Saint John Paul II Documentary Wins Two Emmys

Executive producer Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, was one of the Emmy recipients.

(photo: L'Osservatore Romano/CNA)

CHICAGO — Two Emmy Awards have gone to a documentary that shows St. John Paul II’s central role in the end of communism.

Liberating a Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism resulted an Emmy for outstanding achievement for documentary programs in the historical category. The award went to the documentary’s executive producer and Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson, along with producers Justyna Czyszek, Szymon Czyszek, David Naglieri, and Michele Nuzzo-Naglieri.   

“We are honored to receive these awards and grateful for the recognition it gives to this important film, which tells the story of how Eastern Europe regained its freedom without violence and by calling forth the best in the human spirit,” Anderson said. “The documentary shows how John Paul was the essential leader in making this happen and in such a hopeful, inspiring way.”

Anderson worked with St. John Paul II when he served in the Reagan White House. He is now Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization with 1.9 million members worldwide.

The film focuses on the sainted Pope’s role in ending communist control of Central and Eastern Europe and his spiritual influence on Poland’s Solidarity labor movement, which played a pivotal role leading up to the collapse of Communism that started in 1989.

Another Emmy went to the film's director of photography, George Hosek.

The Emmy Awards, announced Dec. 3, came from the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, one of the academy’s largest chapters.

The 90-minute film, narrated by actor Jim Caviezel, uses rare archival footage and interviews with several heads of state. Other interviewees include papal biographer George Weigel; Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, emeritus Archbishop of Krakow, who served as St. John Paul II’s longtime assistant; and Richard Allen, former national security adviser to Ronald Reagan.

The documentary has been airing on public television across the U.S. in partnership with WTTW Chicago and the National Educational Telecommunications Association.