Feature Films by LDS/Mormon Filmmakers and Actors
Weekend Box Office Report (U.S. Domestic Box Office Gross)

Weekend of January 24, 2003

[If table lines up improperly, use mono-spaced font, i.e. Courier]

Natl  Film Title                Weekend Gross
Rank  LDS/Mormon Filmmaker/Star   Total Gross Theaters Days
---  ----------------------------- -----------  -----  ----
40   Sweet Home Alabama                112,157    182   122
     C. Jay Cox (screenwriter)     126,868,642

40   The Santa Clause 2                 93,438    223    87
     Cinco Paul (screenwriter)     139,136,759
     Ken Daurio (screenwriter)

49   Jack Weyland's Charly              43,227     33   122
     Adam Anderegg (director)          655,471
     Jack Weyland (book author)
     Janine Gilbert (screenwriter)
     Lance Williams (producer)
     Micah Merrill (producer, film editor)
     Tip Boxell (co-producer)
     Bengt Jan Jonsson (cinematographer)
     Aaron Merrill (composer)
     Actors: Heather Beers, Jeremy Elliott,
        Adam Johnson, Jackie Winterrose Fullmer,
        Diana Dunkley, Gary Neilson, Lisa McCammon,
        Randy King, Bernie Diamond, etc.

56   Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man   24,127      5   997
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   14,832,615

59   Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure   20,633      7   717
     Scott Swofford (producer)      13,887,096
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Stephen L. Johnson (editor)

79   Galapagos                           4,042      5  1186
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   13,908,603

89   The Slaughter Rule                  1,298      1    17
     Ryan Gosling (top-billed actor)     5,781

93   Handcart                              797      2   101
     Kels Goodman (director/DP)         73,497
     Dave Sapp (producer)
     Mark von Bowers (screenwriter)
     Eric M. Hanson (composer)
     Actors: Jaelan Petrie, Stephanie Albach
        Chris Kendrick, Shannon Skinner,
        Gretchen Condie

94   China: The Panda Adventure            660      1   549
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    2,992,106

95   Mark Twain's America 3D               591      1  1669
     Alan Williams (composer)        2,295,067

LDS FILMMAKERS SHINE AT SLAMDANCE - Congratulations to "The Snell Show" and "Peluca", which were both shown at the prestigious SLAMDANCE film festival in Park City this week to standing room only. Further congratulations to "The Snell Show," which won the festival's highest award for shorts: the Grand Jury Award for Best Short Film. The film, made by a Latter-day Saint cast and crew, was directed by Scottish BYU student Andrew Black and was based on a short story by BYU professor Darl Larsen. The Grand Jury Award is chosen by the nationally prominent filmmakers who are judging the festival. Interestingly enough, a number of people on the cast and crew who made "The Snell Show" also worked on Christian Vuissa's "Roots & Wings," another award-winning BYU student film released this year. Jason Conforto was the First Assistant Director for BOTH films. "The Snell Show" can be viewed online at the website

And we should definitely remind readers that "Peluca", directed by Jared Hess, was the other BYU student film admitted into SlamDance this year. Quite a feat considering there were thousands of entries from across the country.

THE R.M. TO OPEN JANUARY 31st - A HaleStorm Entertainment Press Release notes: [QUOTE] Don't get trunky -- the moment you've been waiting for is almost here! THE R.M. opens in Utah on January 31st. To find a theater near you, go to If THE R.M. is not playing in your area, don't worry. You can still request the movie to come to your area. Go to for more info. RM fans along the Wasatch Front: tune your radios this Sunday (Jan. 26) to KOSY 106.5 to hear interviews from the entire cast and director of THE RM all day long beginning at 7:00 a.m.! Don't forget the "R.M. All-Stars" shows at ComedySportz in Provo (36 W. Center) this Saturday night (Jan. 25) at 8:00 and 10:15! Come see Kirby Heyborne, star of THE R.M, as well as other cast members perform competitive improvisational comedy! Call 801.377.9700 for reservations (highly recommended) or go to for more info. [END QUOTE]

"The R.M." stars rising star Kirby Heyborne, who had a major supporting role in "The Singles Ward." Heyborne plays returned missionary Elder Jared Phelps. With the release of "The R.M.", Kurt Hale becomes the second director (after Richard Dutcher) to release more than one "LDS Cinema" feature film. Hale was the 3rd director, after Dutcher and Mitch Davis, to release a film in the genre. "The R.M." is the 8th LDS-themed feature film. "The R.M." is the first LDS-themed feature film to feature a major recording artist in a major role. Canadian pop star plays "Sariah", the sister of the title character. "The Singles Ward" was notable (and some say notorious) for its bevy of cameos. "The R.M." has cameos, but far fewer, and they are more organically woven into the fabric of the movie.

ADD THE R.M. SOUNDTRACK - Salt Lake City Weekly was enthusiastic about the music in "The R.M." and announced that musicians featured on the soundtrack will be performing live as part of the movie's premiere events: [QUOTE] Hot on the heels of last year's The Singles Ward (groan if you must) comes The R.M., another homespun LDS comedy about the comedy of being LDS, opening Jan. 31. As with The Singles Ward, there's a soundtrack album of tongue-in-cheek Mo'tunes to accompany it, this time around featuring Utah talents Ryan Shupe, Maren Ord, Ponchillo, Clay and Sweet Haven (performing Thursday), as well as Sugarland Run, Jamen Brooks, Jerrytown and Debra Fotheringham (Friday). Notably absent from both The R.M.'s soundtrack and these acoustic CD-release bashes are Jericho Road'what kind of party is complete without those studs? Thursday, Jan. 23-Friday, Jan. 24 @ Muse Music, 145 N. University Ave., Provo, 8 p.m. [END QUOTE]'s founding webmaster has listened to "The R.M." soundtrack numerous times and loves it. "Don't let the slightly disappointing first two tracks dissuade you. This CD is at least as good as 'The Singles Ward' CD. Kirby Heyborne's take on 'If You Could Hie To Kolob' is truly out of this world. 'Onward Christian Soldiers' performed by The Cretins is incredibly fun. Maren Ord gives a moving performance with 'Where Can I Turn For Peace.' This is unusual, fun and jamming uplifting music."

GOOD WEEK AT THE BOX OFFICE FOR CHARLY - On Friday, January 24, "Charly" opened in the following locations on January 24th, it's first big day of release outside of Utah and Idaho: Alaska (Anchorage); Arizona (Gilbert, Glendale/Peoria, Mesa, Phoenix); California (Aliso Viejo, Brea, Chula Vista, Concord, Foothill Ranch, Fresno, Long Beach, Ontario, Orange, Pasadena, Riverside, Roseville, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, San Marcos, Temecula); Idaho (Boise, Caldwell, Nampa); Nevada (Las Vegas). The movie continued playing in Idaho (Preston and Idaho Falls) and various Utah cities (Cedar City, Kaysville, Lewiston, Provo, Sandy). It will open in Kennewick,Washington on January 31 and in Spokane, Washington on February 7. "Charly" posted good numbers, bringing in a box office total of $43,227. The film played in 33 theaters, three fewer than the number of theaters it played in on its opening weekend, when it took in $56,900. This weekend's total is actually only the 5th best weekend total the film has experienced, but hopefully, as the word gets out in these new venues, it will see increasing numbers. Charly's best grossing weekend so far has been the weekend of October 4th, when it took in $64,031. For a complete list of theaters near you, please visit

NEW CHARLY REVIEWS - Reviews in new "Charly" venues were mostly middling. L.A. Weekly wasn't enthusiastic about "Charly," but noted that it "...pulls off the neat trick of never making us feel we're being preached at... the movie is too amateurishly square to make the most of its own ironic implications." The Orange County Register gave "Charly" a C-. The reviewer felt there have been too many movies lately about romances that end with a terminal illness, and that "Charly" is another one. Joe Baltake of the Sacramento Bee gave "Charly" 2 out of 4 stars, calling it a "...slick, antiseptic film... The film is old-fashioned, occasionally charming and as subtle as boldface." Baltake's review appeared in other newspapers, including the Fresno Bee, Bakersfield Californian and the Anchorage Daily New. Richard Nilsen of The Arizona Republic gave "Charly" 1 out of 4 stars, but he noted that his dislike for "Charly" isn't because of the subject matter. At the beginning of his review he commented: "I want to stress that I do not mean that it is disqualified because it's a movie about Mormons and faith. In fact, there have been a string of LDS films in the past few years, and several have been quite good."

NEW A.J. COOK MOVIE: FINAL DESTINATION 2: "Final Destination 2", starring Latter-day Saint actress and Utah resident A.J. Cook opens this Friday. The original "Final Destination" grossed $53 million domestically, and took in $10 million in the opening weekend. Other than the "Fast and the Furious" ripoff "Biker Boyz" there's not a whole lot of competition out there this weekend and the kids love the horror flicks. The old folks can see Al Pacino in "The Recruit." $12 million is my conservative estimate for FD2's opening weekend. A.J. Cook's last movie, "Out Cold" (2001), in which she was the lead actress, grossed $14 million domestically. Her most critically acclaimed work is probably her supporting role in "The Virgin Suicides." Unanswered is Jay Leno's question: How can there be a Final Destination... 2? Doesn't that mean the first one wasn't really final?

MORE HANDCART DATES SET - [From press release.] We have a few more new dates for Handcart! On January 31st it will be opening in Safford, Arizona, then on February 7 it will be opening in Mesa, Arizona and in Llano, Texas (near Austin). The film is scheduled for only a week in those areas. If they play well, it will stay longer. Please visit the theater during that weekend. Kels and company are also working on other theaters that need a little support. "Handcart" will open in Richmond, Virginia -- the birth place of the movie's director Kels Goodman -- on February 28th. Goodman is planning to travel there and give some presentations coinciding with the film's release there. Answering audience demand, "Handcart" will also be coming back to some Utah venues, starting with Richfield, Utah on January 31st.

MORE GOODMAN: Kels Goodman, director of "Handcart," is working on a DVD release of the first feature film that he directed, "Yankee 2 Kilo," also known as "Y2K: A Comedy." The movie had a very limited theatrical release (VERY limited), and has been available on video, but has never before been released on DVD. "Y2K" will be distributed by MPE, the same company that is handling the theatrical and video/DVD release of "Handcart." A soundtrack CD featuring the music from "Handcart" will soon be released as well. "Missy," the taut science fiction drama produced by Goodman and directed by Bryan Young and Elias Pate, is being prepared for DVD release by the folks at Shinebox. The DVD will feature a commentary track by the directors and Goodman, which has already been recorded. "Missy" stars Jaelan Petrie (the top-billed star of "Handcart") and Junior Case ("In Time of Need", "Handcart"). Look for "Y2K" and the "Handcart" soundtrack CD to hit stores by May.

GOODMAN'S "SCOUT": Finishing touches are being applied to the screenplay for "Scout," Kels Goodman's action adventure feature film featuring boy scouts. Some cast members from "Handcart" will appear in "Scout." Casting will be in February. Actors who can pass for scouts aged 12 to 18 will be needed. Shooting has not been scheduled, but may be as late as May or June this year. If Goodman released "Scout" he will become the first director to release a feature film in the LDS Cinema genre and then go on to release a "mainstream" (not LDS-themed) movie.

DOCUMENTARY SCREENINGS AT BOOK OF MORMON LANDS CONFERENCE - The Book of Mormon Archaeological Foundation announces a Book of Mormon Lands Conference to be held Friday and Saturday, March 21-22, 2003 at Thanksgiving Point - Lehi, Utah. Featured speakers include Elder Robert Wells, Elder Ted E. Brewerton, Joseph L. Allen, Diane Wirth, John A. Tvedtness, Ronald Jamison, Royal Skousen, Boyd F. Edwards, Donald Parry, and David Hadlock. The Conference will have two general sessions, a panel discussion and several break-out segments geared to every level of Book of Mormon study, from the new member to world scholars. The Conference will begin at 1:00 PM Friday with an overview of Book of Mormon Lands presented by Ronald Jamison. That evening will include dinner, entertainment and a live auction. Saturday will begin at 9:00 AM and will include a preview of the Foundation's newest video, "The Land of Nephi", (which stars Sharlene Wells Hawkes and also features music by co-webmaster Thomas C. Baggaley) as well as a full screening of "Lehi's Land of First Inheritance" at the conclusion of the Conference that evening at 5:30 PM. Attendance is limited to 200 people, so early registration is recommended. Cost is $75 per person, or $125 per couple (includes Friday dinner and Saturday lunch) For more information or to register for the Conference, please phone 801-226-7525 or visit

OSMONDS HOT AT SUPERBOWL - The most talked-about ad debuting at this weekend's Super Bowl featured none other than Donny and Marie Osmond. Newspapers around the world gave notice about the spot, and parts of it were played on news shows on every station from ABC to UPN. Here's what Australian newspaper The Age said: [QUOTE] Two of TV's most notorious families become one in a new Pepsi advertisement as the Osbournes turn into the Osmonds. Rocker Ozzy's offspring Kelly and Jack are seen peeling off their faces to reveal their true identities - as the clean-living Donny and Marie Osmond. The advert is being screened during the Superbowl in the United States this weekend, which usually commands massive TV audiences. Ozzy Osbourne and his clan became international stars after starring in their warts and all MTV show. Now Pepsi has faith in the former Black Sabbath frontman to plug its lemon drink, Pepsi Twist. In the commercial, the heavy metal god dreams that his out of control children transform into the sugary Mormon hit-makers. As he lets out his trademark cry, shouting for his wife Sharon, Ozzy finds himself part of yet another legendary TV family. He turns over in bed to discover Sharon is actually Carol Brady from hit 1970s' show The Brady Bunch. [END QUOTE]

DONNY'S SHOW RENEWED - Sony Pictures Television has renewed its syndicated game show strip "Pyramid," hosted by Donny Osmond, for a second season starting in the fall. The latest revival of the enduring game show format had a slow start in its debut in the fall but has slowly been inching up the Nielsen rankings. "Pyramid" opened with a 1.7 weekly average household rating in September and most recently delivered a 2.0 average. "The show continues to deliver ratings increases for our stations and is supported by premium advertisers," said John Weiser, executive VP at Sony Pictures Television.

FROM TUCKER DANSIE: I'd like to take this opportunity to make a few casting announcements. The Wooden Bowl had it's auditions today and saw some wonderful talent. In the end, the part of the Father will be played by Coz Green, a great local talent and friend of mine. And the Mother will be played by Natalie Dallimore. Another very talented actress and also a friend of Coz Greens, but who isn't a friend of Coz Greens? The 2 of them will be wonderful parents in this dramatic short film event. The Grandfather will be played by none other then my wife's grandfather, Grant Johnson, who I believe will put in a compelling performance. We have also selected the child, but I don't want to announce his name until I've contacted him myself.

In other news, my feature film, "Love Logs On" is still suiting up and going strong and today we were lucky enough to get a wonderfully talented actress to accept the role of "Jen" who is the lead role. I've been "courting" this young actress for awhile now with intent for her to play the role of "Jen". And she read the script and loved it and finally agreed to take on this new challenge so we talked things through and I gave her the role this afternoon. She is talented stage and screen actress Lisa Higbee. She can be seen in "The Singles Ward". This will be her first on-screen lead role. She is very excited, but not as much as we all are. We feel privileged to have an actor that is willing to put in the time and effort into a character that deserves it as much as Jen does. Thanks Lisa. get ready for a wild ride! I still encourage all you girls out there to come and try out for the other 2 female parts. They are great characters and especially the part of Carly is a wonderful supporting part with a ton of screen time. It takes just as much dedication as the part of Jen. We can't wait until auditions!!!! And I want to take this time to give a special thanks to Lynne, my casting assistant and researcher and continuity person. You've been a great support to me and I appreciate it. Now lets go make fun movies!

MORE ABOUT HIGBEE: Below is more info about Lisa Higbee, the actress cast in the lead role in Tucker T. Dansie's upcoming feature film "Love Logs On." Really... this is an impressive casting coup for Dansie. Dansie is an experienced, talented filmmaker, but with such a talented actress in the lead role my expectations for the movie have risen. There is a capsule biography for Higbee, and also a photo, on the Scera Theatre Robin Hood site: [QUOTE] Lisa is excited to be performing in her first SCERA production. Although Lisa is making a grand entrance onto the SCERA stage as Marian, leading roles are not foreign to Lisa. Recent credits include Lily Garland in On the Twentieth Century at the Grand, Leah in Jane Eyre (at Hale Center Theatre), and various dead people in Spoon River Anthology (Wasatch Theatre Company). A proud BYU Graduate, Lisa has a Master of Science Degree in Speech Language Pathology and works at Altara Elementary School in Sandy. She sends her love and good karma to her family and friends that support her in all her theatrical endeavors. Lisa is forever grateful to her the voice teacher that "changed her life." Watch for Lisa in the upcoming feature film, "Singles Ward." [END QUOTE]

LABUTE'S SHAPE OF THINGS - Latter-day Saint film director Neil LaBute's new movie "The Shape of Things" was one of the hottest tickets at the Sundance Film Festival. It was noted and praised in entertainment pages across the country. The Deseret News ran an article about BYU grad LaBute and his new movie (,1249,450028243,00.html). The Contra Costa Times report was interesting and commplimentary, saying, "What a treat to see Neil LaBute's biting and provocative play, "The Shape of Things," brought to the screen with the same London cast that received so much acclaim in 2001. Rachel Weisz, Paul Rudd, Gretchen Mol and Fred Weller play two romantically entangled couples. The London run of the play went so smoothly, LaBute said, 'We thought, how can we extend this?' Hence the movie. LaBute said he'd changed very little to bring it to screen ('I just wrote 'fade-in' at the top of the script' he joked)." Interestingly enough, "The Shape of Things" features roughly the same plot as "Jack Weyland's Charly," with a few differences. In "Charly" a sophisticated but directionless young woman gets an unlikely new boyfriend, a rather boring nerd, and reshapes him in her image. In "Charly" a sophisticated but directionless young woman gets an unlikely new boyfriend, a rather boring nerd, and they reshape each other, meeting somewhere in between. The young woman in "Charly" is good and the young woman in "The Shape of Things" is evil, but other than that... basically the same movie. (Not really.)

JOHN LYDE, the director of the direct-to-video feature length film "The Field is White" (about missionaries) has completed his latest film, "In the Service of God," a low-budget film about home teaching. The film will be released on video and DVD and distributed by Thomson Productions. It should be in stores in February or March. Lyde recently began filming a short film titled "Mariah's Prayer," which features a talented eight-year-old in the lead role. Finally, filming on Lyde's martial arts science fiction thriller "The Collectors" began on January 18th. Kels Goodman is the Director of Photography and insiders connected to the production report that the footage is "awesome." The bulk of the movie will be shot in March. main chunk of the film in March.

TROY THROUGH A WINDOW SCREENING - There will be a special one time screening of BYU film student Brad Barber's deeply personal GLBT-themed documentary film "Troy Through a Window" at the Tower Theatre in Salt Lake City (876 East 900 South) on Saturday March 1, 2003 at 1 pm. Admission is $5. Question and Answer session will follow.

MERRILL JENSON: FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE - Meridian Magazine has a insightful new full-length article about Latter-day Saint film composer Merrill Jenson. The article was written by film composer Thomas C. Baggaley. Jenson is one of the most successful and prolific film composers in Utah. He recently scored the Latter-day Saint-themed feature film "Out of Step" and has scored dozens of IMAX films, Church films, videos, and movies, including Bug Off!, The Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd, Legacy, On Our Own, How Rare a Possession, Harry's War, Windwalker, The Great Brain, Take Down, Sacred Stone: Temple on the Mississippi (2002), Nora's Christmas Gift (1989). See

DAILY UNIVERSE ARTICLE ON TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL - Extended article in BYU Daily Universe about the end of the network TV series "Touched by an Angel," which was filmed in Utah using a crew that was 90% Utahn, most of them Latter-day Saints. "Jack Weyland's Charly" is mentioned in the article, along with director Adam Anderegg and many other BYU students and faculty who were cast and crew for "Touched by an Angel." See

PRIMETIME, the nationally broadcast news show on ABC, did a story about Michelle Sinclair, a porn star who goes by the stage name Belladonna. The in-depth profile, done by reporter Diane Sawyer, included details about how Sinclair ran away from her Latter-day Saint home in Utah, where her parents were splitting up, and got involved in the "adult" film industry. Sinclair's father, a retired Air Force captain and former bishop, is now divorced from her mother. During one of their interviews, Diane Sawyer asked Sinclair why she always smiled. The ABC website reports that she wept as she said "Because I like to hide -- hide everything, you know?... I'm not happy ... I don't like myself at all," she said. Sinclair said she often feels physical revulsion during her scenes: "My whole entire body feels it when I'm doing it and ... I feel so -- so gross." As is always the case, the reason that "Primetime" profiled a lapsed Latter-day Saint porn worker, rather than a porn worker from a more generic background, is because the producers felt that the incongruity between such behavior and the highly ethical, religious standards Americans usually associate with Latter-day Saints seemed to make the story more compelling and interesting.

WHITELIGHT - There's an article Jeanne McKinney and Anne Bradshaw at about moral and ethical filmmaking. It's long, but we point it out because it has some details about WhiteLight Motion Pictures, the new production company formed by Academy Award-winning Latter-day Saint producer Jerry Molen and award-winning Latter-day Saint director Chet Thomas. The article mentions their World War II spy thriller called "Operation: Safehaven."

BARD MEDIA FEATURE: From the Bard Media website, Bard Media is currently developing its first feature film -- an exclusive and independent Bard production that will hit the box office in 2004. This and other Bard films currently in the planning stages are suitable for all audiences and designed to reinforce high moral standards.

MOYER LIVE: John Moyer, the screenwriter for the movies "The Singles Ward" and "The R.M", will be performing his full stand up comedy act this Friday and Saturday Night (Jan 31st and Feb 1st) at Wise Guys in Ogden! Two shows each night at 8 PM and 10 PM. The club is located at 208 Historic 25th Street.

MST3K CREATOR HAWKS BOOK: University of Utah graduate Kevin Murphy, the creater, director, writer, producer and star of the long-running TV series "Mystery Science Theatre 3000," was in Park City, Utah at the Sundance Film Festival to prmote his new book, "A Year at the Movies." The book includes a scathing chapter entitled "How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Film Festival," which denounces the Sundance Film Festival for a wide range of reasons obvious to anybody who has watched the devolution of the Festival.

LEGALLY BLONDE 2 AND NEPHI'S SISTER: A number of actors associated with Michelle Wright and John E. Moyer's And Action actor's studio have recently been cast in MGM's "Legally Blonde 2." These include:
Verdene Alcorn and friend
Kory Koontz - Senator
Chris Partridge - DC Policeman
Raphael Oliveira - senate intern
Jerry Tracy - Senator
Suzy Tucker - tourist

Also, actress Susan Rounkles, who was cast as one of Nephi's sisters in the Gary Rogers Book of Mormon movie, is associated with the studio, whose home on the web is Also, And Action student Nate Castor landed a recurring role on the TV series "Everwood."

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Every year, the AML presents awards for outstanding literary works that promote excellence in Mormon letters. Beginning this year, in an effort to consider as many works as possible, the AML is calling for nominations from our members and from the AML-List. We ask that you submit the names of eligible titles in the following categories:

Picture Book
Young Adult/Middle Grade
Devotional Literature
Essays and Criticism

And what is an eligible entry?

1. It should be by, for, or about Mormons and the Mormon experience, whatever that might mean. We are particularly interested in works by Mormon authors, but will not exclude stories by people of other faiths or of none so long as the connection to Mormon letters is explicit and illuminative.

2. It must have been published during the calendar year 2002.

We would prefer that you suggest titles which you believe might be deserving of the award, but please don't omit something just because you think its literary qualities aren't highbrow enough. All titles will be considered during this stage.

Please send your nominations to with the subject line "Award Nomination." Include the title, the author, the category, and if necessary where the work in question might be found (particularly for essays, criticism, and poetry). You are also welcome to post suggestions to this list for discussion. The deadline for nominations is February 1, 2003.

Melissa Proffitt
AML Secretary

* * *

AML EVENT: The Association for Mormon Letters (AML) is sponsoring an event: "Passing the Portals: Mormon Literature in the 21st Century."
Place: Utah Valley State College in Orem, Utah
Date: 21 February 2003 - 22 February 2003
Hours: Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:40 p.m.; Saturday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
More details are online:

Keynote speakers will be poet and essayist Emma Lou Thayne and Marilyn Arnold. Film related events include Marilyn Brown's talk about her adaptation of "Brigham City" to a novel: "The Novelization of Brigham City: An Odyssey." UVSC philosophy faculty Michael Minch will present will discuss "The Tragedy of Brigham City: How a Film about Morality Becomes Immoral." Say what? Lavina Fielding Anderson will present "Pious Poisonings and Saintly Slayings: Creating a Mormon Murder Mystery Genre," a area of research which Preston Hunter and Shepherd College literature professor Michael Austin have both contributed to. A number of people will give presentations about Latter-day Saint writer Brady Udall's award-winning novel "The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint," which has been optioned for film by Michael Stipe's Single Cell Pictures (the makers of "Being John Malkovich"). BYU graduate student Ivan Wolfe will present "Slightly Weird but Conservative Religious People: The Rhetorical Function of Mormons in Science Fiction," presumably expanding upon research done by Hunter, Thom Duncan, the Parkins and others. BYU librarians Connie Lamb, Robert Means, and Larry Draper, along with AML officer Gideon Burton will present: "The Mormon Literature Database," A demonstration of this important new online bibliographic and biographical resource for Mormon literary studies. Many other luminaries will present a variety of talks relating to Latter-day Saint literature.

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POSITIONS, POSITIONS, POSITIONS - The following were posted in the BYU Theatre and Media Arts department publication TMAccess. Please note that some of these positions are for BYU students only.

* Audition: Young men who are interested in being soldiers for a WWII feature film directed by Ryan Little and produced by Brian Brough are needed for a local, one-day shoot sometime during Jan. 22-Feb. 19. Because of limited uniform sizes, please email your weight, waist, pant inseam, shirt, and shoe size along with your contact information to

* Casting call for a female, age 21-24, and young boy, age 9-12, for a short film for Rock Bottom Stories Productions, directed by Adam Lawson. Deadline for submissions is Jan. 20. Shooting days are Feb. 21-23 in SLC. You will be contacted if chosen to audition.

* Final Cut 2003 application deadline is February 3. Contact Roxanna Boyer with questions (422-6242). Final Cut 2003 will be held March 18-22.

* Student Production Agency is looking for production crew for current and future projects. Contact Juston Rinlesbach if interested (378-8454).

* Volunteer needed to produce a 3-minute music video as part of a live musical production on the Willie and Martin handcart companies. This production will be performed around the country in 2004. Video must be completed by March. For more details email or call 801-968-0858.

* Videographer needed for Utah Junior Miss Program. Project will be showcased at the program on March 8. Footage will be collected during the week of March 3-7 in Salt Lake, during the week participants are preparing for the pageant. State and national exposre, stipend included. Contact Barbar Barrington Jones at 1-800-989-3309.

* USC grad student film: Jason Epson is shooting his film in Castle Theatre and Aspen Grove Jan. 30-Feb. 25. He is looking for 15 crew people, including Sound Mixer, Second A.D., Make-up, Script, and PAs. If interested, please call Chad Potts at 604-5051.

* Excel Entertainment in Salt Lake is looking for a few media marketing interns. If you are interested, contact Jon Dayton at 801-427-8790 or

* Flying Man Pictures needs actors for a few upcoming short film projects. Actors must be willing to work on Saturdays and have the ability to express emotion without words. All actors must provide their own 40's-style costumes. To request an interview, contact John at 374-7477 or Applications will not be taken after Feb. 1.

* LDS Independent Production Company looking for full-length feature LDS screenplays. Please fax a synopsis or log line to 480-649-3242 and include contact information.

* Murray Arts Council Theater is offering $1000 scholarship to a theater student (3.2 GPA or higher), that must have performed in a Murray Arts Council musical or served in a support position. Submit application before March 3, 2003. For more details, please see Elizabeth in D-581 HFAC.

* Vera Hinckley Mayhew Screenwriting Contest is calling for entries. Contest rules are available in D-581 HFAC. Deadline is Feb. 14 before 5 p.m.

* Orem Public Library is featuring a multi-part program entitled "Storytellers of the Screen," an interesting series about the lives of filmmakers. Come enjoy the experience in the Exploratorium on Thursday nights at 7:00 p.m. Call 229-7044 for more info.

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If you live in the Sacramento area, the next four weeks are movie madness. Read on for THREE very cool movie events coming up, two sponsored by ArtLight: LDS Arts Adding Light to the World!

ONE) "Charly," the movie, based on Jack Weyland's best-selling novel opened this Friday at Roseville's Olympus Point Theatres and Sacramento's Laguna Theatres. "Charly" is a great love story with lots of laughs AND tears. (They passed out Kleenex at the sneak preview earlier this month, and even though some people smiled at the little white packages, most us of needed them!) Heather Beers stars as the PERFECTLY cast Charly: charming, fun, artistic, spiritually insightful, and gorgeous. If you plan on seeing it, do it this weekend, as the opening weekend box office will very much determine how long "Charly" stays in the theatres. A MUST see LDS film!

TWO) FEBRUARY 1, Saturday at ArtLight presents the Best of LDS Film Festivals at Mesa Verde Performing Arts Center. Film shorts run from 3:30-6:30. (Too many to list here, but hit reply and we will send you the entire schedule.) OR join us in the evening, 7:00pm, for the Northern California Premiere of "Out of Step" the Ryan Little film about an LDS dance student from Utah who pursues her dream at NYU and faces hard choices about her beliefs, men and ultimately, her dancing. Tight script with great acting. (Jeremy Elliott from "Charly" stars and soundtrack includes Jericho Road)

THREE) FEBRUARY 21, Friday 7:00pm, Mesa Verde
ArtLight presents Voice From the Dust: Journey to the Promised Land, Director Peter Johnson and producer Steve DeVore will present their footage and commentary on the soon-to-be-completed documentary chronicling their seasoned filmmaking of "Voice From the Dust: Journey to the Promised Land. "Voice From the Dust" a joint venture with F.A.R.M.S., is slated to be an epic filming of Lehi's journey. See the latest archeological evidences, and hear of their filming experiences during 9/11 in Yemen. An amazing evening!

For movie info call Dana Sanders (530) 367-3450 or e-mail at

For ticket info call Robin Kraus at (916) 989-5748 or e-mail at or stop by Cover to Cover books at (916) 773-5839 Roseville or Elk Grove (916) 714-3601

Advance seats: $12.00 Reserved, $10.00 General Advance Family pass (family of six): $55.00 Reserved, $45.00 General At the Door seats: $15.00 Reserved, $12.00 General

(Film Festival tickets may be purchased as two separate events, 1) the Film Shorts or 2) the Out of Step viewing, or as a one day ticket to all showings.

All Day: $12.00 advance res. $10.00 advance general Out of Step or Film Shorts only: $6.00 advance reserved, $4.00 advance general.

* Directions to Mesa Verde Performing Arts Center: Take I-80 to the Antelope Exit. If going east on I-80 towards Reno, turn right. If going west, on I-80 towards San Fransisco, turn left. Look for Lauppe Lane and turn right. Follow it around to the left as it becomes Carriage Dr. Pass Carriage Elementary and then immediately turn into the parking lot of Mesa Verde High School on your right. Park, and then walk down the main corridor of the campus, (following the path to the right) to the Performing Arts Center. See you there!

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LDSFILM.COM COMMENTS ON LOVE LOGS ON: One thing I mentioned briefly before, but it is worth commenting on further... If "Love Logs On" is produced and released theatrically, it will really break new ground in "LDS Cinema" because it would be the first movie in the genre which really is NOT about being a Latter-day Saint. So, realistically, it might be said to not even be part of the LDS genre, although it will probably be grouped as such because it is being made by Latter-day Saints and will probably be released and marketed primarily to a Latter-day Saint audience. This doesn't mean that "Love Logs On" is a "step forward" or a step in the right direction. Nor is it a step backward. It's just something different, something that hasn't been done before. The movie is a romantic comedy about a young woman who loses her boyfriend to an online competitor, and who in turn logs on to find romance. That's overly simplified, but the point is this is not an inherently Latter-day Saint-oriented topic. The characters are only coincidentally Latter-day Saints, and although their affiliation will color the movie, the plot doesn't hinge upon this aspect.

Now, the makers of every LDS-themed feature film since "God's Army" have desired cross-over appeal. None (except "The Other Side of Heaven" to a limited extent) has really achieved significant cross-over at the box office. The filmmakers behind "The Other Side of Heaven" watered down their movie and test-screened it primarly with non-LDS audiences. "Brigham City" injected its Latter-day Saint themes and characters into a widely popular genre -- mystery/thriller, and "The Singles Ward" did something similar with another genre -- the romantic comedy. Those behind virtually every one of these movies -- including "God's Army", "Out of Step", "Jack Weyland's Charly", and "Handcart" -- have spoken about how their movies are about "universal" themes and will be appreciated by non-LDS audiences.

It is true that all of these movies have featured universal themes and could be enjoyed by non-LDS audiences. But it is also true that all have featured plots which were inextricably bound to Latter-day Saint themes and characters. "God's Army" and "The Other Side of Heaven" were the most overtly religious and Latter-day Saint-oriented, as they were about Latter-day Saint missionaries. "The Singles Ward" was about a man rekindling his faith and participation in the Church. "Brigham City" featured as its protagonist a bishop, with plot points that hinged entirely upon the story's Latter-day Saint setting. "Out of Step" was about a Latter-day Saint woman learning to adapt in a non-LDS setting and features a romance in which the conflict is entirely about the man she loves not being a member of the Church. "Handcart" is about the Latter-day Saint pioneer trek. Take the Church out of any of these movies, and there isn't a movie.

Some people might question why the characters in "Love Logs On" are Latter-day Saints if the movie isn't about Latter-day Saints. Well, why not? Perhaps there doesnt need to be a reason other than that the writer/director is a Latter-day Saint, and he is writing about the people and places he knows.

Filmmakers should ignore any "rule" that prescribes whether the characters in their movie should or should not be Latter-day Saints, or whether they should or should not use specifically Latter-day Saint-oriented themes. What works in one story may not work in another. The proof is in the pudding, not in adherence to somebody's subjective "rules." Audiences and legitimate critics alike will like a movie based on other factors, most important of which is simply how much they liked it.

In Salt Lake Tribune movie review Sean P. Means' article "Free Advice to Help LDS Filmmakers Avoid Sophomore Slump," his first suggestion was "Broaden your horizons. Stories that speak only to the faithful will get you an audience of a certain size, but no more. If you put LDS characters within universal stories, the LDS audience will stay -- and non-Mormons won't feel alienated, and they may even learn a few things about an unfamiliar culture."

This seems like an explicit suggestion to do exactly what Dansie is doing with "Love Logs On." There is absolutely nothing wrong or un-artistic about telling stories that that speak primarily to one group of people. But of course Means is correct in saying that such stories will only attract an audience of a "certain size." The plot of "Love Logs On" wasn't chosen so the movie would fit into a certain genre or please critics or appeal to a certain market segment. It was chosen because it is the story the director wants to tell and is a story that he feels he can tell well.

Means' final suggestion is: "Don't try to make the best LDS movie. Just try to make the best movie. The rest will sort itself out." I would agree with this suggestion in its more complete form, which I think Means would agree with: "Don't try to make the best LDS or non-LDS movie." I believe that this is what Dansie is planning--making the best movie he can, which doesn't happen to be about explicitly LDS themes because that's not the type of film that interests him most--but at the same time not attempting to artificially exorcize the LDS aspects of his characters and settings.