You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sundance: Jared Leto Executive Producing Cult Documentary ‘Holy Hell’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Jared Leto has come aboard as an executive producer on the cult documentary “Holy Hell” following its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Variety has learned exclusively.

“‘Holy Hell’ is relentless, haunting and unforgettable,” Leto said. “This unflinching documentary expose 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.”

It was announced in early December that the film would play in the U.S. documentary competition lineup, with the director remaining anonymous. The helmer was revealed the next month as Will Allen, who said in an interview that his name was kept secret so that he could finish the project while minimizing the possibility of interference by the some of the subjects of the film. The movie marks Allen’s first feature documentary and centers on a California spiritual community that went by the name the Buddha Field.

Allen served as the de facto documentarian of the group. The 100-minute pic includes interviews with fellow ex-cult members.

Allen produced “Holy Hell” along with Tracey Harnish and Alexandra Johnes. Leto joins executive producers Cheryl Sanders, fair use attorney Michael C. Donaldson and Julian Goldstein.

“Jared saw an early cut of the film, which I shot over 22 years as the unofficial videographer of the group, and responded to the intimacy of our story,” said Allen. “It’s an honor to be able to work with an artist that I respect so much, especially for my first feature-length documentary. I’ve admired his work and career since ‘Prefontaine.'”

Allen is working with Andrew Herwitz of The Film Sales Company for domestic and international sales, and with John Sloss of Cinetic Media for feature remake rights.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Rugrats. Nickeoldeon Animation Studios

    Film News Roundup: 'Rugrats' Writer David N. Weiss Honored by Animation Writers

    In today’s film news roundup, David N. Weiss is honored, Rin Tin Tin is getting a modern movie and “The Shasta Triangle” finds a home. WEISS HONORED David N. Weiss will receive the animation writing award from the Animation Writers Caucus of the Writers Guild of America West. The award will be presented by Weiss’ [...]

  • Marrakech Chief on Selecting Arthouse Films

    Marrakech Chief on Selecting Arthouse Films With a Big Stress on the Word 'Art'

    The 18th edition of the Marrakech Film Festival (Nov. 29-Dec. 7) – one of the leading cultural events in the Africa and Middle East region – will screen 98 films from 34 countries. The fest is also reinforcing its industry presence this year through the second edition of the Atlas Workshops, sponsored by Netflix, which [...]

  • Emma Stone Brad Pitt Damien Chazelle

    Paramount Lands Damien Chazelle's 'Babylon,' Dates It for Christmas 2021

    Paramount Pictures has landed the worldwide rights to Damien Chazelle’s next feature film “Babylon,” sources tell Variety. Insiders add the studio has dated the film for a Dec. 25, 2021 limited release, with plans to go wide on Jan. 7. The release date puts in prime position for another awards season run for Chazelle, who [...]

  • Chris Pratt

    Chris Pratt's Sci-Fi Film 'The Tomorrow War' Gets Release Date

    Chris Pratt’s upcoming sci-fi actioner, which was recently retitled “The Tomorrow War,” has set a Christmas Day 2020 release date. The Paramount film was formerly titled “Ghost Draft.” It follows a man (played by Pratt) who is drafted to fight a future war in which the fate of humanity may rely on his ability to [...]

  • Kim Dong-Ho of GIFF Chairman of

    Inaugural Gangneung Film Festival Pays Tribute to Pierre Rissient

    The opening ceremony of the first edition of the Gangneung International Film Festival was dominated by a tribute to the French film scout and festival selector Pierre Rissient, who died in May 2018. The new festival, 240 km from Seoul, counts former Busan festival co-founder Kim Dong-ho as its chairman and former Bucheon festival head [...]

  • 'Waves': Sterling K. Brown and Trey

    'Waves' Cast Reflects on the Making of the Tragic Family Drama

    “Waves,” a partially autobiographical film written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, is a visually arresting look at the fraying of an upper-middle class black family in South Florida in the aftermath of a violent tragedy. It examines themes of grief, domestic violence, substance abuse and modern-day pressures on kids to succeed. “Propelled by color, [...]

  • Gaston Pavlovich

    Gaston Pavlovich Talks About Producing 'The Irishman'

    Through his production company Fabrica De Cine, Gastón Pavlovich is one of the producers on Martin Scorsese’s two most recent movies: 2016’s “Silence” and 2019’s “The Irishman.” The 51-year-old native of Mexico first gained notice as an executive producer on the Tom Hanks comedy-drama “A Hologram for the King.” Pavlovich also began working with Scorsese [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content