Watch: From “the hell of Syria” to Pope Francis documentary

Award-winning American film director, producer and cinematographer of Russian descent Evgeny Afineevsky’s most recent film – a documentary film about the Syrian Civil War entitled ‘Cries from Syria’ – was released in 2017 to critical acclaim.

Speaking to Newsbook.com.mt in July, Mr Afineevsky had said that the experience of making ‘Cries from Syria’ was so traumatic that it triggered a serious existential crisis that endangered his losing hope in humanity.

It was Pope Francis, he said, who provided him with courage and hope.

In an exclusive interview with Newsbook.com.mt, Mr Afineevsky spoke to Fr Joe Borg about his latest film, which is still in post-production – a documentary about Pope Francis.

Mr Afineevsky explained that, when it is edited, the documentary will run for “a little bit less than two hours”.

During the interview, Fr Borg also spoke to Emmy Award-winning editor and producer Aaron I. Butler about the editing process.

The film includes interviews with Archbishop of Malta Charles Scicluna, President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina Wazed as well as many more – 56 people in all, according to Mr Afineevsky; a list which also encompasses friends and family members of Pope Francis.

Mr Afineevsky said that he has been in contact with Pope Francis throughout the creative process of making the film:

“Pope Francis is deeply aware of the project because of my relationship with all his friends and relatives… and my letter-exchange with him directly… in his last letter to me, he specifically encouraged me to continue my travelling, recording all that I do and to share my story.”