William Friedkin’s feature documentary The Devil & Father Amorth has been acquired by The Orchard for theatrical release this Spring. The doc that follows an exorcism of an Italian woman by by the Vatican’s Father Gabriele Amorth, was produced by LD Entertainment, specifically by Mickey Liddell and Pete Shilaimon. A worldwide digital release will follow an April 20 theatrical bow.
Friedkin is the filmmaker who brought William Peter Blatty’s bestselling book The Exorcist to the big screen. Blatty’s book was based on a true story of a young boy (known as Roland Doe) who was considered “possessed by the devil” in St. Louis in the Bel Nor neighborhood in 1949. This time, Friedkin traveled to Rom to meet with 91-year-old Father Gabriele Amorth, known as the “Vatican Exorcist,” to film a real-life exorcism. The documentary gives a terrifying look at the ninth and final exorcism performed by Father Amorth.
“In the early 1970s when I directed The Exorcist, I had not witnessed an exorcism but I wondered how close I had come to portraying reality,” Friedkin said. “I had been curious to meet Father Amorth for many years and when he granted permission to meet and film him in Rome last May, it was the opportunity to complete the circle and see how close that film came to reality.”
“The world’s fascination with William Friedkin’s The Exorcist as a piece of art and a debate about religion and spirituality has never waned,” said Paul Davidson, The Orchard’s EVP Film and Television. “We share his fascination with the topic and the evolution of the discussion that is front and center in The Devil & Father Amorth and are honored to be partnering with him to bring the film to audiences.”
The deal was negotiated by The Orchard and ICM Partners on behalf of the filmmakers.