change peoples’ hearts and minds.”

  To do that they need this one to be a commercial success and have therefore been intensely encouraging groups to help make the critical first few weeks, especially the first week of its release, a big success. That will result in it being placed in even more markets and into other countries.

  The “Bella” website lists all the theaters that are scheduled to show the movie to date and will continue to add more as screenings are scheduled. (See