JUNE 6, 2023


MaryLou Pagano
Director of Communications and Advancement
(212) 219-3132 Ext.1378
[email protected]

The Sheen Center Presents “Children of the Inquisition”
Documentary Film Screening and Panel Discussion Explore the Stories of
Contemporary Descendants of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions

NEW YORK – On Tuesday, June 13 at 7:00 pm. the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture at 18 Bleecker Street presents “Children of the Inquisition” a feature length documentary that examines the complicated and  little-known history of the ‘conversos,’ –  Jews who converted to Christianity – many of whom were coerced to convert or forced to flee – during the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions.  Tickets are $21 and can be purchased at SheenCenter.org.

The film screening, sponsored by Robert Calderisi, will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmaker, Joseph F. Lovett, as well as New York artist, Carlos DeMedeiros who is profiled in the film, Thomas F. Madden, Professor of History and Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University, and Ronnie Perelis, Alacalay Associate Professor of Sephardic Studies at Yeshiva University. Reverend Ryan Muldoon, S.T.L., will moderate. Muldoon was awarded the John Paul II Prize for Catholic-Jewish Studies in January 2022.

“We are honored to present this groundbreaking documentary at the Sheen Center,” said William R. Biddle, Executive Director of the Sheen Center. “Not only is this film closely aligned with our mission, but also affords us the opportunity to explore the rich and diverse culture of the Jewish diaspora within the context of the history of the Catholic Church.”

The Sheen Center is a haven for the arts and provides a platform for provocative conversations about diverse and inclusive aspects of humanity as seen through the creative lens of faith and respect.

“I’m grateful that the Sheen Center has invited “Children of the Inquisition” to be shown and discussed,” said Lovett.  “We hope our conversations will reinforce the mission of the Sheen Center and help build a stronger community.”

Told through interviews with scholars and actual descendants – many of whom are just discovering and reconnecting with their ancestral Jewish roots –  the film chronicles the conversos’ complex journeys across continents and oceans with ever-changing names and identities, in search of home and reconciliation.

“I created this film to open a dialogue about the complexities of our past and to explore the most sensitive historical moment between Catholics and Jews,” said Lovett. “At a time when diversity and identity have become such important cultural issues, this film and discussion take on even greater significance.

About the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture
The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture (www.sheencenter.org), is a venue of the Archdiocese of New York where art and spirituality meet. Located at 18 Bleecker Street in Manhattan, The Sheen Center offers a vibrant mix of theater, film, music, art, family programming, and talk events.

About A Closer Look
A Closer Look is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 2014 by veteran documentarian Joseph Lovett (Lovett Productions). The ACL mission is to minimize suffering, maximize empathy and inspire action on health and social justice issues by using film and other creative media for intergenerational and interdisciplinary discussion and outreach. Our current areas of focus include identity, intolerance, disability, childhood trauma, resilience and race.  ACL also acts as a fiscal sponsor for filmmakers whose work fits the organization’s mission. For more information go to acloserlook.org


Press Contact, “Children of the Inquisition” film
Maurie Perl
EMAIL: [email protected]
MOBILE: 917-678-8072