The day finally came! We had our world premiere at Hot Docs this Tuesday, April 28th. We had a great crowd, and we were lucky to have with us Erin Saiz Hanna from Women’s Ordination Conference and Mary Ellen Chown from Canada’s Catholic Network for Women’s Equality. Of course our very own Sister Chris joined us as well. With all of their input, we had a fantastic Q&A after the screening. One audience member asked us, “Why don’t you send that film straight to the Vatican?” Well, we intend to do just that.
It seems like we’ve garnered some great buzz at the festival because our second screening sold out! If you’re in Toronto, you can still grab tickets for today’s final screening at 3:30. And don’t forget to fill out your audience ballot! We’re currently in the top 20 for the audience choice award, and you can help us reach number one.
We’re thrilled by the positive response we’ve gotten from our audience and also from Toronto’s press. NOW Toronto gave us five stars and Danita Steinberg from Toronto Film Scene listed our film as essential viewing. “Radical Grace is a story that hasn’t been told before,” she writes, “And the Catholic church should thank these sisters for representing it proudly.” Amen!
Writing for Metro, Rosemary Westwood approaches the film from a personal standpoint. She acknowledges her own struggle to reconcile feminism and the Catholic faith: “The film asks how these women can stay in a faith that demeans their work and questions their spirituality. For that matter, how can I?” We’re glad to hear that our film may have answered that question for her. Here’s what Steinberg pinpoints as Radical Grace’s most profound gift: “It’s these women,” she writes, “their humour and compassion and their guts, corroborating the truth: I do, in fact, belong.”
We hope to reach many more people like Westwood and we can’t wait to share our film with a broader audience. As our director Rebecca told IndieWire, “I’ve learned so much from the Sisters, and now our goal is for ‘Radical Grace’ to help pass their energy and their passion on to more activists, helping them find that feeling of communion in their own work.”