The Lion by the Altar

At San Lorenzo’s basilica in Florence - Italy, the body of a dead lion is found by the altar. Four young experts in art and history, are involved in the plot. A Priest tries to fix the puzzle of the strange symbol found by Lorenzo - the main character - near the lion's body. A policeman with strong beliefs investigates the crime. During the research, one of the four friends is murdered. His partners have dramatic changes in their lives while discovering the clues about the dead lion, and the meaning of the Symbol. The scene goes to the second century when the San Lorenzo martyr lived. The canvas with the symbol starts a pilgrimage that begins with the sacrifice of Saint Lawrence (San Lorenzo) traveling to the 15th century where the canvas almost got burned at the “Bonfire of Vanities,” this event marks the beginning of the enemies of the lion's followers. A big mystery involves the past lives of the experts. The priest in charge of the basilica fall in love with a young expert woman who investigates with the others. The characters change their lives while the mystery is unveiled.
The origin of the symbol goes back to the time of Jesus Christ in the first century, relating to the Beatitudes.
We have a journey full of contradictions and mysterious events confronting all of us with our story as human beings in flesh and soul.
The Lion By the Altar is a story with many genres that fills the audience's imagination with emotions and questions.

  • BIrna Avila
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    El León en el Altar
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    action, Thriller, Religious, Romance, Mistery
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
  • Language:
    English, Spanish
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • Cannes Screenplay Contest
    Cannes - France
    April 14, 2016
    Official Finalists of the 2015 Cannes Screenplay Contest.
  • Los Angeles Cine Fest
    Los Angeles CA - USA
    February 5, 2016
    Official Selection
  • Scriptapalooza
    Los Angeles
    February 2, 2016
    Official Selection Scriptapalooza
  • Oaxaca Filmfest
    September 1, 2015
    Official Selection Global Script Challenge
Writer Biography - BIrna Avila

I worked as creative a copywriter in my own agency for 18 years, the last years I started to study for be a professional writer, first, in short stories, screenplays and novels. This is my first screenplay and I have been working on it during almost two years. The lion by the altar, is an expression of my self, in many ways that actually I can’t define easily. I love movies and books. Be a creative person awakes my desire of develop my own voice. I’m married and have two grounded children and a dog, I love to cook and of course to write.
I hope that the audience enjoy the movies that a write as I enjoy to write it.

Que viva el cine!

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Writer Statement

I hope that you enjoy the story as I enjoyed writing it.