Movies centered on faith, like Angel Studios’ “Cabrini,” are attracting audiences who are desperate for “light” within Hollywood.

”People are hungry for light. People are hungry to get out of the nihilism, the despair and the darkness that’s so much of the normal Hollywood,” Leo Severino, producer of “Cabrini,” told the Deseret News.

“I think it’s just a matter of tapping in to what’s already in the human heart, what’s already written in our hearts. And just bringing that out, bringing the good, the true and the beautiful out. And if you show it, if you shine a light on something so positive and inspiring, I think it can help to be a positive influence and inspire people.”

“Cabrini” and other faith-centered films in theaters — like “Ordinary Angels” — are attracting audiences en masse. Both movies sit among top box-office earners this month, per Box Office Mojo. These movies are also earning upwards of 90% ratings from both audiences and critics, per Rotten Tomatoes.

The Wall Street Journal praised “Cabrini” for its “visual splendor.” lauded the film for how it “humbly challenges its contemporary viewers.”

“At a time when movies exist in honor of the strangest oddballs everywhere, I can think of no one more worthy of a life-changing biopic. You can keep your Barbie. I’ll take Mother Cabrini,” hails the Observer.

“Cabrini” follows Francesca Cabrini, an Italian nun who emigrates to America to begin constructing what she calls “An Empire of Hope.” She employs her faith to combat crippling illness, racism and overwhelming doubt from her peers and builds orphanages, hospitals and schools on every continent. Her humanitarian work made her the first U.S. citizen to become a canonized saint.

“Her interior faith and her drive and her determination are something that I think can inspire all of us,” Severino told the Deseret News.

Jordan Harmon, co-founder and president of Angel Studios, believes Cabrini’s story of faithful determination is “probably just as relevant (today), if not more so, than it was then.”

“(Cabrini) says in the movie, ‘You can’t choose how you come into this world but you can choose how you live in it.’ And to me that is a message that is more needed now than ever before,” Harmon told Deseret News.

“People need to understand that this woman can inspire and help an upcoming generation to feel hope and to feel an ability to persevere through difficult times because we are going through a time that’s unprecedented in terms of how the youth are coming up and I believe that the upcoming generation deserves a story like ‘Cabrini.’”

‘This takes Angel to an entirely new level’: ‘Cabrini’ catapults Utah-based Angel Studios into new territory

Last summer, Angel Studios’ film “Sound of Freedom” — the anti-sex trafficking thriller based on the life experiences of Tim Ballard — raked in more than $184 million at the box office, per Box Office Mojo. It was the 10th-highest earning film of 2023, outdoing “Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1″ and “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.”

“The strong response to faith-based films reflects a demand by an underserved audience who are hungry for entertainment that reflects their values and beliefs,” Paul Dergarabedian, a senior Comscore analyst, said near the release of “Sound of Freedom,” per Variety. “Such content can indeed find an enthusiastic audience, generate solid box office and impressive profits for their investors.”

Angel Studios has found a box office hit in ‘Sound of Freedom’

Angel Studios, which describes itself as a “home for stories that amplify light,” is known for distributing “The Chosen,” the popular television series which tells stories about the ministry of Jesus Christ.

“Angel Studios will become known for fulfilling our universal human need for hope and light. Our time feels short. Choosing, funding, creating, and spreading stories that matter has never felt more urgent.”

Watch: Trailer for ‘Cabrini’

The Angel Studios film is currently showing in theaters nationwide. “Cabrini” stars Christiana Dell’Anna, John Lithgow, David Morse and Romana Maggiora Vergano.