HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS TO APPEAR IN FAMILY FEATURE FILM
“BEYOND THE SUN” FROM AMBI PICTURES
Film Will Mark First Ever Big Screen Participation Role for the Leader of the Worldwide Catholic Church
Profits Will Go To Charities Supporting At-Risk Children and Young Adults In Need
Rome / Los Angeles – February 1, 2016 – 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’s message, so children can learn and incorporate Jesus’s parables.
The idea for the feature film emanated from Pope Francis asking the filmmakers to do a movie for children that communicates Jesus’s 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 Graciela Rodriguez and Gabriel Leybu.
For Producer Andrea 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 home town 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.” Iervolino added, “This movie will provide funds to support extremely worthwhile causes that we take very seriously. This message and cause are very dear to the entire AMBI family and we are honored and inspired by the level of collaboration from the Vatican.”
Monika 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’s 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.
Monsegnior Eduardo Garcia will be Pope Francis’ advisor for “Beyond the Sun.”
AMBI Group is a consortium of vertically integrated film development, production, finance and distribution companies wholly owned and operated by Andrea Iervolino and Monika Gomez del Campo Bacardi, Lady of Bayfield Hall, better known as “Monika Bacardi.”
AMBI has quickly emerged as one of the industry’s most prolific financing, production and sales companies with the capacity to develop, package, finance, produce and sell a broad array of films for worldwide distribution. Among the films on AMBI’s burgeoning film slate are a remake of Christopher Nolan’s iconic film Memento; Lamborghini – The Legend, a biopic on Lamborghini founder Ferruccio Lamborghini to be written by Bobby Moresco; Septembers of Shiraz, starring Salma Hayek and Adrien Brody; the contemporary fairy tale This Beautiful Fantastic starring Jessica Brown Findlay and Tom Wilkinson; a documentary feature about Federico Fellini title The Man of La Dolce Vita; James Franco’s In Dubious Battle, featuring an ensemble cast that includes Franco, Nat Wolff, Selena Gomez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Bryan Cranston, Josh Hutcherson, Zach Braff and Sam Shepherd; the 3D CGI family animated film Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad, featuring the voices of Jamie Foxx, John Cleese, Alec Baldwin, James Franco, Angelica Huston and Heidi Klum; the sci-fi thriller Rupture starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Chiklis and Peter Stormare; the psychological thriller Lavender starring Abbie Cornish and Dermot Mulroney; the romantic comedy All Roads Lead to Rome, starring Sarah Jessica Parker; Barry Levinson’s acclaimed drama The Humbling, starring Al Pacino; and the sci-fi action thriller Andron: The Black Labyrinth, starring Alec Baldwin and Danny Glover, among several others.
AMBI recently made news with the acquisition of the Exclusive Media Group film library, which gives AMBI an incredibly diverse portfolio of critical hits, commercial blockbusters and cult favorites such as Begin Again, Cruel Intentions, Donnie Darko, End of Watch, Ides of March, Hit & Run, Memento, The Mexican, Parkland, Rush, The Skulls, Sliding Doors, Snitch, Undefeated and The Way Back, to name a few. In addition to the library titles, AMBI now has the rights to a number of titles within EMG’s active movie development slate, as well as all sequel and remake rights to the popular EMG films.
Andrea Iervolino has produced, funded and distributed over 50 feature films including The Merchant of Venice, The Humbling and All Roads Lead to Rome, to name just a few. He is considered one of the youngest and most accomplished entrepreneurs in the Italian film industry. Iervolino was the recipient of the coveted Mimmo Rotella Award for his contributions to the Italian cinema industry. The award was presented to him at the 2014 Venice Film Festival, alongside fellow recipients Al Pacino and Barry Levinson. Iervolino most recently received the Honor of Recognition as Ambassador of Italian Cinema in the World at annual Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF).
Lady Monika Bacardi is the widow of Luis Adalberto Facundo Gomez del Campo Bacardi, Lord of Bayfield Hall, known as Lord Luis Bacardi (descendent of the Bacardi founder, still a family-run company). Renowned for her passion of modern art and love of photography and movies, Monika Bacardi is a highly successful businesswoman who is now committed to producing films, through AMBI, on top of her numerous philanthropic activities.