Holy Hell

A journey inside a modern cult run by a master manipulator

2016 | Running Time: 100 minutes | Rating: NR

HOLY HELL is a film by Will Allen about his experiences as a member of the Buddhafield cult for over two decades. In 1985, Allen was a recent film school grad when he joined the Los Angeles area spiritual group. Also acting as the group’s official videographer, he began to document their activities, which centered on the mysterious leader they called Michel, or The Teacher. Over time, the group’s dark side began to surface as total devotion turned to paranoia, until finally, unexpected truths about their enlightened leader were revealed — all in front of Allen’s camera. This incredible, 22-year archive of video footage became the basis for HOLY HELL. The film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Filmmakers: William Francesco Allen, Director/Producer; Tracey Harnish, Producer; Alexandra Johnes, Producer

Sundance Film Festival 2016: Grand Jury Prize – Documentary (nomination)
Critics Choice Documentary Awards 2016: Best First Documentary (TV/Streaming)/Best Documentary Feature (TV/Streaming) (nomination)
Nashville Film Festival 2016: Grand Jury Prize – Best Documentary Feature (nomination)


“Acts as both an extreme cautionary tale and a personal exorcism.”

ROLLING STONE