Holy Hell Sundance
Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

FilmRise has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Will Allen’s cult documentary “Holy Hell,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

The distributor will release the film theatrically on May 20.

The documentary provies an inside look at a secretive spiritual cult known as the Buddha Field, formed during the ’80s in West Hollywood. Allen joined the group just after graduating from film school and became its unofficial videographer.

The 100-minute pic includes interviews with fellow ex-cult members. Allen produced “Holy Hell” along with ex-cult member Tracey Harnish and Alexandra Johnes. Variety reported on Feb. 5 that Jared Leto had joined as an executive producer along with Cheryl Sanders, fair-use attorney Michael C. Donaldson and Julian Goldstein.

“‘Holy Hell’ is relentless, haunting and unforgettable,” Leto said at the time. “This unflinching documentary exposé takes us on a beautiful and bizarre journey in search of faith, love and family, but ends up showing us how the business of spirituality, power and corruption are often religion’s ménage à trois.”

Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, said, “Ultimately this is a remarkable film about the human condition, and I am confident that audiences will be engrossed by this captivating story, told by those who lived it.”

The deal was negotiated by Fisher and Max Einhorn representing the distributor with Donaldson Callif’s Dean Cheley and Michael Donaldson representing the filmmakers along with Andrew Herwitz, president of the Film Sales Company.

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