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Paulist Productions was founded in 1960 by the Paulist priest Father Ellwood "Bud" Kieser to produce the religious television program Insight. Paulist Pictures was later formed for the purpose of film production, creating the features Romero (1989) and Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story (1996). Kieser was regarded as a champion of Roman Catholic heroes and entertainment that focuses on modern moral dilemma. After Kieser's death in September 2000, Frank Desiderio C.S.P. became President of Paulist Productions  and broadened the scope of the company to produce television documentaries for the History Channel, including Visions of Mary, Stigmata, Prophecies of Iraq, Judas - Traitor or Friend, Joseph: The Silent Saint, The Twelve Apostles, St. Peter: The Rock and Paul, the Apostle. Healing and Prayer: Power or Placebo was also produced for A&E. In 2004, Paulist Productions released the made-for-television film Judas which aired on ABC and was written by multi-Emmy Award winning writer/producer Tom Fontana, who also served as executive producer.
In its 50 years, Paulist Productions has produced over 500 hours of award-winning documentaries, feature films, television and made-to-TV films addressing pressing social issues and important moral questions. Paulist has generated a range of programming for CBS, The History Channel, Hallmark Hall of Fame and UPtv, collaborating with industry names such as Martin Sheen, William Shatner and the Jim Henson Company. In a time of rapid change and declining options for family viewing, Paulist is dedicated to developing positive programming with meaningful content. The company is currently headed by Chris Donahue, formerly of Shephard/Robin, and Marybeth Sprows, formerly of Imagine Television, with the mission to produce film and television at the intersection of faith and culture.
Recent productions include The Town That Came A-Courtin' and Christmas for a Dollar for UpTV, the short Christmas film No Ordinary Shepherd, and the CBS special A New York Christmas to Remember, featuring Regis Philbin and the nativity puppetry of Jane Henson. Paulist released the short film He Knows My Name earlier this year and recently finished production on the feature film The Miracle Maker.
In 2020, a documentary film, Fr. Bud: Hollywood Priest, was announced with a to-be-announced release date.
- "Property that Housed Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Café Sold for $6 Million, Exclusive Look Inside - Palisadian Post". 14 May 2015.
- HENDRIX, KATHLEEN (24 July 1991). "Hollywood Priest : Outspoken Father Ellwood Kieser Spreads the Word by Making Movies" – via LA Times.
- Weinraub, Bernard (20 September 2000). "Rev. Ellwood Kieser, Priest And Film Producer, Dies at 71" – via NYTimes.com.
- "Paulist Productions". www.paulist.org.
- Eulogy by Frank Desiderio, President of Paulist Productions and Chairman of the Board for The HUMANITAS Prize Archived 2006-12-09 at the Wayback Machine
- Biography of Kieser mentions that John Sacret Young (a present Humanitas board member) wrote the script for Romero.
- Petski, Denise (8 September 2015). "Penguin's Author Solutions Inks First-Look Deal With Paulist Productions". Deadline Hollywood.
- Official website
- Ellwood E. Kieser, Why I make movies: Paulist Productions head explains his dedication to religious-based films and documentaries, National Catholic Reporter, April 9, 1999
- Paulist Fathers official site