What is Mud Puddle Films? Mud Puddle Films is a nonprofit outreach of the Dominican friars of the Western United States to secular and religious audiences of all ages. Our mission:
In the Dominican tradition of truth seeking,
Mud Puddle Films crafts contemplative cinema
that opens minds to mystery, hearts to hope.
Founded by Dominic DeLay, OP, Mud Puddle Films makes emotionally engaging, thought-provoking, and artistic films, films that ask questions more than give answers. And even the questions are not necessarily articulated in language. Dominic likes to quote choreographer Martha Graham’s response when asked what one of her dances meant: “If I could tell you what it means, I wouldn’t have to dance it.”
Why are the Dominicans making movies? St. Dominic founded the Order of Preachers in 13th-century Europe to remind people of the Christian message that the world is inherently good. In Christ, creation is caught up in the divine life of God. The Dominicans continue to creatively deliver this urgent good news to the world and have assigned priority to their use of mass media.
What kind of movies? Mud Puddle Films takes inspiration from Jesus’ use of parables, specializing in thought-provoking, fictional stories. Our short and feature-length films attempt to reveal, explicitly and implicitly, God’s beauty and loving action in the world, especially in human relationships.
Why the name “Mud Puddle Films”? Water, richly symbolic to Christians, is symbolic of life and hope to all. But we preach a hope that recognizes the messiness, the graced muck and mud, that are a part of life and creation.
What is founder Dominic DeLay’s background? Dominic earned his MFA in film production at Chapman University in Southern California, where Dogwoman & Magicman was awarded grants from both the University and the School of Film and Television; The Soda Jerks was nominated for all but one of Chapman’s annual Cecil B. DeMille awards, including best film, best director, and best screenplay; and The Sisters O’Malley was one of only a handful of projects chosen out of over one hundred for production sponsored by Chapman’s large and distinguished School of Film and Television.
His other films include Inside Darkness, a thriller about three presidential candidates trapped in a dark cell, and Zola Jumped In, about a 15-year-old girl who, when the little brother she raised is killed, turns to a gang, a neighborhood church, and pregnancy for a sense of belonging and purpose.
Dominic received a B.A. in music from Occidental College in Los Angeles and a B.A. in philosophy, M.Div., and M.A. in theology and the arts from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.
Dominic is a Dominican friar and Catholic priest who, in addition to making films, is a campus minister at the University of California, San Diego. Dominic also forms a musical duo, Black & White, with his Dominican classmate John Paul Forté. The film and music ministries partner with the magic ministry of Dominic's other classmate Daniel Rolland as Torch3M: Dominican Movies, Music, & Magic.