The Stylite
a creative documentary

An unknown traveler, drawn from a bustling and rapidly modernizing city, sets out on an epic journey of contemplation and discovery.

As for me, I'm following their path. - Father Maxim

What is a Stylite?

Stylites were early Christian ascetics who retired to pillars in remote areas where they would endure the elements in their devotion to God. Local villagers and pilgrims would flock to the "pillar saints" for healing or simply to pray. The first known pillar saint is recognized as Saint Simeon Stylites in the fifth century who reportedly stood for thirty seven years on a pillar near Aleppo, Syria. This practice was most common in the early part of the Middle Ages and was mostly found in the eastern lands of the Byzantine Empire.

This place was abandoned until Father Maxim came here. - Giorgi Modebadze

Latest news

Official Selection, Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival

Upon This Rock has been selected to compete for a spot to screen at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago's theatre district.

Vocal Media has published an article written by writer/director Stephen Riehl about his experience shooting Upon This Rock in the Republic of Georgia.


Stephen Riehl

Film and writing has always been an interest, but he never really pursued it until after being diagnosed with cancer at the age of nineteen. During the year he spent in treatment, he used writing as an outlet through which he dealt with his sickness. After returning from a year of study in Japan he founded Maboroshi Productions and has written and directed numerous commercials and short films.

Bryce Dorey
Production Manager

Bryce has been involved with Maboroshi Productions since the beginning, helping Stephen Riehl to set up the company in 2001. He has acted as Producer and Production Manager on many of the early Maboroshi productions. After taking a step back to run his computer consulting company he has returned as a key member of the team.

Shawn Kelly

Shawn joined the team to create the soundscape for Only A Week (2003). He has since been a close collaborator with writer/director Stephen Riehl. Shawn is a self taught musician who specializes in creating atmospheric soundscapes that are often characters in themselves. When he is not working on the latest Maboroshi production he is working on various musical projects.

Temo Bardzimashvili

Temo currently works as a freelance photographer and has contributed to The Washington Post, Bloomberg News, and The Financial Times along with many other major publications. After reading about Father Maxim in his photo essay, "Georgian Monk Builds Stairway to Heaven", director Stephen Riehl reached out to Temo about working together on this project.