Focus Features Buys Wim Wenders Documentary on Pope Francis

Wim Wenders documentary Pope Francis – A Man of His Word gets Vatican blessing.

Focus Features bought the rights to Wim Wenders’ documentary Pope Francis – A Man of His Word. The “historic nonfiction film,” is not a biography of the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who became the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church in March  2013, according to reports. It will be “a film with him.” The project was announced in Cannes on Friday, May 18.

“The belief that movies can impact individuals and the world at large is at the very core of Focus Features,” Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski said in a statement. “We are humbled at the responsibility of planting this film into the global culture so that the thoughts and words of a spiritual leader as inspiring and compassionate as Pope Francis can take root.”

German director Wenders, who helmed Wings of Desire and Buena Vista Social Club has been working closely with the Vatican for at least two years. Pope Francis – A Man of His Word is the second co-production that the Vatican has made with outside filmmakers. It is “the first in which a Pope addresses the audience directly, discussing topics such as ecology, immigration, consumerism, and social justice,” according to the official press release.

Pope Francis sat for multiple interviews with Wenders to respond to questions from around the globe.

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“Pope Francis is a living example of a man who stands for what he says. In our film, he speaks directly to the viewer, very candidly and spontaneously,” Wenders said in a statement.

Wenders formerly collaborated with the Vatican TV center during the Jubilee in Rome in 2015.

Pope Francis – A Man of His Word was produced by Wenders with Samanta Gandolfi Branca, Alessandro Lo Monaco (The World’s Smallest Army) and Andrea Gambetta and David Rosier.