Experiencing Interruptions?


Icons connect us with heaven and how we think of departed loved ones.

  • Craig DiRienzo
  • Craig DiRienzo
  • Craig DiRienzo
  • Ava DiRienzo
    Key Cast
  • Evelyn Antonas
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 21 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 31, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Sony A7 III, Canon 5D 4
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Byzanfest 2019

    July 21, 2019
    Global Online Premiere
    Audience Favorite Winner, Nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Documentary
Director Biography - Craig DiRienzo

Video Producer located in Akron, Ohio with agency experience creating advertising, sports, corporate, and non-profit content. Duties include directing, cinematography, editing, motion graphics, animation, and visual effects.

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Director Statement

While creating meaningful, Christian, and spiritual content is not my full-time position, my dream is to spend all my time and effort producing this type of work to reach people, strengthen their faith, and see God and Christ through film - whether they are Christian or not or whatever level their faith may be. The stories I want to share and messages I want to spread are part of a mission I hope to pursue to help individuals struggling with spiritual battles that often influence our perspective and direction in life - both physically in this world and spiritually in the next. This short was created any time I had after work - often editing until 2 or 3 in the morning to reach the deadline of the Byzanfest Online International Film Festival (which won Audience Favorite and was nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Documentary).

"Icons" is a breed of documentary/information-based mixed with a short narrative. On the surface, it explores how the Orthodox Christian views icons - in part of our spiritual life to show respect and glorify God - as we venerate and kiss the images of Christ, His mother, and the saints who guide us in our lives. As we kiss an icon, we are not worshiping the wood - just like when we kiss a picture of a departed loved one, we are not kissing paper. This then shows the narrative message to help those who are mourning over the loss of a loved one - while another worries about the inevitable loss of her grandmother. The moments we share here in this world are an unequal fraction of the time we live in Christ's kingdom of eternity. Hopefully this realization can help us keep strong and have comfort knowing we will all be together again - through Christ.

Icons are meant to give us glimpses of the world to come and who we can become in Christ.