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Susan Sarandon Exec Producing Feminist Nun Doc ‘Radical Grace’

Susan Sarandon has boarded “Radical Grace” as executive producer in advance of the feature documentary’s world premiere at the Hot Docs Festival in Toronto, Variety has learned.

“Grace,” the feature bow of Chicago filmmaker Rebecca Parrish, follows three American feminist nuns whose work for social justice causes sets them against the conservative hierarchy of the Catholic church.

“This film comes at a major crossroads in the Catholic church, and the nuns are everything that’s right with the institution. They stand with the marginalized, and won’t be bullied by a hierarchy that still doesn’t treat them as equals,” commented Sarandon, who received the lead actress Oscar in 1996 for her portrayal of Sister Helen Prejean in “Dead Man Walking.”

“I was raised Catholic,” Sarandon continued, “and while I couldn’t stay in a church that sidelines women and the LGBT community, spirituality is still an important part of my life. I feel a deep connection to the women featured in ‘Radical Grace,’ and this film will hopefully build a movement toward a more inclusive and just church, and world.”

Parrish’s film tracks Sister Simone Campbell’s “Nuns on the Bus Tour,” which raises awareness of economic inequality; Sister Chris Schenk’s protests for women’s equality in the church; and Sister Jean Hughes’ work with previously incarcerated felons on Chicago’s West Side.

“Grace” is produced by Nicole Bernardi-Reis and by Daniel Alpert, who also serves as exec producer.

Sister Chris Schenk and Women’s Ordination Conference’s Erin Saiz Hanna join the filmmakers at Hot Docs for the film’s April 28 world premiere.

Hot Docs runs April 23 to May 3 in Toronto.

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