ABOUT THE FILM

A STORY OF FAITH IN ACTION

During her 70 years as a Franciscan nun, Sister María Rosa Leggol helped more than 80,000 Honduran children escape abject poverty. Even into her 90s, as economic pressures intensified and gang violence threatened the very fabric of Honduran life, Sister never slowed down. Armed with a razor sharp wit and an unshakeable faith in God, she inspired and enlisted supporters in her fight to end childhood poverty through wide-ranging projects including homes, vocational schools and medical programs.

The film follows two young women in Sister’s programs as they try to navigate the uncertainty and dangers of modern Honduras.

Rosa (18) has spent almost her entire life under Sister Maria Rosa's protection, living inside the sheltered environment of Sister's urban orphanage. As Rosa prepares for her senior exam and the potential to go to college, she must confront both her fears of the future and the ghosts of her violent childhood to create a life of her own.

Living in one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods, Maria (14) risks her life to get a high school education and break free from the cycle of poverty and violence that traps the women in her family. She finds protection with Alfredo (18) and his family, struggling to balance her role of "wife" with her studies.

With This Light poetically interweaves their stories with the almost miraculous story of Sister herself, a woman whose Catholic faith has sustained her through dictatorships, military coups, narco-states and natural disasters, all the while dedicating herself to society’s most vulnerable.

ABOUT SISTER

Sister Maria Rosa Leggol was a Franciscan nun who dedicated her life to giving refuge to the orphaned and abandoned children of Honduras.

For over 70 years, Sister Maria fought to eliminate childhood poverty in her country, helping over 87,000 children and their families by providing them with shelter, food, education and vocational training.

Sister Maria grew up in an orphanage, and at the age of six met two Sisters of St. Francis that changed the course of her life. She decided then and there that she would join them, which she did at 21. While working as a nurse, Sister’s passion for helping poor children in Honduras led her to open group homes for vulnerable children.

Sister Maria opened her first orphanage in 1964, and started the non-profit organization Sociedad Amigos de los Niños (SAN) in 1966. In time, her work grew to build over 500 homes across Latin America. She applied a holistic approach to impacting the lives of these children by creating job opportunities for their relatives and communities through a variety of visionary entrepreneurial and educational programs, as well as bringing healthcare to them through clinics and medical brigades.

Tragically, Sister Maria Rosa Leggol passed away in October 2020 at the age of 93, after contracting COVID-19, and she left a legacy unlike any other. It is no surprise that Sister, a woman who outlasted dictatorships, military coups, narcos and natural disasters, was unshakable in her faith to the very end.

ABOUT SISTER

Sister Maria Rosa Leggol was a 93-year-old Franciscan nun who dedicated her life to giving refuge to the orphaned and abandoned children of Honduras.

For over 70 years, Sister Maria fought to eliminate childhood poverty in her country, helping over 87,000 children and their families by providing them with shelter, food, education and vocational training.

Sister Maria grew up in an orphanage, and at the age of six met two Sisters of St. Francis that changed the course of her life. She decided then and there that she would join them, which she did at 21. While working as a nurse, Sister’s passion for helping poor children in Honduras led her to open group homes for vulnerable children.

Sister Maria opened her first orphanage in 1964, and started the non-profit organization Sociedad Amigos de los Niños (SAN) in 1966. In time, her work grew to build over 500 homes across Latin America. She applied a holistic approach to impacting the lives of these children by creating job opportunities for their relatives and communities through a variety of visionary entrepreneurial and educational programs, as well as bringing healthcare to them through clinics and medical brigades.

Tragically, Sister Maria Rosa Leggol passed in October 2020 at the age of 93, after contracting COVID-19, and she left a legacy unlike any other. It is no surprise that Sister, a woman who outlasted dictatorships, military coups, narcos and natural disasters, was unshakable in her faith to the very end.

A TIMELINE OF SISTER'S LIFE

November 21, 1926

Sister Maria Rosa Leggol was born in Puerto Cortes, Honduras

November 21, 1932

Sister was an orphan when a group of German nuns arrived in Puerto Cortes. Her interest was peaked and at 6 years old she found her calling.

1948

Sister was taken to Milwaukee for formal training after much persistence. She entered her formation in the novitiate of the School Sisters of St Francis.

June 13, 1949

Sister Maria Rosa Leggol officially became a Franciscan nun.

1949/1950

Sister returned to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where she was assigned to work the night shift at a hospital. She threw herself into the work of a committed caregiver and had special compassion for orphans and children of parents in jail.

1964

Sister rescued her first group of children from the prison (it was customary to put children in jail with parents, exposing children to abuse and lack of education). She starts her first homes.

1966

Sociedad Amigos de los Ninos (SAN) was founded by Sister in Tegucigalpa. SAN provides shelter and safety for children and expanded over the years to include housing, agricultural training, schools, and a hospital.

1968

Sister started working with SOS Kinderdorff (Austrian) to open homes all over the country.

1989

Sister separated from SOS villages and founded Nuevo Paradiso.

2001

Sister founded the Reyes Irene School for Girls.

October 16, 2020

We tragically lost Sister Maria Rosa Leggol to COVID-19 in October of 2020 at the age of 93.

A TIMELINE OF SISTER'S LIFE

November 21, 1926

Sister Maria Rosa Leggol was born in Puerto Cortes, Honduras

November 21, 1932

Sister was an orphan when a group of German nuns arrived in Puerto Cortes. Her interest was peaked and at 6 years old she found her calling.

1948

Sister was taken to Milwaukee for formal training after much persistence. She entered her formation in the novitiate of the School Sisters of St Francis.

June 13, 1949

Sister Maria Rosa Leggol officially became a Franciscan nun.

1949/1950

Sister returned to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where she was assigned to work the night shift at a hospital. She threw herself into the work of a committed caregiver and had special compassion for orphans and children of parents in jail.

1964

Sister rescued her first group of children from the prison (it was customary to put children in jail with parents, exposing children to abuse and lack of education). She starts her first homes.

1966

Sociedad Amigos de los Ninos (SAN) was founded by Sister in Tegucigalpa. SAN provides shelter and safety for children and expanded over the years to include housing, agricultural training, schools, and a hospital.

1968

Sister started working with SOS Kinderdorff (Austrian) to open homes all over the country.

1989

Sister separated from SOS villages and founded Nuevo Paradiso.

2001

Sister founded the Reyes Irene School for Girls.

October 16, 2020

We tragically lost Sister Maria Rosa Leggol to COVID-19 in October of 2020 at the age of 93.

MEET THE FILMMAKERS

Laura Bermúdez

CO-DIRECTOR

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Laura Bermúdez is a Honduran film director, producer and cultural activist. "Negra soy", her latest short film received the Audience Award in the "Affirming Women's Rights" section at the Malaga Spanish Film Festival in 2018, and was an official selection at the Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival in England . She has been awarded scholarships for the Berlinale Talents program (2021), the Guadalajara Talents program (2019), the American Film Showcase program (2019), the Locarno Panama academy industry (2019), the Goethe Institute (2017) and the Ibermedia program (2019). Winner of the feature film development fund of the Gabriel García Márquez Stimulus (2017),  winner of the ECAMC production fund awarded by the Mexican Institute of Cinematography IMCINE and the Miradas fund from Ambulante - Netflix for her first documentary feature film “ The Place Where The Sun is Born” which is currently in the stage post-production.

Nicole Bernardi-Reis

CO-DIRECTOR / PRODUCER

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A producer and director, Nicole’s work spans narrative shorts and feature films, documentary features and television series, taking numerous projects from development to delivery for broadcasters including PBS, A&E and The Science Channel. Her independent documentary work includes Algren (2021) (“Riveting" —The Hollywood Reporter) and Radical Grace (2015), (“Exhilarating…among the year’s best films” by RogerEbert.com). Additionally, Nicole serves as a creative coach and consulting producer for filmmakers as they launch their own films. She has produced and programmed film festivals and conferences, and screenwriting competitions nationally.

Jessica Sarowitz

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

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Jessica Sarowitz is the Managing Partner of 4S Bay Partners LLC. She is also the Managing Family Director of the Julian Grace Foundation, which funds various philanthropic ventures through high engagement grant making to build capacities in orphanages and clinics in Central America, innovative  education programs for foster kids, state-of-the art urban centers with STEAM education, vocational training, environmental justice, and the preservation of indigenous cultures & sacred artifacts. She sits on several boards including DePaul University, The Field Museum, Sierra Club Foundation and Heart of the City.

Mimi
Wilcox

Editor

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Mimi Wilcox is a documentary editor and filmmaker based in Brooklyn. She is currently editing the feature documentary THE LAST STRIKE from Kindling Group. She co-edited Kartemquin Films' feature documentary THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE (SXSW 2020), executive produced by Barbara Kopple. She also edited the feature documentary HEAD TO HEAD (Heartland Film Festival 2020), which follows the stories of five women with hair loss. Other credits include UNTIL SHE IS FREE (LUNAfest/Chicken & Egg), MR. GELE (Cleveland International Film Festival), CONCRETE DREAMS (RIDE Channel), and UNINSURABLE (Upworthy). Mimi was a resident of the 2019 Points North Institute Shortform Editing Residency with her documentary THE SEBASTOPOL SIEGE. Her first short documentary, ALPHA MARE, was a 2021 Vimeo Staff Pick. She was born and raised in Northern California, and has a BA in Economics and Russian from the University of Chicago.

Andrea Chignolli

Editor

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Andrea Chignoli works as a film editor since 1995. Her filmography includes the award-winning films “The Desert Bride” (2017 Cannes Un certain regard), “The Family” (2017 Cannes Critic’s Week),NO”, (nominee for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Academy Awards), “Violeta went to heaven” (2012 World Competition Jury Award Sundance Festival) and “Circumstance” (2011 US Competition Audience Award Sundance Festival).Andrea holds an MFA in Film, from Columbia University, New York.  She was a Fulbright Scholar 2002-2003.She was mentor of the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Sundance Documentary Edit and Story Lab.Andrea is a member of the Hollywood Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science (AMPAS) since 2018.

Lisa
Rinzler

Director of Photography

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Lisa Rinzler is an award-winning cinematographer who has shot feature films, documentaries, and commercials.  Recent projects include Oscar-winning Learning to Skateboard in a War Zone (If You're a Girl), Sundance Audience Award winner The Infiltrators and Pope Francis: A Man of His Word.
She is also known for her moody lighting and dynamic camerawork on films such as Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, Pollock and The Soul of a Man.  With over 30 years of experience, Ms. Rinzler has worked with notable directors such as Wim Wenders, Steve Buscemi and Martin Scorsese. Ms. Rinzler received two Independent Spirit Awards for Best Cinematography, a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography, among others. She was a subject of two documentaries, Women Behind The Camera and Visions of Light.

Bonnie Greenberg

Executive Music Producer

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Bonnie Greenberg has been at the forefront of entertainment; integrating music and motion pictures for over 70 films spanning all genres.  She continues to weave her unique expertise and extensive experience to her noted multi-faceted career as she has done over three decades. She’s used her considerable respect and goodwill in the industry to documentaries and feature films including RBG, The Hunting Ground, Cracked Up, Menace II Society, The Best Man; My Best Friend’s Wedding, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, What Women Want, Parent Trap and more, films of all genres and budgets. She has shifted her attention to documentaries and films that shed a light on issues and help effectuate change in the world.  Bonnie is a sought-after interview for books and panels.  Featured in numerous documentaries, Bonnie also lectures worldwide.  She is an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon, MEIM program and NYU Global. She has produced and executive produced numerous gold and platinum soundtrack albums as well as received various awards across all platforms.  Bonnie also has a private practice as a psychotherapist in Los Angeles.  Bonnie Greenberg continues to work tirelessly for the causes she believes in and serves all with her trademark integrity.    

Kathleen Rodgers

Impact Producer

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Kathleen Rodgers is a social impact producer and strategist that works in the human rights and social justice sector across issues such as global health, international human rights, poverty alleviation, women’s health, gender and racial equality, and education reform, among others.

She has worked with nonprofit organizations and on social impact campaigns for film and television, as well as communications strategy, campaign strategy, social impact strategy and overall campaign management. She has worked with discovery+, HBO, Netflix, as well as independent films, on projects including Cries from Syria, Rebel Hearts, Bending the Arc, Not Going Quietly, On The Record, and Allen v. Farrow, among others.

Bonnie
Abaunza

IMPACT PRODUCER

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Bonnie Abaunza has dedicated her life to humanitarian work, human rights and social justice advocacy.  From founding the Artists for Amnesty Program for Amnesty International to carving new paths in social action for Participant Media and running impact campaigns for highly acclaimed film and music titles, she has repeatedly proven herself to be a pioneer in the impact space. Using long established relationships with top filmmakers, artists, studios, corporations, cable and streaming companies, brands, foundations and non-governmental organizations, her impact campaigns have raised international awareness and moved the needle on critical issues and initiatives.

Bonnie has worked on over 50 film campaigns tackling human rights issues including Blood Diamond, Hotel Rwanda, The Constant Gardener, Cries from Syria, FOOD Inc., The Breadwinner, The Hunting Ground, ROMA, and When They See Us. She launched the artist program for the UN agency, the International Labour Organization. and most recently consulted on several Academy Awards titles for Netflix and Apple.

Carla
Morrison

Original Song

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Grammy-nominated and three-time Latin Grammy-winning artist Carla Morrison Carla remains one of the most pivotal artists of the past decade with her art surpassing the boundaries of the Latin space resulting in a global, devout following and large cultural impact. Carla has amassed millions of streams, sold out shows around the world, and is a bonafide critical press darling

Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum

Composer

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Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum: ComposerJuilliard-trained Grammy Award-winning composer Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum (born New York City) collaborates with adventurous musicians and radical filmmakers on scores that include Catherine Hardwicke’s Don’t Look Deeper (Quibi), Bird Karma (Dreamworks Animation), Champaign ILL (Sony), Grand-Daddy Day Care (Universal), Delicious Little Devil (Universal), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Universal), Dangerous Curves (NYTimes), Stockholm Pennsylvania (Sundance), Lena Dunham’s Lenny (HBO), Powerless (Cannes), After Fire (DocNYC), Remember Me, Stuntwomen, Joburg (Telluride), Regarding Susan Sontag (HBO), The Cinema Travelers (Cannes), Every Act of Life (Tribeca), Code, Netizens (Tribeca) and Half The Picture (Sundance). She has received concert commissions from the London Symphony Chorus, San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Young People's Chorus of New York City, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and fellowships from the Sundance Composers Labs, where she also serves as an advisor.

María José Arauz Torres

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

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María José Arauz Torres is a narrative and documentary producer and social media content creator from Honduras. Bachelor of Communications and Advertising. She has a diploma in Strategic and Digital Marketing. She has worked in production and assistant director in Honduran feature films, short films, commercials for various brands and international documentaries. Among her most recent works: In 2020 Lead Coordinator of Alicia’s Dream Showcase III Edition. Assistant Director in the film 90 Minutes, the first Honduran film to be bought in the US by Outsider Pictures. produced by production house Pulsar and Ana Martins. She is currently an Associate Producer on the documentary feature With this light produced by the production company Miraflores Films from Chicago Illinois, USA. Member and collaborator of the Collective of Honduran Women Filmmakers and Brown Girls Doc Mafia.

Erin
Moreland

Associate Producer

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Erin Moreland is an emerging filmmaker based in Chicago. As a Writer/Director, Erin’s current project, Spider Burrito, is an experimental short in post-production. She also works in Development and Production on both Documentary and Narrative pieces. Currently, Erin is working as an Associate Producer on With This Light, where she rapidly moved from an Assistant Producer to an Associate Producer. She is also working as an Executive Assistant for the Illinois Production Alliance, a film lobbying group advocating for the Illinois Film & TV Production Community. Erin is especially interested in making the film industry more accessible to POC and people from low-income backgrounds by challenging the status quo surrounding labor practices and ethics in the filmmaking industry. 

María José Arauz Torres

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

Erin Moreland is an emerging filmmaker based in Chicago. As a Writer/Director, Erin’s current project, Spider Burrito, is an experimental short in post-production. She also works in Development and Production on both Documentary and Narrative pieces. Currently, Erin is working as an Associate Producer on With This Light, where she rapidly moved from an Assistant Producer to an Associate Producer. She is also working as an Executive Assistant for the Illinois Production Alliance, a film lobbying group advocating for the Illinois Film & TV Production Community. Erin is especially interested in making the film industry more accessible to POC and people from low-income backgrounds by challenging the status quo surrounding labor practices and ethics in the filmmaking industry. 

Bonnie Greenberg

Executive Music Producer

Erin Moreland is an emerging filmmaker based in Chicago. As a Writer/Director, Erin’s current project, Spider Burrito, is an experimental short in post-production. She also works in Development and Production on both Documentary and Narrative pieces. Currently, Erin is working as an Associate Producer on With This Light, where she rapidly moved from an Assistant Producer to an Associate Producer. She is also working as an Executive Assistant for the Illinois Production Alliance, a film lobbying group advocating for the Illinois Film & TV Production Community. Erin is especially interested in making the film industry more accessible to POC and people from low-income backgrounds by challenging the status quo surrounding labor practices and ethics in the filmmaking industry. 

Nicole Bernardi-Reis

CO-DIRECTOR / PRODUCER

A producer and director, Nicole’s work spans narrative shorts and feature films, documentary features and television series, taking numerous projects from development to delivery for broadcasters including PBS, A&E and The Science Channel. Her independent documentary work includes Algren (2021) (“Riveting" —The Hollywood Reporter) and Radical Grace (2015), (“Exhilarating…among the year’s best films” by RogerEbert.com). Additionally, Nicole serves as a creative coach and consulting producer for filmmakers as they launch their own films. She has produced and programmed film festivals and conferences, and screenwriting competitions nationally.

Erin Moreland

Associate Producer

María José Arauz Torres is a narrative and documentary producer and social media content creator from Honduras. Bachelor of Communications and Advertising. She has a diploma in Strategic and Digital Marketing. She has worked in production and assistant director in Honduran feature films, short films, commercials for various brands and international documentaries. Among her most recent works: In 2020 Lead Coordinator of Alicia’s Dream Showcase III Edition. Assistant Director in the film 90 Minutes, the first Honduran film to be bought in the US by Outsider Pictures. produced by production house Pulsar and Ana Martins. She is currently an Associate Producer on the documentary feature With this light produced by the production company Miraflores Films from Chicago Illinois, USA. Member and collaborator of the Collective of Honduran Women Filmmakers and Brown Girls Doc Mafia.

Andrea Chignolli

Editor

María José Arauz Torres is a narrative and documentary producer and social media content creator from Honduras. Bachelor of Communications and Advertising. She has a diploma in Strategic and Digital Marketing. She has worked in production and assistant director in Honduran feature films, short films, commercials for various brands and international documentaries. Among her most recent works: In 2020 Lead Coordinator of Alicia’s Dream Showcase III Edition. Assistant Director in the film 90 Minutes, the first Honduran film to be bought in the US by Outsider Pictures. produced by production house Pulsar and Ana Martins. She is currently an Associate Producer on the documentary feature With this light produced by the production company Miraflores Films from Chicago Illinois, USA. Member and collaborator of the Collective of Honduran Women Filmmakers and Brown Girls Doc Mafia.

Mimi Wilcox

Editor

María José Arauz Torres is a narrative and documentary producer and social media content creator from Honduras. Bachelor of Communications and Advertising. She has a diploma in Strategic and Digital Marketing. She has worked in production and assistant director in Honduran feature films, short films, commercials for various brands and international documentaries. Among her most recent works: In 2020 Lead Coordinator of Alicia’s Dream Showcase III Edition. Assistant Director in the film 90 Minutes, the first Honduran film to be bought in the US by Outsider Pictures. produced by production house Pulsar and Ana Martins. She is currently an Associate Producer on the documentary feature With this light produced by the production company Miraflores Films from Chicago Illinois, USA. Member and collaborator of the Collective of Honduran Women Filmmakers and Brown Girls Doc Mafia.

Lisa Rinzler

Director of Photography

María José Arauz Torres is a narrative and documentary producer and social media content creator from Honduras. Bachelor of Communications and Advertising. She has a diploma in Strategic and Digital Marketing. She has worked in production and assistant director in Honduran feature films, short films, commercials for various brands and international documentaries. Among her most recent works: In 2020 Lead Coordinator of Alicia’s Dream Showcase III Edition. Assistant Director in the film 90 Minutes, the first Honduran film to be bought in the US by Outsider Pictures. produced by production house Pulsar and Ana Martins. She is currently an Associate Producer on the documentary feature With this light produced by the production company Miraflores Films from Chicago Illinois, USA. Member and collaborator of the Collective of Honduran Women Filmmakers and Brown Girls Doc Mafia.

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