The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

April 29, 2013

Movie to tell story of monk who built Cullman's Ave Maria Grotto


Associated Press

— BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A filmmaker is set to tell the story of Joseph Zoettl, the Bavarian monk who built the Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman.

"Brother Joseph and the Grotto," is slated to be released this fall. The film was written and directed by Cliff Vaughn, of Nashville-based Red Clay Pictures.

Zoettl used stones, cement, marbles and other material to create a replica of Jerusalem, Rome and other biblical scenes at the Saint Bernard Abbey in Cullman. The grotto was dedicated in 1934 and a statue of the hunchbacked, German monk was dedicated at the site in 2009.

Vaughn tells AL.com (http://bit.ly/14IAILL ) the film is a true fairy tale involving folk art, state history and a life of devotion.