Houston filmmaker hosts encore of award-winning film

New crime documentary recounts the kidnapping of Catholic priest


CimelaHouston, TX — The 2016 disappearance of beloved Florida priest Fr. Rene Robert is the subject of a new documentary by production company Stella Mar Films, and Houston residents have another chance to see the film this Thursday, January 24. (buy tickets here)

The encore Houston screening of Where There is Darkness is being hosted by the filmmakers themselves, including co-director/producer Cimela Kidonakis, a Houston local and University of Saint Thomas alumn.

Filmmakers Sean Bloomfield, Jessi Hannapel, and Emily Black also plan to attend and will join Kidonakis in a Q&A session after the screening. Scroll down to watch trailer.

Documentary PosterThe small, independent team has been documenting the story for over two years. Although they completed the final cut of the film just last month, Where There Is Darkness has already won a slew of film festival awards including Best Documentary and Best Director(s) at the Los Angeles Crime and Horror Film Festival in November. See all the awards here.

"Growing up in Texas, I was always aware of the death penalty debate," said Cimela Kidonakis. "Working on this film has allowed me to understand the issue from both sides and it’s been incredible to see the thoughtful, peaceful dialogue it creates at our screenings.”

Kidonakis, 31, grew up in Montgomery, Texas and went to school in Houston. She studied video production at the University of Saint Thomas and co-founded Stella Mar Films with Bloomfield in 2015. 


Kidonakis spent most of the last two years living in Cocoa, Florida to follow the case with her fellow filmmakers. She is bringing Where There is Darkness to her hometown for the second time due to popular demand.

“This is a film about hope and forgiveness,” said co-director Sean Bloomfield. “Even though it involves a tragic event, we uncovered so much hidden beauty as we retraced the circumstances surrounding Fr. Rene’s disappearance, and the audience response so far has been amazing.”

Fr. Rene

Experience the award-winning film and a Q&A with the filmmakers at Edward’s Marq’E on January 24. With most of the film’s showings selling out, tickets must be purchased in advance from their website, StellaMarFilms.com.

Where There is Darkness also plays on Wednesday, January 23, in Conroe, Texas through a screening hosted by a local organizer. The Conroe screening also includes a Q&A by the filmmakers.

The Texas screenings are the beginning of a number of chances for people to see the film in different parts of the world, including New York, Germany, Ireland, and Canada. See all the upcoming screenings worldwide here.





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