News reports from Australia, Brazil, Romania, Southern Adventist University and the United States.

“Controversy” Gets Animated

An animated film about “The Great Controversy” has won numerous awards. Attila Peli, director of Hope Media Romania, who also directed and wrote the script for the film, said his main motivation was to make the Great Controversy accessible and interesting to young people.

The 56-minute film tells the story of the Great Controversy — from the fall of Lucifer to the Second Coming of Jesus — through the eyes of the protagonist, Samuel. Samuel and his sister Naomi find themselves in a difficult situation, and as a result, Samuel is stabbed by his sister’s boyfriend. While he is semi-conscious in the hospital, Samuel has visions of heaven, Jesus and famous biblical figures.

Although the film is animated, Peli stressed that it is not intended for children, as it contains mature themes and images of Satan and demons. Instead, it targets the 15-to-35 age group.

Currently, the film is available to watch as a seven-part series in Romanian on Hope Discovery RomaniaYouTube channel. An English version will also be released very soon. You can watch the English trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGdT-V-QDN8

Louvre Move

Raquel Falk, an art education teacher at Vitória Adventist Academy in Vitória, Espirito Santo, Brazil, has been selected to exhibit some of her paintings at the Louvre in 2022. A company specializing in promoting local artists gave her a special invitation, which will allow her to exhibit original works at the world-renowned venue in Paris, France.

Falk said that for the 2022 exhibition at the Louvre, she plans to come up with two paintings inspired by the theme of dancers, something she has studied extensively, and that requires particular and complex techniques.

“The idea is that a particular painting may explore the flow of the paint on canvas without taking into account real-life proportions,” she explained. “I will try to work on the lightness and delicacy you can perceive in dancers.” She said that she has already exhibited several paintings based on that theme.

Good, Better, Bietz

The new Bietz Center for Student Life at Southern Adventist University has won four awards from the Association of University Interior Designers (AUID), a national organization. Most notably, wall art in the Bietz Center’s Jack Blanco Chapel won “Best in Show.” Entries were independently judged by professionals in architecture and interior design.

The chapel was named in honor of Jack Blanco, PhD, a retired dean of the university’s School of Religion. In planning the winning wall art, Becky Djernes, interior design and real estate coordinator at Southern, had asked Blanco: “If you had only four Bible verses to share the gospel with someone, what would they be?” His answers (Jeremiah 29:11, John 3:16-17, John 14:1-3, and Revelation 22:1-3) are printed in their entirety on large panels. Additionally, the backlit panels showcase copies of Blanco’s handwritten Bible study notes that eventually became The Clear Word paraphrase.

The Blanco Chapel wall art also won first place in the “Specialty” category. Additional Bietz Center awards included second place in the “Specialty” category for metal wall art in The Hangout, and third place in the “Renovations $50,000-$150,000” category for the Southern Shoppe.

Drawing Others to Jesus

A member of Port Macquarie Seventh-day Adventist Church, Phil McKay is a full-time artist who creates his masterpieces from his home studio on Australia’s sunny east coast.

Although McKay has been painting the gospel for about 12 years now, his style and subject matter have evolved over time.

Drawing inspiration from the great Renaissance masters and with a vast collection of Roman antiquities, Phil says that for a period of time, he painted a lot of dark-themed images.

“For obvious reasons it never sat well with me,” he confesses. “It was very lucrative and I was very good at it, making a name in the custom car/bike industry. God blesses us with gifts, but I was glorifying the devil rather than the Lord.”

Deciding to leave that world behind, Phil prayed for guidance and asked that God would allow him to use his talents to spread the gospel. “The very next day I had work painting images for a Bible study,” Phil explains, and he has been painting the gospel ever since.

UN Statue Sparking Beastly Comments

UN Photo/Manuel Elías | Screenshot: Twitter/Manuel Elías

A new giant statue installed outside the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York City,  is generating much Twitter traffic and being likened to an End Times “beast” described in Revelation 13:2.

The UN tweet read: “A guardian for international peace and security sits on the Visitor’s Plaza outside #UN Headquarters. The guardian is a fusion of jaguar and eagle and donated by the Government of Oaxaca, Mexico.”

Mexican artists Jacobo and Maria Angeles, who designed the statue, explained that these creatures are metaphorical “guardians.” The symbols in this image go back centuries, and are evocative of much traditional art of the Latin American region.

While the staute is meant as a figure of peace and protection to Latin American people, the UN tweet has stirred up a storm of comments and debate, with 435 retweets, 677 quote retweets, and many, many sub-replies as of this date.


(Top Photo: An animated Great Controversy from Hope Media Romania has won numerous awards. Photo via ANN.)

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