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In directing Spotlight, the newsroom drama about the Boston Globe‘s Pulitzer-winning 2002 investigation that exposed decades of sex abuse in the local Catholic Church, director and co-writer Tom McCarthy shared one very important goal with the journalists in his film: getting the story right.

During a video interview with EW at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this year, McCarthy discussed what it meant to nail the details while also translating the story into something cinematic.

“Whenever you’re telling a story about true-life events and about real people, there’s a tremendous responsibility-slash-burden to get it right,” McCarthy said. “And I think with this one, because of the nature and the topic of it … and also just the hard work that these journalists put in, we grew to know and be very connected to these people.”

The goal, he continued, was “not to over-sensationalize [the story] or sentimentalize it or romanticize it, but to present it as they presented their investigation, which was straightforward, hard-hitting, no-nonsense and to the point. I think to some extent their investigation was our inspiration for making the movie.”

Spotlight is in select theaters now. Watch the full clip with McCarthy above.

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  • 128 minutes