Film Writer Rod Barr Talks About CABRINI: "A Woman of Determination"

Rod Barr

New Film CABRINI will launch in US theaters and select markets on International Women's Day, March 8, 2024, with additional marketing in the following months. 

Directed by Alejandro Monteverde (SOUND OF FREEDOM), CABRINI shares the story of Francesca Cabrini, a poor, audacious Italian immigrant who became one of the great entrepreneurs of the 19th century. Through her willpower, courage, compassion, and business skill, she overcame sexism and violent anti-Italian bigotry while fighting against an establishment seeking to hold her back.

View the Trailer Here.

We are honored to catch up the film's writer Rod Barr for this exclusive interview. Barr is a screenwriter best known for co-writing, with Alejandro Monteverde, 2023's hit film SOUND OF FREEDOM, one of the highest grossing independent movies of the last decade. 

Q: Rod, thanks for doing this interview with us.  Why don't you start by telling us about yourself?

I am a screenwriter best known for co-writing, with Alejandro Monteverde, 2023's Sound of Freedom, one of the highest grossing independent movies of the last decade.  I also wrote the screenplay for Angel's upcoming film epic, Cabrini. I have  sold numerous original scripts and adapted a wide variety of books and true-life stories for top production companies.  I graduated from Princeton University, where I won numerous creative writing awards.  I began my career writing young adult novels for Penguin, spent a decade creating video games, then went back to my true love: screenwriting.

Q: Why did you decide to write a script on Francesca Cabrini?

I was approached by Executive Producer Eustace Wolfington to write a script about "the first American saint" -- and I promptly turned it down, thinking it would necessarily be a pious and likely boring movie.  Then I read about Cabrini's life and -- to my amazement -- discovered the greatest underdog story I'd ever heard, a story about a powerful, disruptive, determined woman who came to America without a penny, overcame incredible obstacles and went on to create the largest humanitarian empire the world had ever seen.

Q: What was the process like in terms of researching about her life?

First I read every book I could find on Cabrini, and also about the cultural landscape of her time -- especially the plight of Italian immigrants in America.  Then Eustace and I went to Italy and spent a few weeks walking in Cabrini's footsteps, learning everything, interviewing every expert we could find.  Only then did the story begin to take shape on the page.

Q: What was the biggest challenge in writing the script?

The biggest challenge was to write a movie about a nun for a general audience.  Of course we want Catholics and Christians to love the movie, but we also wanted to create something that reached beyond to a mass global audience of believers and non-believers alike... a movie that would be considered simply a great movie about an amazing woman.  

Q: What aspect of her life did she inspire you the most?

Her determination!  She faced so many obstacles -- she was a woman in a man's world, a penniless Italian immigrant in country that too often considered them to be the lowest of the low, and a sickly woman who was given only a few years to live... yet she faced these obstacles and never gave up, never allowed "no" to be the final answer.  And she did this all to help the least among us.

Q:  You also wrote the film SOUND OF FREEDOM, and now CABRINI - what's next for you? 

The same creative team that made Sound of Freedom and Cabrini are working on another project -- and it's going to be an incredible cinematic experience... but it's a little too early to talk about it right now.  We'll spill the beans as soon as we can! 


Tags : CABRINI CABRINI movie CABRINI film Rod Barr Sound of Freedom

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