While there is much ado about the Sundance Film Festival, here in Park City, Utah, there is another film festival which starts today in Orem, called the LDS Film Festival. I went last year, and loved some of the movies. The festival runs through Saturday.
Certainly, many of the movies here are not up to Hollywood standards, but they can leave some lasting impressions. I thought I would review some of last year’s favorites, and add some that I hope to see this year. Unfortunately, I have to work, so I can’t see all the ones I would like to see.
Last year’s favorites:
- Emma Smith: My Story. Dramatic re-enactments tells Emma’s side of the restoration.
- Errand of Angels. Dramatic re-enactments of a sister missionary in Switzerland.
- The Untold Story of Black Mormons. Documentary gives many facts about early black mormon converts.
- Happy Valley. Documentary showing problems with prescription drug abuse in Utah. It highlights several true stories of people struggling with addictions, and makes the point that the drug problem hits all areas of life: rich, poor, LDS, non-LDS. Synopsis here.
- Forever Strong. Based on true stories of the Highland Rugby Team, perennial national champions. The movie is a compilation of stories over the years, and tells of a young man’s attempts to put his drunk driving past behind him, while playing rugby. The website is here.
This is a list of movies I want to see this year.
- Father in Israel. Christian Vuissa is the director and founder of LDS Film Festival. He also directed last year’s “Errand of Angels.” Christian always has stunnning cinematography. His stories are always personal. I would put his method of story telling in the same category as movies like “Driving Miss Daisy.”
- Mormon Mythellaneous. There is a book out with the same name, dealing with mormon urban legends, some of which have threads of truth, like, “did Elvis read the Book of Mormon”, “Lionel Richie/Steve Martin investigated church”, etc.
- Love Letters from Joseph to Emma
- Mario’s Conviction: One man’s journey from Mafia to Mormon
- Gordon B Hinckley: God makes a Giant among men
- Inheritance of War – true stories of WW2 prisoners
- Shots Fired – documentary of Trolley Square shootings in SLC in Feb 2007
- Diantha’s Crossing – The year is 1858. Salt Lake City has been abandoned by order of Brigham Young in anticipation of the arrival of U.S. armed forces. Diantha Clay is left behind and converses with a quiet stranger.
So, I’d love to hear some reviews, and I’ll try to review as many as I can. Also, if anyone has reviews from last year, I’d love to hear those as well.