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Catholic Filmmaker Tackles Sex, Suicide, and God’s Infinite Mercy in his New Film ‘Death of a Tree’

UTICA, New York, June 28, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ — Driven by a deeply personal calling to create films that glorify God, filmmaker John Martoccia’s second faith-based feature film “Death of a Tree” focuses on an older, devout Catholic man’s struggle to remain sexually pure after being seduced and then falling in love with a younger woman.

“I wanted my second film to explore the temptations of sex, power, guilt, and violence that practicing Catholics often face on a daily basis,” says Martoccia. “This is a tragic yet hopeful story about human frailty, the repercussions of sin, all within the context of God’s infinite mercy.”

The film is meant to challenge a number of core Christian beliefs by exploring what happens when the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

“Death of a Tree” stars Ronnie Marmo (General Hospital), and newcomer Gracie Tyrrell. The film also features a number of the cast & characters returning from Martoccia’s first film ‘Vito Bonafacci’ including Paul Borghese, Tisha Tinsman, Father Dellos, Carin Mei, Ralph Squillace and Mike Rizzo.

Martoccia’s first film “Vito Bonafacci: In Search of The Truth” is the story of a lapsed Catholic’s return to his faith. After writing, directing & producing “Vito Bonafacci,” which was released in theatres by NY-based distributor CAVU Pictures in early May, Martoccia knew that his deep faith in God would lead him to the inspiration that would become his second film. During its NY opening “Vito Bonafacci” received critical support from both Christian and mainstream media outlets, including The New York Times, Catholic News Service, Catholic New York, and National Catholic Register.

“When you’re working on faith-based films, you have to call upon your own faith to do what you feel God is asking you to do,” Martoccia says. “It’s not an easy test, so you call upon the Lord… it’s this unwavering faith in God that has a way of creating new ideas.”

Production on “Death of a Tree” is in its second week and is expected to wrap in July. Like Martoccia’s first film, “Death of a Tree” is being shot exclusively in Utica, NY.

“Death Of A Tree” is an Anthony Stella Production, and is written, produced and directed by John Martoccia.

PR Contact: Isil Bagdadi, CAVU PR
Cell: 917-375-7615, Office: 212-246-6300