Silver Spring, MD – July 31, 2018 –The Sultan and the Saint, a 60 minute docudrama film produced by Unity Productions Foundation (UPF) has been nominated for an Emmy® Award in Outstanding Lighting Direction and Scenic Design by the 39th Annual News and Documentary Emmy® Awards. The film tells the little-known story of St. Francis of Assisi and the Sultan of Egypt, Muhammad Al-Kamil, two charismatic men of different faiths who met on a bloody battlefield and found common ground.
This is the first Emmy® Award nomination for UPF, a nationally recognized media and educational organization with a mission of creating films and educational campaigns to increase understanding of Muslims and people of other faiths and backgrounds.
In addition to The Sultan and the Saint, UPF’s films include other PBS national broadcasts, such as Prince Among Slaves, which tells the story of an African Muslim Prince enslaved in Mississippi, Enemy of the Reich, about a Muslim woman who fought the Nazis during World War II, and Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World, among others.
“This is a great honor,” says Alex Kronemer, Director of the film and Co-Founder of UPF (with Michael Wolfe). “It could not have happened without an amazing group of Muslim, Christian and Civic underwriters. Their joining together to fund this film about interfaith peace-making is itself a major distinction in our divisive times.” UPF has premiered the film in over 75 cities across the U.S. and Canada and has generated 3,500 screenings in educational and community settings. The film has also premiered in Rome where senior leaders of the Vatican attended and is currently being used in a peacemaking campaign amongst Evangelical and Muslim leaders nationwide.
“The entire cast and crew is thrilled to learn of this nomination,” commented Jeremy Morrison, the Editor and Producer of The Sultan and the Saint. “We are particularly grateful for the creative vision and hard work of the Directory of Photography Nick Gardner and the Production Designer, Angie Ratliff who really deserve a lot of credit for the nomination in Outstanding Lighting Direction and Scenic Design,” added Morrison.
Narrated by Academy-Award winning actor Jeremy Irons, The Sultan and the Saint was filmed on location on Assateague Island, a barrier island off the coast of Maryland. Interior shots were filmed on a set constructed in an old cork factory in Baltimore. Computer-generated imagery enhanced and brought additional realism to the battle scenes.
About Unity Productions Foundation
Unity Productions Foundation (UPF) is a non-profit media company. Its credits include six national broadcasts on PBS and a national theatrical release. UPF films have won numerous awards at film festivals around the world. UPF’s production approach is to work with artists and scholars in order to marry compelling storytelling with the highest level of scholarship and intellectual inquiry.
Formed in 1999, UPF’s first film—produced in the wake of 9/11—joined the story of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad with the lives of American Muslims trying to live out his positive example against a backdrop of terrorism committed in his name. The documentary, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet, received a national broadcast on PBS in December 2001, earned the Cine Special Jury Award, and was distributed worldwide through National Geographic International.
UPF has since produced ten award-winning, long-form films, including Prince Among Slaves, which won “Best Documentary” at the Black American Film Festival, Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World, which was featured in PBS’s Art Series for 2014, and the upcoming The Sultan and the Saint, which has won fourteen Best Documentary awards in festivals from South Asia and the Far East to Europe and the US. UPF’s co-founders, Michael Wolfe and Alex Kronemer, were principle members of the writing team for the 2016 animated film Bilal: A New Breed of Hero, which was awarded “Best Inspiring Movie” on Animation Day at the Cannes Film Festival.
In addition to global broadcast distribution, UPF promotes the long-tailed impact of its films through websites, screenings, and an in-house project called, 20,000 Dialogues. This nationwide initiative employs UPF films to catalyze interfaith and civic dialogue among Muslims, Christians, Jews, and others. The program, partnering with 300+ universities, community, faith, and interfaith groups, and artists, has generated over 20,000 dialogues among 150,000 students, professionals, academics, and religious and community leaders. UPF’s communications materials are developed in collaboration with leading practitioners of interfaith dialogue along with experts on the specific content of our various films.
Daniel Tutt, Director of Programs, Unity Productions Foundation
Additional information about Unity Productions Foundation can be found here: https://www.upf.tv/
Additional information about The Sultan and the Saint can be found here: https://www.sultanandthesaintfilm.com/