Chiamatemi Francesco

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Chiamatemi Francesco
Chiamatemi Francesco.jpg
Directed byDaniele Luchetti
Screenplay by
Produced byPietro Valsecchi
CinematographyIvan Casalgrandi
Music byArturo Cardelús
Distributed byMedusa Film
Release dates
Running time
98 minutes
Budget12-15 million €

Chiamatemi Francesco (Call Me Francis) is a 2015 Italian biographical film about Pope Francis directed by Daniele Luchetti.


The film tells the story of the life of Pope Francis (formerly Jorge Mario Bergoglio), from his youth in Buenos Aires and his experiences under the dictatorship of Jorge Rafael Videla to his appointment as pope in 2013.[1]



Upon seeing Pope Francis's first appearance on the balcony of St. Peter's Square, director Daniele Luchetti began contemplating a film about Pope Francis's life.[2] The film's script was written by Daniele Luchetti and Martín Salinas. Luchetti has said that he aimed to avoid hagiography in the film, though it presents a generally positive portrayal of the pope.[3] The pope did not provide guidance to the film's production team, despite their attempts to contact him.[1] Monsignor Guillermo Karcher, a close associate of the pope, later stated that the movie was "truthful".[1]

Luchetti joined with producer Pietro Valsecchi and Taodue to produce the movie, which was financed by Mediaset.[4][5] The film was shot in Italy, Germany, and Argentina over 15 weeks.[6] The film was shot in Spanish with an Argentine, Chilean, and Spanish cast, along with approximately 3,000 extras.[6][7] The film cost 13 million euros, or approximately 14 million dollars, to produce.[1]

The film's soundtrack was composed by Arturo Cardelús.[8]

Writer Evangelina Himitian has claimed that the film is an illegal adaptation of her book Francis, the People's Pope (Francisco, el Papa de la gente).[9] In March 2014, producer Pietro Valsecchi acquired an option to adapt the biography for the film; he ultimately did not exercise this option.[9] According to Himitian, the film is nonetheless based on her research and her meetings with the film's production team.[9] Valsecchi has denied Himitian's allegations, saying that the film is based on multiple sources and not simply her biography, and that the 40,000 euro option would have been a trivial component of the film's budget had the film in fact been based on her book.[9] At the time Himitian made her initial allegations, she had not yet seen the film.[9]


The film premiered on 1 December 2015 in the Paul VI Audience Hall, which lies across the border of Vatican City and Rome.[1] The Office of Papal Charities determined the guest list, and all of the 7,000 tickets were distributed to the poor—including refugees and homeless people—and volunteers who serve them.[1][10] Bagged dinners were given to attendees after the showing.[1][10]

On 3 December, the film opened in 700 theaters across Italy.[1] Pier Silvio Berlusconi, Maria Elena Boschi, Gianni Letta, and other Italian personalities attended the film's official presentation at Rome's The Space theater.[11]

Medusa Film managed the film's distribution in Italy; Taodue is managing its distribution elsewhere.[12][13] The film is expected to be distributed in 40 countries.[14]


During its opening weekend (3–6 December 2015), the film ranked second at the Italian box office (following In the Heart of the Sea) with 1.3 million euros in box office receipts. The same weekend, more spectators attended Chiamatemi Francesco (239,029) than In the Heart of the Sea, but In the Heart of the Sea benefited from premium prices for 3D tickets.[15] As of 27 December 2015, the film had grossed over 3.5 million euros in Italy.[16]

The film received generally positive reviews.[17] Chiamatemi Francesco was named Italian Film of the Year at the Capri Hollywood Film Festival.[16]


The film was released in 2017 in the form of a four-part television miniseries, each lasting about 50 minutes.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Povoledo, Elisabetta (2 December 2015). "At No-Frills Premiere of Pope Francis Film, the Needy Are Honored Guests". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Lupi, Tiziana (2 October 2014). "Bergoglio, presto un film sulla sua vita". Il Mio Papa (in Italian). Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  3. ^ "'Call me Francesco': film recalls pope's darkest moments". Al Arabiya. AFP. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  4. ^ Thomson, Stuart (27 November 2015). "Mediaset financing content projects after Pope film". TBI Vision. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  5. ^ Ugolini, Chiara (18 April 2014). "Francesco, un doc e due film: il Papa diventa superstar al cinema". La Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  6. ^ a b Anderson, Ariston (4 November 2015). "Pope Biopic in Vatican World Premiere". The Hollywood Reporter.
  7. ^ Maerini, Oriana (26 November 2015). "Chiamatemi Francesco, Daniele Luchetti lo racconta ad Affari". Affaritaliani (in Italian). Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Música de Arturo Cardelús para Chiamatemi Francesco (2015)" (in Spanish). Beethoven FM. 22 December 2015. Archived from the original on 30 January 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d e Koch, Tomasso (26 November 2015). "Una nueva película sobre el Papa se estrena con polémica". El Pais (in Spanish).
  10. ^ a b Arocho Esteves, Junno (2 December 2015). "Homeless, poor get star treatment at Vatican movie premiere". Catholic News Service. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  11. ^ "^ Maria Elena Boschi, Valeria Solarino e tutti gli altri vip rendono omaggio a Papa Francesco". Oggi (in Italian). 3 December 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  12. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (1 December 2015). "Pope Francis Biopic Bows At Vatican Amid Tight Security For Thousands Of Faithful, Hungry And Homeless". Variety. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  13. ^ Caprara, Fulvia (5 November 2015). "Prima mondiale in Vaticano per il film sul Papa di Luchetti". La Stampa (in Italian). Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  14. ^ Anderson, Ariston (26 November 2015). "Pope Francis Actor Rodrigo de la Serna on 'Call Me Francesco'". The Hollywood Reporter.
  15. ^ "Box-Office Italia: primo Heart of the Sea, secondo Chiamatemi Francesco" (in Italian). TV Sorrisi e Canzoni. 7 December 2015. Archived from the original on 12 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  16. ^ a b c "'Chiamatemi Francesco' premiato a Capri, è il film italiano dell'anno". Giornale di Sicilia (in Italian). 27 December 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Chiamatemi Francesco — Il Papa della gente" (in Italian). Retrieved 26 January 2016.

External links[edit]