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LDS Film Festival 2011

There’s just 1 week until the LDS Film Festival.  I love to go.  Once again, there are too many films I would like to see, and not enough time off work.  To see the full schedule with descriptions, click here.  Here are some movies that sound interesting to me, though I won’t be able to see them all.

Friday, Jan 28:
@ Noon: Life Lessons from Fathers of Faith| you’ll hear stories from or about: Thomas S. Monson, Gordon B. Hinckley, Jeffrey R. Holland, Greg Olsen, Jane Clayson Johnson, LaVell Edwards, Jake Garn, Orrin Hatch, and more.
@ 12:15 pm: Finding Moroni| Discover a hidden pyramid, ancient paintings of Christ in America, gold plates, and more astounding evidences of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon as shown to young filmmaker Dane Hurt.
@ 12:15 pm Stories from the Life of Porter Rockwell| The title says it all for me.
@ 1:45 pm Driven by the Sound| two singer-songwriters hit the road with no money, food, or gas determined to rely solely on whatever they can earn playing music along the way… from San Diego to San Francisco.
@ 1:45 pm, The Jets: Making It in America| The true story of the famous LDS family music group The Jets.
@ 4:30 pm, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend| what does a girl do when she meets “Mr. Right”… after already meeting the right guy?  (Could be a chic flic, but I’m willing to go.)
@ 10:00 am | The History of Homefront: The Early Years 1972-1985|  TV and radio public service announcements about family togetherness that became one of the longest running and the most awarded PSA campaigns … hear the stories of how they were made from the creators of Homefront.
10:30 am | Alex Boye: Backstage Pass|  the life story of British singer Alex Boye. Once a European pop star … his conversion to the LDS Church, the power of music, and the path that led him to being one of the most dynamic and influential members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
@12:30 pm | The Real Life Singles Ward| Documentary
@ 2:30 pm | 17 Miracles| As everything begins to get worse for the Handcart companies, miracles begin to happen. Q&A with the filmmakers after the screening.
@ 2:30 pm | Onward Alone: Women and the Mormon Battalion| the stories of refugee women who were stranded on the plains of Iowa as their husbands, brothers, sons, and fathers marched away in the Mormon Battalion of 1846.
@ 3:00 pm | Jonah and the Great Fish| kind of like Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, but with Jonah story instead.  (I saw the play, and am curious how it looks on film.)
@7:00 pm | Joseph Smith and the Golden Plates| I like Director Christian Vuissa and think this will be worth watching.
So, did I miss any?  Please give your reviews–I can’t see them all!

One comment on “LDS Film Festival 2011

  1. Well, now that the festival is over, perhaps I can solicit a few comments. I saw 2 films today: Jonah and the Great Fish, and Joseph and the Golden Plates.

    I must confess that the reason I saw the Jonah movie was because a relative of mine was in the play we saw a few months ago. It’s a musical. It starts out with a junior high girl moving to a new town. Her father tells the story of Jonah. I’m not a huge fan of musicals, and if you can ignore some of the cheese, it was ok.

    The movie was better than I expected. I guess Liken the Scriptures bought the rights. Rather than just a few cameras in a theater, they actually shot some scenes in a school, house, and bedroom. Some of the underwater scenes actually had manta rays swimming in the background. I was trying to figure out if it was shot in front of a “green screen” or actually filmed in an aquarium, but I wasn’t sure. Anyway, the movie was better than I expected. (I thought they would just film it with a live audience and a camera in the back of the theater.) Honestly, if I didn’t have family in the film, I would have chosen something else, but my wife loves musicals. The Ninevites do a break-dancing fight scene, reminiscent of West Side Story, which was kind of weird, but the dancing was pretty good. Like I said, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, but I guess this isn’t a glowing review, unless you like musicals–then you’ll love it. The 13-year old main character Chloe was great!

    Christian Vuissa put together the story of Joseph Smith and the Golden Plates. The movie covers the time period from 1826-1830. It’s definitely a very faithful look at the translation process. They clearly show that Joseph often did not look at the plates to translate. It was well-done, but for some reason, it didn’t grab me the same way that the Emma Smith movie did last year. Joseph just didn’t seem charismatic enough for me, though I thought the woman who played Emma stole the show.

    The movie clearly showed the tense conflict between Emma’s father (Isaac Hale) and Joseph. If you understand a lot of the backstory, Christian made references to Joseph’s treasure digging, and why some of the people wanted Joseph to share the golden plates. However, I don’t think people unacquainted with Mormon history will fully understand the depths of Joseph’s treasure digging.

    The movie was still being shot as of 3 weeks ago, and Christian said that he will probably re-shoot some scenes in the coming weeks. I felt like I should really like the film–I’ve always enjoyed Vuissa’s movies in the past, but for some reason, I just didn’t connect to this film like I did the Emma film a few years ago, and I can’t place exactly why. Still, it was worthwhile.

    Did anyone else see some films and have a review?

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