Visions of Faith
The Sheen Center

Visions of Faith

Religious Art Amid Global Persecution

On Sale TBA
  • Monday, November 6, 2023TBA TBA On Sale TBA

Event Details

About the Film

In 2015, in a now-infamous video, ISIS terrorists beheaded 21 men on a Libyan beach. The ISIS leader claimed they would turn the oceans red with the blood of executed infidels. Yet the brutal beheading highlighted the courage and unshakeable faith of the martyred men, proving that gentle faith is stronger than religious fear-mongering. Terrorism cannot triumph over sacrificial love.

To date, the ISIS video is the only publicly available visual storytelling concerning the death of the 21 martyrs. Produced as a piece of propaganda, the video does not showcase the spiritual victory won by the martyred saints, creating a need for a more truthful account of what really happened. The 21 Martyrs film project aims to meet this need by presenting a more accurate narrative of the sainted men’s abduction, detention and execution. Our short film has been developed based on extensive research and multiple conversations with the family members, friends and Coptic clergy who knew the 21.

We are working with dozens of Copts, including iconographers and animators, to craft a compelling film that honors the Coptic faith and their traditions. The Coptic community draws strength and comfort from their long history of saints and martyrs, and the 21 have joined that lineage. Their example of love and forgiveness is a clarion call for the world to honor and emulate.

The film is being animated by a world-class team of artists headed by Tod Polson, formerly of Cartoon Saloon. Coptic iconographers have been influential in the development of the film's aesthetic, which takes its cues from the Neo-Coptic style.

Original music is being composed and recorded by the renowned Ayoub Sisters, classically trained musicians who incorporate Coptic hymns and liturgy into their music.