People - including people closely involved with the film - have been tying this film to a strong pro life campaign, and following a PASSION OF THE CHRIST church marketing plan. But word is, the film is plenty good standing on its own, and is less agenda-driven than the promotional context might suggest. (Just to be clear, I'm not commenting on this particular agenda. I'm only suggesting that when agendas drive films, the film usually stink). BELLA did very well at TIFF, and distribution is through regular channels. Here's the press release;
BELLA WILL OPEN IN VANCOUVER ON APRIL 11, 2008
BELLA, winner of the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, stars Latino heartthrob Eduardo Verástegui (Chasing Papi) as José, a strikingly handsome and charming young soccer star on the rise – when a tragic accident cuts his career short and changes his life. Now a cook in his brother’s restaurant, José retreats from the world until Nina (Tammy Blanchard, The Good Shepherd, Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows), a beautiful waitress struggling to make it in New York City, discovers something about herself that she’s unprepared for. In one irreversible moment, a simple act of kindness brings them together and turns an ordinary day into an unforgettable experience. Before the day is through, José must confront his haunted past to show Nina how the healing power of love can help her embrace the future. Inspired by true events, BELLA is a heartwarming story about friendship, family and our capacity for love in the face of the unexpected.
BELLA, the feature directorial debut from Alejandro Gomez Monteverde, became “the fall’s biggest surprise” according to the Wall Street Journal and finished the year as one of the top 10 highest grossing independent films of 2007.