ABOUT THE FILM
 
Unaware of danger that the two boys are about to encounter, young Nicholas (Michael Dentico) and his friend Theophanes (Alexander Foos) engage in a spirited game of hide and seek deep in the forest.
 
 

 

THE STORY

Orphan, saint, immortal… Nicholas was born to Greek parents in the city of Patara during the latter part of the Third Century A.D., on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Orphaned while still young, Nicholas inherited his father’s vast fortune -- an event that served as the catalyst for a journey of self-discovery that one day led him to the city of Myra (presently Demre, Turkey). There he came to live a dual life, as a devout bishop by day, and an anonymous gift-bearer by night. Few people know of the many legends that surround his familiar name -- even fewer know the history behind the saint.

 
 
Actor Matthew Mesler as Nicholas in a scene from Nicholas of Myra.
 

Nearly three hundred years after Christ's crucifixion, The Roman Empire had grown vast. Too large for one emperor to rule alone, it had been divided among four. The persecution of Christ's followers had also burgeoned, culminating in the early part of the Fourth Century, when Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra. Faithful Christians were soon martyred or imprisoned by the four Caesars of Rome, of whom the most ruthless was Diocletian, who ruled in the East. Countless numbers suffered under his reign, including Nicholas. It was during this era of intolerance and cruelty that the Roman Empire would reach a defining moment in history.

After several years of imprisonment, Bishop Nicholas suddenly received word that an improbable crusade had begun. An effort was underway to once again unite the Empire under a single and supreme ruler -- one who promised to bring an end to the persecutions -- one who was known as Constantine The Great. With the Empire in conflict around him, Nicholas would then be forced to confront the greed of a corrupt Roman Governor, a deceitful conspiracy against Constantine and his trusted General, and an insidious threat to the children of Myra.

The stage had been set for events that would bring to pass a turning point in history and one of the most enduring, and endearing, legends of all time.

 
         
 

 

THE PRODUCTION

It is in troubled times that it becomes most imperative for art to reflect the goodness in the world. With the lack of inspiring family entertainment that Hollywood offers today, there is no better time to tell the story of Nicholas of Myra -- one that does not undo the cherished myth we all grew up with, but instead, reinforces the hope and kindness it kindled within us as children. The story leaves no doubt that Santa Claus is for real, and that he is as much a sacred part of Holiday tradition as he is secular. He is for people of all ages, and really, not just those who celebrate Christmas. The origins of many of our 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.

After years of extensive development, Nicholas of Myra Writer/Director Gerald Hartke took ambitious steps to finally realize the never-before-told story for movie audiences to enjoy. Although the screenplay had drawn interest from mainstream entertainment studios, it was not until the project caught the attention of a group of Western New York investors that the production began to accelerate. Along with Executive Producer Thomas J. Mallare, Hartke launched Nicholas of Myra LLC in 2005 and assembled a talented team of actors and filmmakers, as well as state-of-the-art digital cinema technology, needed to bring the epic motion picture to the big-screen.

Fueled completely by independent financing, the production remains headquartered in a 4,000 square foot studio/soundstage in suburban Western New York and has already garnered national, as well as international, attention. With the end of production clearly in sight, the goal now is to complete what might be considered the most ambitious independent film ever attempted, while showcasing the diverse beauty and talent of Western New York in an unprecedented fashion.

Be sure to visit www.nicholasofmyra-movie.com for the latest production updates and exclusive media from the upcoming motion-picture event, Nicholas of Myra: The Story of Saint Nicholas.

 

 
 

After proclaiming he had a vision that appeared in the sky above a battlefield, Constantine The Great (Robert Vincent Jones) leads a heroic crusade to end the Christian persecution, but will soon learn from a fateful encounter with Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, that not every hero swings a sword.