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

Weekend of May 23, 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
---  ----------------------------- -----------  -----  ----
31   Piglet's Big Movie                126,830    292    66
     Ken Sansom (3rd-billed actor)  23,024,988

36   The Shape of Things               104,911     56    17
     Neil LaBute                       551,774

81   The Cremaster Cycle                47,839      5    31
     Mathew Barney                     124,485

52   Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure   35,996      9   836
     Scott Swofford (producer)      14,657,737
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Stephen L. Johnson (editor)

70   The Core                           13,485     33    59
     Aaron Eckhart (lead actor)     30,649,458

77   China: The Panda Adventure          7,273      3   668
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    3,109,649

89   Galapagos                           3,275      3  1305
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   14,029,632

NEW JOSEPH SMITH FILMS COMPLETED - On Saturday, May 24th, the new visitors center films -- including the new "First Vision" film for Palmyra and Kirtland -- were screened for invited guests in the North Visitors' Center on Temple Square. From what I have seen they look very good. Now I have yet one more reason to plan a trip to Kirtland and Palmyra!

HITTING THEATERS NATIONWIDE THIS WEEKEND - "Wrong Turn", the feature film starring non-churchgoing Latter-day Saint actress Eliza Dushku, opens in just two days, on coming Friday, May 30. The movie will open in about 1,500 theaters nationwide. Other movies opening on the same day (both with wider appear) are the Disney/Pixar undersea feature "Finding Nemo" opening in over 3,200 theaters, and the heist flick "The Italian Job" opening in over 2,500 theaters. "Wrong Turn" has been described as a true "hard core" horror movie -- a big budget ($10 million) film reminiscent of classic ultra-low-budget slashers such as "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "The Hills Have Eyes", and "Deliverance." In the film, Dushku and her young friends find themselves stranded in the mountains of West Virginia where, of course, they end up being chased by cannibalistic mountain men. Dushku is the top-billed actress.

ALSO COMING SOON: Celebrated Latter-day Saint filmmaker Eric Hendershot's latest family movie, "Clubhouse Detectives in: Search of a Lost Princess", premiers on HBO the next day: June 1st. The release of T.C. Christensen's new short film "A Pioneer Miracle" (starring Caitlin E.J. Meyer) is just a week away. Also hitting store shelves in the next two weeks: the DVD release of Christian Vuissa's award-winning "Roots & Wings" (complete with a Susan Teh documentary and a director's commentary track), as well as the long-awaited DVD/video release of Kels Goodman's feature film "Handcart."

FORGOTTEN VOYAGE TO AIR ON PBS - LDS filmmaker Scott Tiffany's documentary "Forgotten Voyage" -- about the Latter-day Saint pioneers who traveled via ship to California and ended up founding the city of San Francisco, will air as a featured program on PBS this summer in Utah on Pioneer Day, July 24. Tiffany, a New York City-based filmmaker, does most of his work for the History and Discovery cable TV channels, but this was a project he did independently. A superbly made and fascinating documentary, this film won the Best Documentary Award at last year's Salt Lake City Film Festival. "Forgotten Voyage" is available at some LDS bookstores and from LDS Video Store at:

CARMEN RASMUSSEN: THE MOVIE - What would be bigger news than [fill in the blank here with the biggest film news you can imagine]? How about... a CARMEN RASMUSEN MOVIE!!! According to, the Latter-day Saint singing superstar Carmen Rasmusen (who recently placed 6th out of over 50,000 contestants in FOX's "American Idol" competition) is slated to appear as "Jennifer Thomes" in a Warner Brothers movie titled "The Cinderella Story." According to, the movie's star is actress Hilary Duff, the star of Disney's "Lizzie McGuire" TV shows and the recent box office ROI hit "The Lizzie McGuire Movie." The director for "The Cinderella Story" is listed as Mark Rosman, who also directs the "Lizzie McGuire" TV series and has directed a bunch of other stuff you've never heard of. "The Cinderella Story" is said to be scheduled to begin filming in Los Angeles in July 2003, with a 2004 release date. The movie also stars Alexz Johnson, Rupert Grint, Courtnee Draper, Ebonnie Masini and Joshua Jackson. Earlier LDS Reality TV girl Julie Stoffer ("The Real World") made a cameo appearance in LDS-themed feature comedy "The Single Ward" (2001), and "Survivor" first runner-up Neleh Dennis has STILL not been in a movie! (She was asked to appear, and she wanted to appear, in a recently released movie, but it was filmed while she was still under contract with CBS, and the role had to go to somebody else.) From the look of things, Carmen's role will be more (we hope) than a few-second cameo like Stoffer's in "The Singles Ward." According to other sources, "The Cinderella Story" will be a theatrical release. It is a family comedy about a young girl (Hilary Duff) who transforms from a dork into a babe. Kind of like Neil LaBute's "The Shape of Things," except not evil. (Carmen, hopefully, will not be relegated to the Aaron Eckhart role.) "The Cinderella Story," has been described as a cross between "Cinderella" and "Clueless." Duff, whose mother is co-producing, will be paid $2 million. Carmen will be paid less. Much, much less.

CONTROVERSIAL NEW TUFTS/KNUDSEN FILM - BYU's newspaper The Daily Universe ran an article about the proposed Tufts/Knudsen film "For Time and All Eternity. Read the article, "LDS filmakers on a quest for reality" by Tiffany Rueckert, here:

Interested in participating? Here's the audition information, quoting from the press release and website of the production company:
"For Time and All Eternity" is a low-budget, independent feature documentary ("reality" format) about Latter-day Saint marriages; dating, courtship, getting married forever, etc. The filmmakers are looking for a guy who is going who is going to ask a girl to marry him this summer and plans to marry her shortly after (month or two engagement.) She cannot know, but you have to be positive she'll say "yes." The film follows the couple from engagement to wedding day... although all that time we will not be filming. This will be a light-hearted, funny, serious, and a close-look into your relationship (the psychology of), your family, the Gospel ... it will be a very cool film!

1. It will be filmed where the right couple lives. If SLC or Provo, great.
2. No traditional auditions, but I will interview with qualified applicants
3. Shooting June 2003 to July/ August (tailored to couples plans.)
4. Non-paying.
5. Release on VHS/DVD in November/December 2003

The filmmakers are also looking for a DV editor with epic skills on Final Cut Pro 2/3/4 (you don't need to have a system) and a Director of Photography (someone creative who loves hand-held reality format and experience with Canon XL1s or Sony PD150, or have your own equipment that's of better quality.) Anyone interested in the project: Go to the web site, find the application section and fill out whatever information you'd like to provide. It's not all required. Or you can email Trevor Hill directly. Contact: Trevor C. Hill, Disco Bay Films, AUM Film Institute, (website:

NEW DUTCHER DOCUMENTARY PRESS RELEASE - Press Release: The Eleventh Hour: Blacks in the LDS Church:

During the inflammatory civil rights battles in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s, many blacks joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a church with a racist reputation for their history of denying blacks the opportunity for ordination into the Priesthood until 1978. This feature-length documentary film will tell the true stories of blacks and their interactions with the Church. "The Eleventh Hour" will introduce us to the first pre-Civil War black converts to Mormonism in the 1830s. It will remind us both of the civil rights activists who fought the Church in the 1960s-1970s and of the black Latter-day Saints who stayed with the Church during these turbulent times. In addition, "The Eleventh Hour" will take a closer look at the complex and often violent race/religious struggles in the broader American social landscape of the times. The documentary will conclude with the stories of current black Latter-day Saint priests, leaders, Church authorities, and members. Produced by first-time documentary producers Robert J. Foster and Wayne Lee, "The Eleventh Hour" will be directed by Richard Dutcher. Producer Robert J. Foster was the first African American Student Body President at Brigham Young University. Producer Wayne L. Lee, an African American filmmaker, is the founder and director of the Gloria Film Festival. Richard Dutcher is the writer and director of "Brigham City" and "God's Army." Donations are being accepted through The Edification Foundation, a National Heritage Foundation at 37 East Center Street Provo, Utah 84606. You can also call at The Edification Foundation, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, supports activities and organizations that edify, educate, and entertain. For more information on "The Eleventh Hour: Blacks in the LDS Church" please view our website at: You may also email Robert J Foster at, or call at (801) 344-8764 or 801-319-5190.

SUSAN TEH DOCUMENTARY ON NEW VUISSA DVD - The DVD release of Christian Vuissa's award-winning LDS-themed film "Roots & Wings" will be released in June. The film receive the Association for Mormon Letters Film Award, beating out such films as "The Singles Ward", "Out of Step", "The Snell Show", "Jack Weyland's Charly" and "Handcart." "Roots & Wings" has previously only been available on video. The DVD features a full-length director's commentary track as well as a "making of" documentary filmed by experienced LDS Singaporean documentary filmmaker Susan Teh, and edited by Ludwig Einklang (the editor of "Roots & Wings"). The DVD can currently be purchased only at LDS Video Store, but is expected to appear on shelves in LDS bookstores around the country.

In other Vuissa news: Christian Vuissa's short film "Unfolding" will be released on video and DVD in August. The DVD will feature a director's commentary track and several deleted scenes. Vuissa, the founder of the LDS Film Festival, is also working on some other very exciting projects that you will love hearing about at a future date.

NEW CHARLY REVIEW ON MERIDIAN - There is a new review of "Jack Weyland's Charly" at Meridian Magazine. The review is written by film composer Thomas C. Baggaley (who is also the co-webmaster and most recently wrote the music for Christian Vuissa's "Unfolding"). See

LDS SCI FI NEWS - A flood of LDS-related sci-fi news hit all at about the same time. Quoting from

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: Edward James Olmos, who takes on the role of Cmdr. Adama in the SCI FI Channel's upcoming original miniseries Battlestar Galactica, told SCI FI Wire that the scale of the massive battlestar set helps him get into his role. "It makes the authenticity and the ability to sink inside of it much easier, because you're inside the whole, all-encompassing space," Olmos said in an interview from the miniseries' Vancouver, B.C., soundstages. "It's not just a facade or just three walls. It's an entire spaceship. It makes the reality stronger for the people working in it, for the crew, everybody." Olmos plays the role originated by Lorne Greene in the 1970s TV series [created by Latter-day Saint television producer Glen A. Larson] on which the miniseries is based... SCI FI's "reimagined" Battlestar Galactica was written by Ronald D. Moore (Roswell, Star Trek: First Contact) and directed by Michael Rymer (Queen of the Damned), with David Eick (American Gothic) and Moore serving as executive producers.

GALACTICA GAME DEVELOPS: Vivendi Universal Games announced the development of a video game based on the classic SF TV series Battlestar Galactica for the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox video game systems. The Battlestar Galactica game is slated for a fall release, marking the 25th anniversary of the original series. The game will be a story-driven space action-adventure that takes place at the end of the Cylon-Colonial Wars, 40 years prior to the setting of the original TV series. In the game, players will assume the role of Ensign William Adama in his critical first assignment, as a pilot aboard the warship Battlestar Galactica. The original series will be released later this year on home video and DVD. In addition, a new Battlestar Galactica miniseries will debut on the SCI FI Channel in December. Currently in production, the miniseries is written by Ronald D. Moore (Roswell, Star Trek: First Contact) and directed by Michael Rymer (Queen of the Damned), with David Eick (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) and Moore serving as executive producers.

NEW ELIZA DUSHKU SERIES: The Fox broadcast network has ordered a new supernatural drama, Tru Calling, starring Buffy the Vampire Slayer alumna Eliza Dushku [a non-churchgoing Latter-day Saint] as a young woman with psychic powers. Tru Calling will air at 8 p.m. ET/PT Thursdays, starting in the fall. Dushku will play Tru Davies, a graduate student who can relive whole days in order to prevent tragedies. Jon Feldman (Roswell) is the writer and executive producer. The pilot was directed by Phillip Noyce (The Quiet American).

PAYCHECK: Production has begun on Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks' SF thriller film Paycheck, directed by John Woo and starring Ben Affleck, Aaron Eckhart [a Latter-day Saint actor] and Uma Thurman. Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, Paycheck is being shot in Vancouver, B.C.

* * *

NEW THEATRICAL PRODUCTION COMPANY IN OREM - [PRESS RELEASE:] Five Star Playhouse is new production company for all entertainers and producers.

Future Performances

"The Second Time Around"

An LDS love story about a widow named Allie (played by Holly Danneman, who appeared in the feature film "Jack Weyland's Charly") and a widower named Jim (played by Tom Cantrell Nationally recognized Speech Coach and Presentation Coach) who prove that love can be just as great the second time around.

"Scotlyn Lady Knight in the Order of the Dragon"

An absolutely stunning theatrical based on the Novel written and illustrated by Deirdra Peirce, LDS fantasy author and former Radio Personality. Deirdra had This novel published at the age of 19! The story is about a young girl, Scotlyn, whom every girl and woman relates to, (Played by Deirdra Peirce herself), Who helps her best friend, Lyrad, train to become a knight. Lyrad departs on King Richard's crusade and promises Scotlyn that when he returns he will have fulfilled his dream of becoming a knight and he will take her as his wife. Two years pass by and Scotlyn receives word that Lyrad had been killed and Scotlyn sets out to fulfill his dream of becoming a knight. After she is knighted then the story starts to twist as Lyrad returns possessed by the 'Demon Lord'.

This play is packed with comedy, action, romance, mystery, and tragedy oh yes and don't forget special effects and fantasy.

"Fantasy is a really big thing right now." Peirce says in a press interview. "I'm proud to be moving the American Fantasy market forward."


NOTE: Utah is the #1 fantasy and sci-fi bookseller in the nation.

NOTE#2: The Sandy Utah Theater was the number one tickets sellers on opening weekend for the movie "Harry Potter".

ARTICLE ABOUT RUDOLPH VALENTINO'S MORMON WIFE - Valentino's wife Natacha Rambova, although an ethnic Mormon, is not known to have been a churchgoer. See "Valentino's 2nd wife was born in Salt Lake," an excerpt from a new biography of Valentino, printed this week in the Deseret News at:,1249,505034950,00.html

3D CHARACTER ANIMATOR - If you're looking for a 3D animator, especially a character animator, here is a website for a very talented LDS 3D animator, Justin Barrett. His credits include logo animation, commercial inserts, and he was one of the main character animators for the feature film "Jonah: A VeggieTale," as well as 3-2-1 Penguins videos and VeggieTales videos. See:

TMACCESS LISTINGS - From BYU's theater/film dept. newsletter. Some items apply only to BYU students. Most are applicable to anybody interested. See

"Roots and Wings" will play at the Thunderbird International Film Festival, Friday, June 6, at 6 pm, at the Southern Utah University Theatre. "The Snell Show" and "Peluca" will be included in "The Best of 2002" from the LDS Film Festival, at the Thunderbird International Film Festival, Saturday, June 7, at 6 pm, at the Southern Utah University Theatre.

Park City Television "Wild Wild Sports" needs any wild sports, extreme sports, crash or blooper, fun sports, or action sports videos that are professionally shot and edited. PCTV will air your video and give you recognition. For information, call (435) 649-0045.

TO LEARN IN THE LIGHT: STORIES OF EDUCATION IN ZION: A call for vignettes or brief stories that exemplify this statement: "The light of the gospel instills in us a desire to learn and to use our learning to do good works that bless the lives of others." The stories may be about students, teachers, staff members, administrators, or families (living or dead, widely-known or not). The stories will be presented in a an exhibit about faith and learning for the new Joseph F. Smith Building. You can help--opportunities include story gathering, research, conducting interviews, organizing, and more. Contact the project team by:;; 422-1986; Education in Zion Project, B-34 110A, Provo, UT 84602

THE PROVO FRINGE THEATER PROJECT needs actors, artists, directors, technicians, designers, helpers, and writers. E-mail with name, contact information, and specific field of expertise.

NATIONAL ABILITY CENTER OUTREACH PROGRAM needs a photo montage with a voice over about 15-20 minutes long. If interested, contact Leah Abbott at 787-3242.


PAID AND UNPAID INTERNSHIPS for 14 crew positions this spring and summer on the upcoming feature film, "Pride and Prejudice: A Utah Comedy", are available. Get college credit while making a feature film. For an appointment, contact Kynan Griffin: 687-2065 or

ECTO: HOMEGROWN NUCLEAR ACCELERATION needs key crew members for principal photography in August 2003 and post-production work through April 2004. Internship credit is possible. Learn more at

CANDLELIGHT MEDIA GROUP, located in Orem, has internships in film marketing. For further info, contact Mrs. Brough at 765-0030.

2003 PEARL AWARD INTERNSHIPS in Camera/Video, Audio, Lighting, Set/Production Design, Production, and Post-production, June 16-21. Find out more from Carolyn in D-581.

INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY working with Owen Rich, founder of KBYU Radio, on a possible documentary for the new Joseph F. Smith Museum. Contact Carolyn at:

THUNDERBIRD INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL will be held June 5-8, at Southern Utah University. Elizabeth's office (D-581) has 2 VIP passes that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The festival will premiere "Heart of America," which portrays the events leading up to a school shooting. For more information on the festival, visit

BYU LAW SCHOOL FILM PROJECT INTERN NEEDED: The Law School is producing a short video and needs an intern for a summer production position, for credit or possibly pay. For more information, contact Carolyn Hanson in D-581.