Pope Francis will play himself in a new religious film, making it the first time in history that a pope will get featured as himself in a big screen production.
Titled “Beyond the Sun”, the Italian-made family movie will be about the adventure of children from different cultures, emulating the apostles while searching for Christ. The screenplay was written by Graciela Rodriguez.
The movie was inspired by the Pope’s call for film-makers to cater for children when thinking about how Jesus’s message should be communicated through cinema.
The Holy Father pitched the story to filmmakers at the Hollywood-based AMBI Pictures, which was founded by Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi in 2013.
Beyond the Sun, will be produced and fully financed by AMBI co-founders Andrea Iervolino and Lady Monika Bacar, and all profits from the film will be donated to Argentinean charities El Alemendro and Los Hogares de Cristo, which aid at-risk children and young adults.
“Our excitement and gratitude toward His Holiness, Pope Francis participating in this film is beyond words,” Lervolino said.
“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 added: “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.”
The film ends ‘with an epilogue from Pope Francis telling children how and where to find Jesus’, AMBI said.
However, a Vatican spokesperson on Monday downplayed suggestions that the Pontiff would be making any kind of film debut. “The pope is not an actor,” he said.
AMBI said filming would start later in 2016.