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4/28/2014 - 12:20 PM PST

Catholic PRWire

Seeking funds for distribution, producers of "Lost Road of the Popes" turn to online crowd funding to bring their film to a global audience.

April 28th, 2014 (Seattle, WA) - Independent film production company Make Believe Media announced the launch of an online effort on Kickstarter for funds to promote a historical documentary, Lost Road of the Popes: Via Papale.

Internet site Kickstarter is the world's largest crowd-funding platform. It allows creators to raise money from "backers" to bring their ideas for creative projects or new products to life.

The feature-length Lost Road of the Popes: Via Papale was shot in Rome, Italy, edited in the U.S. and is now fully produced. The Kickstarter page live on Thursday, May 1st and will ask potential backers for funding to translate, promote and distribute the film worldwide.

Too many obstacles and no support make way for a different approach.

Lost Road of the Popes tells the dramatic, often inspiring 16th-century story of how Catholicism and the Papacy overcame brutal attack to create a historic religious and urban renaissance. For Catholics and non-Catholics, at film festivals and Church screenings, the filmmakers have seen positive, widespread response.

But as producer Tom Sammon points out, "The barriers to distribution in the U.S. and other countries are high. We know there's a large Catholic and non-Catholic audience out there who want to see a film like ours, but they can't."

According to its Kickstarter page, Lost Road of the Popes took top prizes at a number of American film festivals-and caught the interest of distributors. But many insisted on holding the film as unreleased "inventory," while others demanded creative control or inflated marketing fees.

"Kickstarter is a natural alternative," Sammon says, "because it let's us go directly to our audience for support." Depending on their contributions, Kickstarter backers will receive one or more "premiums" in return-from a DVD of the film to a private guided tour of the Vatican Museum in Rome.

Meanwhile, Sammon and his team continue to put the finishing touches on a marketing and distribution strategy of their own. They also have a list of potential partners to help them carry out the plan, which will spread across several "channels."

In digital channels, viewers will have the choice to either stream video for free at no charge (with limited ads) or pay a small fee with no ads. DVD sales and cable television programming, especially to parts of the world where the Internet is less accessible, are also being explored.

The story of Lost Road of the Popes: Via Papale.

Narrated by actor Brian Dennehy, Lost Road of the Popes: Via Papale is an award-winning, feature-length documentary film that chronicles the miracle that saved The Church and created the Roman skyline of today.

Starting with the destruction of Rome in 1527, and the Catholic Church under siege, Lost Road follows the lives of six dynamic Popes-all inspired to rebuild the Church and Rome itself-along a single Holy Road: The Via Papale.

Over the course of a century, stretching from St. Peters to St. John Lateran, The Via Papale became the staging ground for the new churches, monuments and iconic art that helped to exalt and protect the Catholic Church as we know it.

From Pope Paul III's heroic efforts to re-start the Basilica at St. Peters, to the Jesuit Church IL Gesu granted by Pope Sixtus V, to the blissful San Andrea de la Valle, Lost Road of the Popes follows a century-long timeline of Catholic history, with film of the most ethereal structures on earth. And, at its finale, explains why the historic Via Papale no longer exists.

For more information or to view the trailer, visit

Make Believe Media USA is an independent film production company based in Seattle, Washington that specializes in documentary subjects. For a full description of the company and its services, please contact Tom Sammon at 206-659-9975.


Popes, Vatican, Documentary film, lost road of the popes, Rome, Kickstarter, Pike Place Media


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