Published on October 25, 2013  

Samford University will present the official Birmingham screening of the documentary film Brother Joseph and the Grotto Nov. 9 at 4 p.m. in the university’s Christenberry Planetarium. The free public event is hosted by Samford’s Office of International Education and the Samford German Club. Convo credit will be available for Samford students. 

Brother Joseph and the Grotto tells the story of Joseph Zoettl, a hunchbacked monk from Bavaria, and his quest to do something in a “small way” to serve God. He began constructing miniatures of the world’s notable and sacred buildings and the work grew to become the renowned Ave Maria Grotto at Saint Bernard Abbey in Cullman, Ala.

"Brother Joseph and the Grotto is a true fairy tale about a young boy who immigrated to the United States and helped transform a small piece of land in the Alabama woods,” said writer and director Cliff Vaughn of Nashville-based Red Clay Films. “It is also an inspiring tale involving folk art, Alabama history, perseverance and a life of devotion.”

Director Vaughn will be present for a panel discussion and a Q&A after the film. There will also be light refreshments.

Carol Ann Vaughn Cross, the director’s sister, producer and head of the Birmingham office of Red Clay Films, is a professor at Samford.
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.