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Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022

‘The Five Priests’ Recognition

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The world is resonating with heroes’ story

When Chris Charles Scott agreed to direct “The Five Priests” — as a favor to a friend during dinner at Shreveport’s Mabry House — he didn’t expect the documentary to get much notice outside North Louisiana and the Catholic community.

Boy, was he wrong. And Scott admits it. The feature-length film, which tells the story of five priests who sacrificed their lives to help comfort those who lived in Shreveport during the 1873 Yellow Fever Epidemic, has been named an Official Selection of the prestigious Cannes World Film Festival.

But that’s not all. “The Five Priests” is also an Official Selection of the Rome Prisma International Film Festival and the Christian Film Festival. It was a finalist at the Texas Film Festival, and winner, Best Feature Documentary, at the Europe Film Festival.

“It means that Shreveport and its martyrs are not just regional heroes, or that this is just a local story,” Scott said of the film’s recognition. “It means the world resonated with this city, it’s most incredible survivor stories and the heroes that lived and served in this city. The history and people are remarkable, and the world now understands that.”

In less than three months, Shreveport lost 1,200 people — about one-fourth of its population — to the epidemic.

“Seeing this little project bloom on now an international stage has been amazing,” said Scott.

“From Mabry House to Cannes — what a short, remarkable and incredible journey.”

Scott said he has directed and worked on “big, critically acclaimed projects for major networks and streamers.” However, Scott said he did not direct “The Five Priests” for money.

“I did this for the awards,” Scott said. “The budget was well below what I would make to produce a feature-length documentary ... (It was about) the awards, and doing this for the city that launched my career is invaluable.”

To learn more about the priests who died, you may visit www.shreveportmartyrs.org.

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