Soldier, sinner, saint: the life of St Ignatius on film

Andreas Muñoz as Iñigo (Ignatius of Loyola) in the film
Andreas Muñoz as Iñigo (Ignatius of Loyola) in the film

A stunning retelling of the story of the founder of the Society of Jesus, St Ignatius Loyola, is coming to a venue known as ‘the birthplace of cinema in the UK’ this spring. Describing him as a soldier, a sinner and a saint, Ignacio de Loyola looks at the man behind the legend, from being an impulsive youth obsessed with women and sword-fighting to the masterful, charismatic leader of an order that would change the face of Christendom forever – the Jesuits. It will be shown at the Regent Street Cinema in London on 9 April.

Ignacio de Loyola chronicles the life of a young soldier who is forced to give up his dreams of a knighthood when he is crippled in battle. He starts pursuing a wild desire to become a saint, only to realise – upon being arrested by the Spanish Inquisition for heresy – that he must now pay the full price for sainthood: obedience to God’s voice, even if it means giving up everything.

The title role of Ignatius (or Iñigo, as he was originally called) is played by Andreas Muñoz, who first became known on the international stage through his work at Disney Channel Spain. A fluent English-speaker, Andreas studied drama at the Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramatico (RESAD) in Madrid, then continued his studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) in Glasgow where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Acting in 2014. A soldier who becomes a saint: Andreas Muñoz as Ignatius

Andreas worked in the Royal Theatre in Glasgow with the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre Production of Dunsinane, as well as the RCS’s Hamlet (playing the title role) and Macbeth. Andreas’s most recent works include a leading role in the Italian production, Terrazzo, le 24 Volte, directed by Giulio Rubinelli and a supporting role in the Spanish film, Demonios tus ojos, directed by Pedro Aguilera.

Other key roles in the film are played by Javier Godino (Santi), who is a well-known Spanish actor, best known for playing the part of Isidoro Gomez in The Secret in Their Eyes, winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, directed by Argentinian Juan José Campanella; and Julio Perillán, an American film and theatre actor of Spanish descent. His numerous cinema credits include Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s Frágil, Elio Quiroga’s The Dark Hour, and Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Julio plays the role of Padre Santo in Ignacio de Loyola.

Javier Godino as Santi with Andreas Muñoz (Ignatius)Directorial debut

The film is produced by JesCom (Jesuit Communications), which is based in the Philippines and is involved in the production of audio-visual materials for evangelisation and education. The Director is freelancer Paolo Dy who is based in Manila and has been responsible for more than a hundred commercials in the region. Ignacio de Loyola is his feature film directorial debut. The music score has been composed by Filipino musician, composer, and conductor Ryan Cayabyab, known as Mr C, whose works include full-length ballets, musicals for the theatre, choral pieces, a Mass set to unaccompanied chorus and scores for film and television specials. He was also as a resident judge for the TV talent show, Philippine Idol.

Originally built in 1848 when a new theatre was added on to the south side of what was then the Royal Polytechnic Institution, the Regent Street Cinema was restored and re-opened by the University of Westminster in May 2015. It became the birthplace of cinema in the UK when, on 20 February 1896, the Lumière brothers’ Cinématographe machine was demonstrated. It continues to be a catalyst for innovative education and research, and a showcase for the University’s internationally acclaimed work in film, media and visual culture.

Find out more and watch a trailer for the film. You can also read a review of it by Fr Paul Nicholson SJ on Thinking Faith.

Ignacio de Loyola will be shown at the Regent Street Cinema on Sunday 9 April 2017 at 2pm and 5.30pm. Tickets are available on the cinema’s website.