The Exorcist in the 21st Century takes the viewer into the unknown and sinister world of exorcism in the Catholic Church. We meet one of the few exorcists in Europe, the Vatican approved José Antonio Fortea. He travels around the world on a mission to enlighten the masses about demonic possession. Constanza, a Colombian woman, is desperately looking for Fr. Forteas help. She claims to have been possessed by demons for nearly 15 years and she goes through a ritual of exorcism before she sees the Spanish exorcist as a last hope for spiritual liberation. The film follows both their journeys and gives a unique insight into one of the world most secret and mystical rites – the catholic ritual of exorcism.
Production company: Gammaglimt AS
Year of production: 2012
Country of origin: Norway
Release date: TBA
Main broadcaster: NRK
TV-sales: Nordic World AS
Format: DCP 2k
Screen ratio: 1:1,77
Sound format: Stereo 5.1
Length in min’s: 80′ and 58′
Language: Spanish / English
Q and A with the filmmakers
Q; Who are your main characters?
A: Our main characters are the catholic exorcist José Antonio Fortea and Constanza.
Father Jose Antonio Fortea is born in Spain in 1968 and has a doctorate in demonology. His many books on the subject of exorcism has made him famous in Latin-America and he travels around the world talking about the dangers of demonic possession. He also perfoms exorcism regularly in his diocese of Alcalá de Henares outside Madrid.
Constanza is a 40 year old woman who claims to be plagued by demonic possession. She says that she has been plagued with this for 15 years. She has tried psychologists and psychiatrists, but has decided that she is possessed and that she needs the help of an exorcist.
Q: What is the story of the film?
A: The story of the film follows Constanza on her journey to meet up with the famous exorcist José Antonio Fortea who travels around the world giving talks and liberation masses. We follow the dual stories from the first meeting at a stadium until their final meeting at an arena where Constanza is given a trial-exorcism by José Antonio Fortea backstage during a mass.
On her journey, Constanza meets up with an exorcist in Peru who performs two 3 hour rituals of exorcism on her.
Q: Where does the film take place?
A: We have filmed in a number of places for this film. Our main story happens in Colombia and Rome, Italy, but we also have important scenes in New York, Madrid, Jerusalem, Tokyo, Paraguay, Peru and Trondheim, Norway.
Q: Who are the other charaters in the film?
A: The film includes interviews with the famous Vatican exorcist Gabriele Amorth, as well as Olav Muller, a norwegian Exorcist, the archbishop of Norway, Bernt Eidsvig, the Exorcist Father Juan Blas from the Apostolic Renovated Catholic Church, the sceptic Father Juan Masia, Constanza`s psychiatrist and Constanza`s best friend.
Q: Does the film include any sceptical voices?
A: Yes. The film has interviewed a catholic jesuit priest from Japan who is sceptical of exorcism and also Constanzas psychiatrist, who is not in favour of exorcism as a way of treating his patient.
Q: Do you believe in demons yourselves?
A: The crew has consisted of everything from devoted Catholics to Lutherans, agnostics and atheists. The goal of the film is to delve into this mysterious world and let people decide for themselves what to believe. The team in general consists of sceptical Scandinavians, but the film will not include any critical voices outside the catholic world. It attemps to balance the story so that everyone gets to tell their own story in a respectful way. We observe the world of exorcism and take the viewer deeper and deeper into the mind and the world of someone who beileve in demonic possession. The audience then has the knowledge to make up their own mind on the subject.
Q: Does the film include a ritual performed by Padre Jose Antonio Fortea?
A: The film does not include footage of an exorcism performed by José Antonio Fortea. We show him as a major star and a speaker, as well as a person who performs liberation masses, where people fall to the ground and act out a state of demonic possession. He also performs a trial-exorcism on Constanza behind closed doors.
Q: When will this film be available?
A: The film is just finished and we are working now to figure out the logistics of television screenings, festival release and cinematic releases. If you check in on www.theexorcistdoc.com or the group The Exorcist in the 21st century on Facebook, we will keep you updated.
Q: Who is behind this film?
A: This film is produced by the independent Norwegian production company Gammaglimt AS. Producer Christian Falch met with Jose Antonio Fortea in 2009 and this made the premise for the film. Director Fredrik Horn Akselsen was contacted shortly after and together they have been the driving force behind the film for the last 3 years.
The majority of the other crew has been consisting of the best talents from the mid-nordic section of Norway. Editor Anders Teigen, sound designer and sound mixer Sander Stedenfeldt Olsen and Morten Stendahl, Cinematographers Ole Andreas Grøntvedt and Viggo Knudsen and Creatur Media who has done the graphics. We have aquired the talents of Latvian composer Karlis Auzans who has done the score for the film. In addition to this, Karina Cifuentes has done a decent amount of research before and during the filming.