- Monday, Feb. 1, 2016
- ROME/LOS ANGELES
A “first” in both cinema and Catholic Church history will be made as the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Francis, will play himself in the family film “Beyond the Sun” from AMBI Pictures.
In his feature film debut (and film debut for any Pope in the history of the Church), His Holiness Pope Francis portrays himself in the inspirational story based on the Gospels, told in several tales with Jesus’ message, so children can learn and incorporate Jesus’ parables.
The idea for the feature film emanated from Pope Francis asking the filmmakers to do a movie for children that communicates Jesus’ message.
Pope Francis is willing to participate in the movie to support charity as all profits from “Beyond the Sun” will be donated to two selected charities--El Almendro and Los Hogares de Cristo (located in Argentina) which support Pope Francis’ social and spiritual message within the film. These organizations help aid at-risk children and young adults in need.
“Beyond the Sun” is a family adventure story where children from different cultures emulate the apostles while searching for Jesus in the world around them. The film will be uplifting and is intended to spiritually engage and encourage audiences of all ages to transmit Jesus words, to understand them and integrate them to live a better life, make good choices and help others.
Graciela Rodriguez wrote the film’s screenplay based on her own concept.
AMBI co-founders Andrea Iervolino and Lady Monika Bacardi are fully financing and producing the film through their AMBI Pictures banner. Co-producers are Rodriguez and Gabriel Leybu.
For producer Iervolino, the movie represents a full circle return to where his career began. At the age of 15, Iervolino made his first film in his hometown of Cassino, Italy. It was the church in his hometown that opened its doors and let him shoot this film within, sparking a career that has seen him produce over 50 films by age 27. “Beyond the Sun,” will have a special distinction among them.
Said Iervolino, “Our excitement and gratitude toward His Holiness, Pope Francis participating in this film is beyond words. This is not just a movie for us, it’s a message, and who better to have on your side to deliver an important societal and spiritual message than the Pope.”
Bacardi said, “It is a great honor for Andrea and I to have the opportunity to work with His Holiness, Pope Francis, to spread the awareness of his message, through this film. We will make a movie everyone involved with can be proud of. Not only will families from around globe enjoy this film and be entertained, but they will be moved. There are creative ways to help those in need all over the world and we hope this film does just that. We appreciate Pope Francis’ permission to film him and use his image in our movie.”
Principal photography is slated to begin early 2016 in Italy. AMBI will oversee worldwide distribution for “Beyond the Sun” through its Los Angeles-based international sales division, AMBI Distribution.
Monsignor Eduardo Garcia will be Pope Francis’ advisor for “Beyond the Sun.”