Francesco and the Pope

by Ciro Cappellari

Framed by the story of 11-year-old Francesco, whose biggest wish is to sing for the Pope in the choir of the Sistine Chapel, the film takes us behind the walls of the Vatican.

Pope Benedict XVI, 81, is the spiritual leader of more than a billion Catholic Christians. In this film, we accompany him on his journeys abroad as well as in his daily activities at the Vatican, and witness the challenges facing faith and the Papacy in our secularized and globalized world. The film lets us glimpse behind the Leonine Walls to observe a Church pulled between preservation and renewal.Fracesco lives away from his family. His parents are getting divorced; he has struggles with coming to good terms with his father and his siblings. He finds a new home in Schola Cantorum, a boarding school for boys lead by the church. His goal is to become a singer in the Cappella Musicale Pontificia. But first, he needs to master his time of probation. In the end, the nine-year-old's wish is to become true: he is allowed to perform in the Sistine Chapel at a small private concert in honour of the Pope. The teacher of the Cappelle, 48 year old Marcos Pavan, even becomes a father-figure-type friend of Francesco. And the former has got a surprise for the young boy: Francesco will sing the first children‘s solo of the Pueri Cantores at the annual reception given by the Holy Father at the Sistine Chapel for the Pueri Cantores around Christmas or the beginning of the New Year.The beguilingly beautiful music brings them together: the Pope, who is firmly leading the Church into the future on the basis of its great tradition, and the young boy, who despite growing up in a world full of conflicts is now striving with new self confidence into a future full of hope.

Genre / Language / Length
Documentary / German / 90 minutes
Original title
Francesco and the Pope
directed by
Ciro Cappellari
produced by
Fanes Film in co-production with Constantin Film and Beta Film
  • Francesco Giuffra
  • Marcello & Lorenzo Giuffra
  • Signora Rosa Maria Giuffra
  • Maestro Guiseppe Liberto
  • Monsignore Marcos Pavan