“Michael Saints” director, Katie Mahalic has gifted us with an exciting and kindhearted short film. This is a story about friendship and adversity. Three twelve-year-old boys plan to steal a bottle of holy water from their church. Watching this, you immediately ask yourself “What for?” It turns out their reason is serious.
I found the film to be fascinating and very sentimental. It is about love, friendship and the naivety of youth. After watching it I wanted to be a child again, and feel that strange connection with the universe when you are sure that all of your choices and actions are right. At the protagonists’ age, everything seems possible. This movie will hold the audience with its gaiety and plot complexity.
The young actors are great. Nick Phalen, Matthew Levy and Max Zuppa are bright young talents. The way they portray their characters in “Michael Saints”” is perfect. The characters are very different, which is what makes us believe they are such good friends. Michael is very kind and faithful; he loves his mother and is completely dedicated to her. Franky is narcissistic, he’s never without his comb to primp his hair. He also isn’t bothered by what is right and wrong even in church, when his aim is to help Michael. Lloyd is devout Catholic and deeply respectful of the church’s rituals and teachings. Although he doesn’t approve of their plan, his loyalty to his friends prevents him from letting them go alone.
The boys filled the shoes of these complex roles with the ease of seasoned pros. A simple search proved they are almost seasoned pros with a host of recognizable feature films under their belts. Nick Phalen can be seen in “Let’s Go to Prison” (2006), Matthew Levy in “Farewell Darkness” (2007), and Max Zuppa in “Eden Court” (2007) and “Fred Clause” (2007).
Katie’s work is stunning! I felt a strong emotional involvement while watching the film. The boys’ adventures involve distracting a nun with a passionate kiss, getting past Father Andrews and finally dealing with a crazy janitor. This is a must see!
Katie Mahalic graduated from the esteemed Columbia College Chicago with a Masters in Fine Art in Film and Video in 2009. In addition to being a filmmaker she teaches directing and production classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. “Michael Saints”” won the audience choice award at the Hollyshorts Film Festival, first place in the Flint Film Festival and was a Semi Finalist in the Angelus Student Film Festival.