Special Screenings
Traveling Festival

Immaculate Confession


(55 minutes) USA
Director: Simone Grudzen
Producer: Corita Grudzen

Immaculate Confession is a film that chronicles the extraordinary lives of Roman Catholic priests and nuns forced to make a choice between religious celibacy and romantic intimacy. These featured priests and nuns felt called to dedicate their lives to God. After years of working side-by-side in service to the church, something happened that changed everything: they fell in love. Faced with excommunication, financial ruin, and rejection by family and the religious community, they were forced to make an excruciating decision. The film explores the conflict between loyalty to the Church and acceptance of individual truth, and the difficulty of merging spiritual and sexual identities among the clergy. Since 1965, over 200,000 Roman Catholic priests and nuns throughout the world have fled the Church, many of them breaking their vows of celibacy for love. Father Jerry and Sister Marita met during the social and sexual unrest of the 1960s, and left the church to marry and start a family. Father Tom Durkin, a priest turned sex guru, fled to California and Hawaii, where he explored sex, communal living, and Eastern religion. Father John Dee, a conservative priest in Minneapolis, continued to wear the priestly collar and practice traditional Catholic mass in his home even after he broke his vow of celibacy with Sister Louise.

Simone Grudzen studied film at USC and NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where she earned a BFA in film and television production. For the past five years, Simone has worked as a cameraperson and editor in San Francisco. She made her debut as an independent filmmaker at Frameline International Film Festival, where she premiered her short film, This is a Party. Her camerawork appeared in the feature-length documentary, The Bridge, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2006. A professional musician, Simone wrote and performed the original soundtrack to Immaculate Confession. The film is a collaboration between Simone and her sister Corita, the film’s producer. This is Simone’s first feature-length film.

Corita Grudzen, MD graduated from Stanford University in 1995 then went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco. She took a year off during her medical studies to co- create Immaculate Confession with her sister, Simone. She then completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at Bellevue Hospital in New York City and went on to spend three years as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, a fellowship in health policy where she focused on media and qualitative research methods to improve health. She is now an Assistant Professor at Mount Sinai where she continues to practice in the ER, though she spends most of her time conducting research using media to try to improve health in a broad sense and to change health policy. This is Corita's first film.

Contact Information:
Simone Grudzen
625 Peralta Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110
Web site:
©2008 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)
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