Director Tom McCarthy on ‘Spotlight’, “If we increase awareness, we’ve done our job as story-tellers”

Legacy journalism and new media. Oscar-winning film 'Spotlight' is about more than just scandal. Watch as director Tom McCarthy talks about the future of news reporting.

If Tom McCarthy’s goal was to increase awareness, then, safe to say, mission accomplished.

His film, Spotlight, nabbed best picture at the 88th edition of the Academy Awards — somewhat of a surprise given the buzz Alejandro González Iñárritu’s extraordinary The Revenant had been receiving. In addition, it picked up an Oscar for best original screenplay, which McCarthy co-wrote with Josh Singer.

“I don’t believe the general public has a real understanding of how dire this crisis is and how important an open and free press is to our society,” he said during a press conference at the Mill Valley Film Festival. “We don’t full comprehend what we lost.”

Actions speak louder than words.

Indeed, that 2003 Boston Globe investigative team pushed the boundaries, doggedly pursuing (aka, a perpetually out-of-breath Mark Ruffalo as lead journalist Mike Rezendes) justice and relentlessly exploring and probing every single available avenue, be it a long-lost court document, or a reluctant witness. Actor-director-writer McCarthy calls it “high level, local journalism.” One that, ultimately, had profound repercussions, not just for the local Catholic community, but one that reverberated across the world, as the ripples turned into major tides, as, one by one, witnesses and victims, came forward.

Tom McCarthy Spotlight interview with Loni Stark MVFF
Clockwise from top: Director Tom McCarthy discusses ‘Spotlight’ as MVFF founder and executive director Mark Fishkin looks on; Mark Ruffalo searches for the truth; at the Mill Valley Film Festival premiere.

They control everything.

— Actor Stanley Tucci in ‘Spotlight’

In this Stark Insider episode, I talk with McCarthy about the film, and later about Pope Francis and, given his rock-star like appearance in the U.S. last year, how and if he might be impacting the image of the Church. His response might just give us a little bit of a chill.

WATCH: Tom McCarthy on Spotlight and the Catholic Church

Loni Stark
Loni Stark is an artist at Atelier Stark, self-professed foodie, and adventure travel seeker who has a lifelong passion for technology’s impact on business and creativity. She collaborates with Clinton Stark on video projects for Atelier Stark Films. It’s been said her laugh can be heard from San Jose all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. She makes no claims to super powers, although sushi is definitely her Kryptonite.