In January of this year, Pope Francis, leader of the world’s more than 1 billion Catholics, visited the Philippines. He inspired and left an unforgettable imprint in the nation with his warm, sincere, friendly and joyful persona, as he evangelized of the Gospel and God’s love for mankind.
Keeping the light and love that Pope Francis left burning among Filipinos, the upcoming movie Papa Francisco: The Pope Francis Story further brings the Pope closer to the nation as the movie traces his younger days in Argentina until his election as Pope.
The movie, also known in other territories as Francis: Pray For Me is based on the book Pope Francis: Life and Revolution. The biography was written by Elisabetta Piqué, a close friend of the Pope’s and a correspondent in Italy and the Vatican for La Nación, Argentina’s foremost newspaper since 1999.
Pique’s book has been hailed in Argentina as the most complete and up-to-date portrait of the Holy Father.
Papa Francisco will take the faithful all the way to back to Buenos Aires when as a teenager, Jorge Mario Bergoglio quietly discovered his religious calling. Little did he know that it was the first step that would eventually lead him to the Vatican.
The movie then takes on the perspective of young Spanish journalist Ana who met Cardinal Bergoglio at the papal conclave of 2005. It is here they start a friendship that would be imbued with the same warmsth and wisdom with which the future Pope will astonish both believers and non-believers.
It is through Ana’s eyes that the audience will follow the long, hard and touching story of Jorge Bergoglio. Father Jorge, as he has always wished to be called, used his position as the archbishop of Buenos Aires as a means to challenge the corruption and abuse of the government’s dictatorship. Ana was there to see his toughest battles when he gave voice to those who had none—the victims of prostitution, slavery and drug trafficking within the many shantytowns.
Their story comes full circle at the conclave of 2013 when a Jesuit priest coming from South America is elected on the fifth papal ballot as Pope. The son of humble Italian immigrants, he chooses Francis as his Papal name partially in honor of his grandmother for she impressed upon him the biblical values of Saint Francis when he was a young boy.
Award-winning writer-director and actors abound Papa Francisco: The Pope Francis Story. Its director is Beda Docampo Feijoo who won Best Screenplay at the Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards for his work in the movie El Marido Perfecto (1993) with Juan Bautista Stagnaro. Acclaimed actors, meanwhile take on the lead characters, with Dario Grandinetti as Pope Francis, an International Emmy Award for Best Actor in 2012; and Silvia Abascal as Ana, a Best Actress awardee in the Toulouse Cinespana and Malaga Spanish Film Festivals.
From Pioneer Films, Papa Francisco: The Pope Francis Story opens in cinemas nationwide this September 30.