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An Interview with Joseph Campo

by Gordon Nary

Gordon: When did you join St. Cyril and Methodius?

Joseph: I joined St. Cyril and Methodius church in 1992 when I moved to Brooklyn, N.Y. to become the director of the St. Francis House for Fr. Benedict Groeschel cfr.

Gordon: Before we address you films and photography, when and why did you join the Third Order Franciscan?

Joseph: I met the Franciscan Friars in 1988, it was then that I realized I had a Franciscan spirit. I felt in my heart that I wanted to go deeper into Franciscan spirituality.

Gordon: You have been a professional photographer for many years. How can photography have a spiritual subtext?

Joseph: All beauty comes from God. I capture God’s beauty and share it, in the hope that it will bring people closer to the divine.

Gordon: What was the first film that you remember seeing?

Joseph: The first film I remember seeing is a film my father made of our family. It was many years ago, black & white no sound.

Gordon: When did you assume responsibility as Chief Executive Officer of Grassroots Films and what are your primary responsibilities?

Joseph: I began Grassroots Films in 2001. My idea was to employ the young men from The St. Francis House and offering a career in film making so then when the time comes for them to go out on their own, they would have a profession, and raise a family.

Gordon: What initially interested you in becoming a cinematographer and what was the first film on which you were the cinematographer?

Joseph: To bring an entire scene to life is what interested me most in cinematography. As I’m filming, I can actually hear the music in my mind that goes with the scene. I’ve done cinematography in every film I’ve ever worked on.

Gordon: What was the first film that you directed?

Joseph: Every film I’ve worked on with Grassroots Films I had involvement in directing.

Gordon: One of my favorite films of yours is Outcasts. Please provide a background on the initial concept, casting, production, and the award that it has received.

Joseph: The background and concept for “OUTCASTS” was to produce a film on the poor. To shine a light on the struggles, of those who have been cast out of society. The Franciscan Friars are the vehicle that brings us to meet the outcasts, by their dedication to the poor. The Friars are a light in their darkness. The audience will have a personnel look into what the outcasts in society endure, and go through on a daily basis. In this documentary you will see, in real time as we adventure into the daily experiences both good, evil, and hopeful. There were no actors, no casting, no script, only a concept that would hopefully become a call to action.

OUTCASTS" won best film at "The Justice Film Festival" in New York City.

Gordon: What are some of your new films in development?

Joseph: I’ve been working a very special film about Medjugorje for 4 years. I don’t want to give away the premise but will say that this film is not what you would expect it would be about Medjugorje.

I have met with the visionaries, interviewed them and received a blessing from the parish priest at St. James to produce the film.

Gordon: Thank you for this exceptional interview.


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