VATICAN CITY – It was a far cry from a Hollywood world premiere and it reflected the film’s subject.

Pope Francis biopic “Call Me Francesco” world premiered Tuesday amid tight security at the Vatican’s 7,000-seat Paul VI Audience Hall for an audience comprising Rome’s homeless, faithful from the Eternal City’s parishes ranging in age from babies to octogenarians, and nuns and priests from many different Catholic orders.

There was no red carpet.

Screening of the film by Italian director Daniele Luchetti tracing Jorge Maria Bergoglio’s path from Jesuit priest to groundbreaking pontiff was preceded by a brief concert performed by the Swiss Guard marching band which rarely performs in public.

After warm protracted applause as the end credits rolled, the needy filing out of the show had dinners packed in paper bags waiting for them just outside the venue. The Pontiff did not attend.

“I have always wanted to make movies for a wide audience, because as film directors we love our public,” said Luchetti as he introduced the pic. “I hope this film will convey some strong emotions. It’s about a man whom we all know today. But what we do not know is who he could have been instead, and how he became who he is,” he added.

Luchetti, whose “My Brother is an Only Child” and “Our Life” competed in Cannes, is known as an auteur who strives for a broad audience.

At an earlier press conference the director said he did not want to “present him as a saint or make a hagiography.”

“That was the danger. I wanted to respect the history of Argentina and so I listened to all suggestions without trivialising anything.”

The 98-minute biopic depicts Bergoglio’s life as a young man in Buenos Aires, including a girlfriend he came close to proposing to before getting his calling to become a Jesuit priest, and his difficult decisions in the face of military dictatorship, as he tried to protect those being persecuted around him.

It reconstructs the human and spiritual adventure of Bergoglio’s vocation from his formative years with the Jesuits through the very tough experience of dictatorship and his pastoral mission amid the poor in Buenos Aires, as he rose through the ranks of archbishop and cardinal, before becoming the first pontiff ever from the Americas, and also the first Jesuit pope.

Young Argentinian thesp Rodrigo De la Serna, who played alongside Gael Garcia Bernal in Walter Salles’s “The Motorcycle Diaries,” stars in the title role as the former Buenos Aires bishop, a son of Italian immigrants. Chilean thesp Sergio Hernandez (“Gloria”) plays the future pontiff in his later years.

The $15 million pic produced by Piero Valsecchi’s Taodue shingle, which is part of Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset/Medusa conglom, will go out on a massive 700 screens in Italy via Medusa on December 3. Taodue is handling international sales of versions for both theatrical and TV, with deals said to be in the works in 40 territories.

“Call me Francesco” is the second film to be made about Pope Francis. “Francisco,” by Spanish director Beda Docampo Feijoo, starring Argentine actor Dario Grandinetti was released in Argentina in September.