Our Founder

Fr. Ellwood "Bud" Kieser

Fr. Ellwood Kieser, known to everyone in the entertainment industry as “Fr. Bud” Kieser, grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from La Salle College in 1950. That same year he joined the Paulist Fathers. He earned his Ph.D. in theology of communications from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA in 1973. His dissertation was titled “Cinema as a Religious Experience.”

Fr. Kieser founded Paulist Productions in 1968 with the sole intention of producing life-enriching programming that could address social issues and moral questions. For 23 years Fr. Kieser executive-produced the inspirational weekly anthology series Insight for Paulist Productions. As one of the longest-running weekly syndicated shows, Insight explored the search for meaning, freedom and love through various storytelling forms such as comedy, melodrama, and fantasy.  

Believing in the power of television and film to change culture, Kieser founded the HUMANITAS Prize Awards in 1974 to encourage and empower writers to focus on the best of human values and strive for meaningful content.

While serving as a Paulist priest for 44 years, Fr. Bud also garnered six Emmys for Insight, a Christopher Award, a Gabriel Award, the Imogen Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and a Board of Directors award from CIMA (Catholics in Media Associates). On September 16, 2000, he died of cancer at the age of 71.