Scott Derrickson, writer and director of The Exorcism of Emily Rose and director of The Day the Earth Stood Still, will speak about his life and work following a free film screening of The Exorcism of Emily Rose at Westmont College’s Porter Theatre at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5.

The Reel Talk event, co-sponsored by the Westmont Theatre Arts Department, the Gaede Institute for the Liberal Arts and the campus pastor’s office, is free and open to the public.

Derrickson will also speak at 10 a.m. Nov. 5 in Murchison Gym about working as a Christian horror director.

Mitchell Thomas, associate professor of theater arts, will moderate the Reel Talk discussion with Derrickson after the screening about the development, production and vision of The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

“This forum will provide a more informal and intimate setting to hear from Scott,” Thomas said. “It will be wonderful for anyone interested in screenwriting, directing, the entertainment industry or the intersection of popular culture and Christianity.”

The Exorcism of Emily Rose chronicles the haunting trial of a priest accused of negligence resulting in the death of a young girl believed to be possessed. The film, inspired by true events, stars Laura Linney as the lawyer who takes on the task of defending the priest (Tom Wilkinson) who performed the controversial exorcism.

The Day the Earth Stood Still, starring Keanu Reeves, opened in North America in December 2008 and amassed a gross revenue of more than $230 million.

Derrickson’s current projects include directing an adaptation of Dan Simmons’ Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion for Warner Bros. He is also slated to direct Spyglass Entertainment’s Hercules: The Thracian Wars, Lakeshore Entertainment’s supernatural suspense thriller The Living and Spooky Pictures’ remake of the Danish thriller The Substitute.

Derrickson, a Biola University graduate, earned his master’s degree in film production at USC.

For more information about the screening, call Beth Whitcomb at 805.565.7040.

— Scott Craig is the media relations manager for Westmont College.