Amy Berg's Acclaimed and Controversial Documentary to Make International Debut at the 5th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival
Lionsgate, the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, capped the news that writer/director/producer Amy Berg's “Deliver us from Evil” has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature with the announcement that the film will have its international premiere at the upcoming 5th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival on February 17th. Ms. Berg, a two-time Emmy Award-winning producer for CBS News, will be on hand for the presentation of her critically acclaimed and controversial debut documentary feature about a pedophile Catholic priest whose serial sexual assaults were known to the American Church for over 30 years.
The Dublin premiere of “Deliver us from Evil” represents a significant chapter in the ongoing story of the film's success and impact. European audiences will have their first opportunity to see “Deliver us from Evil” in Ireland, where its central subject, Father Oliver O'Grady, was born and raised and where the Catholic Church is a tremendously powerful force. It is believed that O'Grady presently resides in Dublin. He is expected to begin receiving his Church pension in two years.
“Deliver us from Evil” has earned a rare "100% fresh" rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website, receiving not a single negative notice among the 61 reviews tracked by the site. The film appeared on over forty critics' 2006 "best of" lists, and was named Best Non-Fiction Film by the New York Film Critics Circle and Best Documentary by the Boston Society of Film Critics. It won the International Press Academy's (IPA) Satellite Award for Best Documentary and has been nominated for the Best Documentary prizes by both the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America. Festival awards include Best Documentary Feature at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival, Outstanding Feature Film at the 2006 Hatchfest, Mass Impact Award at the 2006 Boston Film Festival, Audience Award at the 2006 Mill Valley Film Festival, and 2006 Voice of Courage Award at the Darkness to Light Festival.
Said Lionsgate President of Theatrical Films Tom Ortenberg, "We are very proud and excited that the Academy has honored “Deliver us from Evil” with the Oscar(R) nomination for Best Documentary Feature. Amy Berg made a superb and deeply humane film, a fact reflected by its astonishing achievements to date. “Deliver us from Evil” is that rare picture that is making a significant, and positive, impact on people's lives."
Added Stephanie Denton, President, International, Lionsgate, "We are very pleased that the Dublin Film Festival will host the international premiere of “Deliver us from Evil”. Given the film's vigor and fearlessness, we believe that audiences in Ireland and worldwide will be captivated by this incredible story."
Commented Berg, "I am so grateful for the recognition of the Academy, and believe it stands as a validation of the courage and strength Father O'Grady's victims demonstrated in sharing their stories in the film. More than anything, I hope the response to “Deliver us from Evil” has brought a measure of comfort to good people who had to suffer in shame and silence for far too long."
Moving and timely, “Deliver us from Evil” is a chilling portrait of Irish priest Father Oliver O'Grady, perhaps the most notorious pedophile in the history of the modern Catholic Church. A puzzling and complex personality, O'Grady used his charm and authority to befriend and then violate dozens of faithful Catholic families across Northern California for over two decades. His victims ranged from a nine-month-old infant to the middle-aged mother of another adolescent victim.
Following O'Grady's incarceration and deportation, director Amy Berg persuaded him to participate in the making of the film. For the first time, O'Grady describes what happened from his point of view.
Most importantly, Berg encourages several of O'Grady's victims to finally speak out, shedding much-needed light on the horrifying legacy of sexual abuse. Capturing startlingly candid confessions, “Deliver us from Evil” charts these survivors' continuing struggle to repair their lives, their broken families.
The DVD of “Deliver us from Evil” will be released in May 2007.
“Deliver us from Evil” was written, directed and produced by Amy Berg. Frank Donner, Hermas Lassalle and Matthew Cooke also produced the critically acclaimed documentary, which was executive produced by Ray Baldwin, Michael Brown and Tom Ortenberg. Directors of photography were Jacob Kusk and Jens Schlosser and the film was edited by Matthew Cooke. The film will be released in the UK and Ireland by Lionsgate UK and internationally by Lionsgate.