BEHIND THE SCENES
It is in troubled times that it becomes most important for art to reflect the goodness in the world. With the lack of inspiring family entertainment that Hollywood offers today, there is no better opportunity to tell the story of Nicholas of Myra -- one that does not undo the cherished myth, but instead, reinforces the hope and kindness it kindled within many of us as children. The story leaves no doubt that old St. Nick is for real and that he is a sacred part of holiday tradition. He is for people of all ages and, really, not just those who celebrate Christmas. The origins of many age-old traditions are woven together like never before in this dramatic and layered tale that, until now, has been lost to the lore that replaced it for nearly two hundred years.
In December of 2001, Nicholas of Myra Writer, Producer and Director, Gerald Hartke, was first inspired to begin writing a dramatization that would become the basis for two epic films. Some years of research and writing would pass before the final treatment of the story was complete. Hartke eventually became enamored with the idea of making a period motion-picture about the untold origin of the age-old legend of Saint Nicholas of Myra. After developing the screenplay for several more years, he began taking ambitious and innovative steps to bring the story to the screen for movie audiences to enjoy.
It was then that the project caught the attention of a group of Western New York investors, where Hartke resides, and the potential for green-lighting the film as an independent production became inevitable. In partnership with Executive Producers Thomas J. Mallare, Dominic Mallare, Michael D. Jordan and Beth Jordan, Hartke began raising investment capital and established an independent movie studio to house the production. After assembling a talented team of actors and filmmakers, as well as the digital cinema technology a project of this scope required, Gerald has since worked with over one hundred performers, dozens of crewmembers and countless locations across upstate New York.
Following many years of extensive work on the film and seeing the finished product starting to take shape, Hartke eventually came to the realization that the sweeping story he was creating needed to be told as a two-part saga. He began re-cutting the three-hour-plus epic into two separate movies. He and his fellow producers then launched N.O.M. Entertainment Group, L.L.C. in 2017 to complete part one of the story, Nicholas of Myra: The Story of Saint Nicholas -- The Legend Begins, aiming to finish the second film once the first has been released. Fueled entirely by independent financing, the production company remains headquartered in a studio-soundstage in suburban Western New York and the goal now is to complete what may be considered the most ambitious independent film production ever attempted. Hartke and his team have devoted years of craft to bringing this story to life and the historic significance of a film about Saint Nicholas heading to the big-screen for the first time has already created a high level of anticipation, nationally as well as internationally. Early word about Nicholas of Myra has been spreading and the movie has subsequently garnerd internet and social media attention in very diverse parts of the world.
The United Kingdom, Netherlands, Russia, Israel, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia and Thailand have growing fanbases and the film has also struck a chord in Latin America. With the growing attention and support from around the world, the international news media has made effort to cover the project with featured news articles in the U.S., Italy and Brazil. Due to the anticipation, a charitable London premiere with members of England's Royal Family has been discussed by Dr. James Rosenthal, Founder and President of the Saint Nicholas Society UK/USA. For all of the latest updates on the release of the first film, Nicholas of Myra: The Story of Saint Nicholas -- The Legend Begins, look for the official Nicholas of Myra Blog in September.
"I’ve traveled the world in search of Saint Nicholas. After reading the screenplay, I feel as though my journey is complete. The world needs to know the story. This new movie will bring the story of Saint Nicholas, with his selfless generosity, to the general public -- a public that has largely forgotten or never knew his inspiring saga. Nicholas of Myra is for every time, all ages, and those of every creed. It will leave no doubt that Santa Claus is for real, and that he can be as much a part of sacred holiday tradition as secular. I believe this is going to be a worldwide success." -- Dr. James M. Rosenthal The St. Nicholas Society UK/USA
“We are excited about this important film. The Latino community in the US, Mexico and South America will embrace this story as it finally comes to life…Largo San Nicolás live! Long live St. Nicholas!" -- Monica Pucciarelli PUNTO Video Magazine