Jerry Barca '99 | May 3, 2019
A few things indicated that the world premiere for the documentary film Hesburgh might be different, but nothing had prepared director Patrick Creadon ’89 for what he witnessed that night in the theater. He never expected to hear so many sniffles and choked-back sobs.
Washington, D.C., moviegoers had filled theater 1 at the E Street Cinema during the dinner hour on Father’s Day 2018. Dozens of others had lined up outside, hoping to grab seats left empty by those who’d bought advanced tickets.
After 104 minutes, the credits rolled on the story of Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, CSC, a leader in education and civil rights and a priest who could bridge divides, resolve conflicts and create new possibilities where none had previously existed.
As she led the post-screening Q&A, veteran journalist Anne Thompson ’79 of NBC News had to stop a couple of times because she had become so emotional.
“I realized that night we had something special,” Creadon said.
Before this premiere at the American Film Institute’s documentary festival, the team behind Hesburgh thought the film might get airtime on public television, and maybe would play in a few theaters in Chicago, New York and South Bend.
The response in Washington that night changed things: Hesburgh will screen in Chicago on April 26 and begin a theatrical run throughout the country starting on May 3.
How exactly did a documentary film about a Catholic priest make its way to a nationwide release? That story involves the FBI, a trip to 30 Rockefeller Center, a 26-year-old who bet on himself and Creadon’s vision for a story he believes the country needs to see right now.
Read more here.