The Orchard has acquired worldwide rights to William Friedkin’s exorcism documentary “The Devil and Father Amorth” from LD Entertainment.
The documentary explores an exorcism performed in 2016 by the Vatican’s Father Gabriele Amorth as he fights to expel Satan from an Italian woman. Produced by Mickey Liddell and Pete Shilaimon, the Orchard plans a theatrical release on April 20, followed by a worldwide digital release.
Friedkin was nominated for an Academy Award for directing the 1973 film “The Exorcist.” He had won the Oscar in 1971 for directing “The French Connection.”
“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 documentary gives a terrifying look at the ninth and final exorcism performed in 2016 by Amorth on an Italian woman who experiences troubling fits and behavioral changes. Amorth, who claimed to have performed thousands of exorcisms, died later that year at the age of 91.
“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,” Paul Davidson, the Orchard’s EVP of Film and Television, said. “We share his fascination with the topic and the evolution of the discussion that is front and center in ‘The Devil and 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.