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HBO To Give Alex Gibney's 'Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God' Theatrical Release

Alex Gibney Portrait Session - H 2012
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The feature-length documentary about sex abuse in the Catholic Church will hit theaters in November, making it Oscar-eligible.

HBO Documentary Films will release Alex Gibney’s Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God theatrically this November with a debut on HBO set for early 2013.

The documentary from the Taxi to the Dark Side filmmaker will have its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival Sept. 9. Significantly, the theatrical release will make the feature-length documentary, about the sex abuse and cover up in the Catholic Church, Oscar-eligible.

Content Media Corporation will handle DVD and download-to-own rights in the U.S. along with all other worldwide rights, and will be selling the film in Toronto. 

“This is a very important story that needs to be told,” said Gibney in a statement. “I am delighted to have produced the film with HBO Documentary Films and pleased that the world will be able to discover the film with Content’s team on board to sell it.”

Gibney has already bagged one Academy Award. Taxi the to Dark Side, which examined U.S. torture policies via the 2002 torture death of an innocent Afghan taxi driver at Bagram Air Force Base, won the documentary feature Oscar in 2007. (Gibney subsequently filed a binding arbitration suit against the films’ distributor, THINKfilm, over how the company financed and promoted the feature-length documentary, which several months after the Oscar-cast had taken in less than $250,000.)

Silence in the House of God follows four young deaf men who blew the whistle on a pattern of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy. The resulting investigation led to the discovery of secret documents from the Vatican archives that implicated those in the highest offices of the Church including the Pope himself.

Sheila Nevins is executive producer and Sara Bernstein is supervising producer for HBO Documentary Films; other executive producers are Lori Singer and Jessica Kingdon. The film is produced by Gibney, Todd Wider, Jedd Wider, Alexandra Johnes and Kristen Vaurio through Jigsaw Productions, in association with Wider Film Projects. Chris Cooper, Ethan Hawke, Jamey Sheridan and John Slattery lend their voices to the film.