Canadian documentary puts Young Catholics on the big screen

.- A new documentary, which is set to premiere later this month in Toronto, offers an inspiring and honest look at young Canadian Catholics.

Unlikely Pilgrims follows four young people at World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto and provides a glimpse into the joys and struggles of being young and Catholic in an increasingly secular society.

“World Youth Days have always attracted millions of young people and the media focus has always been on the Pope. What we wanted to find out was who are these young people and why is their faith so important to them in such a secular age,” said one of the directors Laura Ieraci, who conceived the documentary idea. In April 2002, the two-time World Youth Day pilgrim hooked up with her college buddy, Agata De Santis, who heads her own production company, for their first documentary. The 42-minute film was written, directed and produced by the Montreal-based team.

 “Unlikely Pilgrims is charged with compelling testimony about what makes Catholic youth tick,” said a review in the Catholic Times Montreal. “The candidness of the pilgrims’ responses is refreshing but not always comforting.”

The four young people tell how their faith helped them get through of years of drug addiction, jail time and prostitution, how they wrestle with some Church teachings and how they reconcile them with the values of their secular society.

De Santis and Ieraci say the making of the film was an exercise of trust in itself. They set out to make the film with no funding, except for a small private donation that barely covered travel expenses to Toronto. The film’s post-production was later covered by a grant provided by the National Film Board of Canada’s Filmmakers’ Assistance Program.

Unlikely Pilgrims will make its national premiere at the Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto Nov. 22. For more information on the documentary, visit www.redheadproductions.com

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