New film on the life of Blessed Carlo Acutis to hit theaters in 2025

Jul 05, 2024 3 Min Read
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A new documentary film exploring the life of Blessed Carlo Acutis and the lessons he offers young people regarding the challenges of the digital world will be coming to theaters in the spring of 2025.

Roadmap to Reality: Carlo Acutis and Our Digital Age” was announced by Castletown Media on July 1.

This comes following the Vatican’s announcement that Acutis will be canonized. On July 1, the College of Cardinals gave a positive vote to the canonization of Acutis after Pope Francis recognized last month a second miracle attributed to the millennial’s intercession. The date for his canonization has not yet been announced.

According to a press release, “‘Roadmap to Reality’ blends live action, animation, and documentary-style interviews with Carlo’s family, friends, scholars, and tech experts. The film tackles urgent contemporary questions, examining how the rise of artificial intelligence and virtual landscape challenge our fundamental understanding of what it means to be human.”

Acutis’ mother, Antonia Salzano Acutis, is also featured in the film. In the press release, she said: “Carlo is a great example to young people today. Today, people feel as if they are in a tragic state if they don’t have access to the internet. However, the real tragedy is that our world is disconnected from God. Holiness is still possible. Carlo shows us that we can be saints in today’s world.”

Carlo Acutis

A behind-the-scenes look at Antonia Salzano Acutis, Carlo's mother, during the filming of "Roadmap to Reality: Carlo Acutis and Our Digital Age." (Castletown Media via CNA)

Castletown Media, in collaboration with Catholic filmmaker Jim Wahlberg, is producing the film, and it will be distributed through Fathom Events. The two recently experienced success with their film project “Jesus Thirsts: The Miracle of the Eucharist,” which became Fathom Events’ highest-grossing documentary of 2024 and is currently in second place among all documentaries released in 2024 so far.

Tim Moriarty, director of the new Acutis film and founder of Castletown Media, told CNA in an interview that discussions about making the film started about six months ago.

“The C3 Foundation in Beaumont, Texas, established Christ Central Camp for the youth of the Diocese of Beaumont in 2023,” he said. “Bishop David Toups, who has a deep devotion to Blessed Carlo Acutis, named the camp’s chapel in his honor. Inspired by Blessed Carlo’s witness and driven by a desire to help young people navigate the modern world’s challenges while striving for holiness, the C3 Foundation approached Jim Wahlberg and Castletown Media to create a feature-length documentary about the first millennial saint.”

The film not only tells the story of Acutis and examines issues in our digital world, but it also “follows a group of high school students from North Dakota as they embark on a pilgrimage to visit Carlo’s tomb. As part of this experience, the students leave their phones at home, emphasizing the importance of disconnecting from technology to fully engage with reality,” Moriarty added.

The director believes that a film about this young soon-to-be saint is needed because “Carlo’s life provides a road map away from the distractions of the virtual world to the real world, especially through his devotion to the Eucharist — his ‘highway to heaven.’”

“He believed that only through deep devotion to the Eucharist and the spiritual nourishment it offers can we find the strength to navigate the present dangers of our world and live a joy-filled life in Christ,” he explained.

Moriarty called working with Acutis’ mother a “wonderful and inspiring experience.”

“Antonia affectionately refers to Carlo as her ‘little savior’ because he led her back to a strong embrace of her faith. We also had the privilege of speaking with his father, Andrea Acutis, who shared similar sentiments,” he recalled.

“The Acutis family talks about Carlo with such grace and conviction, providing light and hope for all families striving to raise holy children in today’s world.”

As for what he hopes viewers will take away from the film, Wahlberg told CNA: “Carlo Acutis serves as a relatable and inspiring figure for today’s generation. He shows us that sanctity is still possible in modern times. By highlighting his devotion to the Eucharist and his balanced approach to technology, we aim to inspire viewers to see that holiness is attainable in our modern world.”

Moriarty added: “G.K. Chesterton once said that each generation gets its own saint according to its unique and special needs. We firmly believe that Carlo Acutis is the saint for our age. In a world increasingly dominated by technology and marked by human isolation, Carlo stands as a powerful example of using technology as a tool for evangelization rather than becoming a tool of technology.”

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