The film, which dramatizes the life of a Mohawk woman who converted to Christianity in 1678, received the Vatican’s Capax Dei Award, presented by the Mirabile Dictu International Catholic Film Festival.
Kelty will receive the award at a gala Friday, June 24, at the Vatican.
Summer scenes for the film were shot in Cambria in a replicated Mohawk village on Covell Ranch. Winter scenes were filmed in the Canadian province of Quebec.
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The Cambria set re-created Kateri’s village and the arrival of French Jesuit missionaries there.
Laurelle Barnett of Morro Bay played a lead role in the film, which featured many Cambria and San Luis Obispo County residents as extras and bit players.
Other Cambrians who signed on to appear included Michael Shanley, Larry Frost, Toby Madrid and Ruth Armstrong.
The film had its TV premier on the Global Catholic Network (EWTN) in November and will air again July 14.
The network previously aired two other Kelty productions: a miniseries about 18th-century mission founder Junipero Serra and an earlier miniseries called “Footprints in the Wilderness.”