LDS Film Festival 2013

By: Mormon Heretic
January 21, 2013

While the Sundance Film Festival gets all the press, Utah County is also home to the LDS Film Festival.  I reviewed the schedule, and thought I would point out a few films that sound interesting at the Scera Theater in Orem, Utah.

Wednesday – Opening night

7 pm – The Playbook

It’s the story of a dad coaching a basketball team.  Honestly, it didn’t jump out at me, but it’s the only film playing that night.


2:30 pm – Murder of the Mormon Prophet

The trailer looks interesting.  It’s supposed to tell about the death of Joseph from the point of view of the mob.

4:30 pm – Larry Gelwix:  No Regrets

This is a true story of Larry Gelwix, coach of the Highland Rugby Team.  The story was a dramatized in a movie called Forever Strong (available on Netflix) that came out in 2008.  It looks like the new movie is more of a documentary.

7:30 pm – Resistance Movement

A dramatization of the story of Helmuth Hübener, among the youngest German resistance fighters in World War II.

9:30 pm – First Freedom: The Fight for Religious Liberty

Documentary discussing the First Amendment for religious liberty.  The trailer is available on the PBS website.


9:30 pm – Nitro Circus

The synopsis says they jump a school bus.  I’m wondering if it is Napolean Dynamite-type humor.


Noon – Ephraim’s Rescue

Director TC Christensen (who directed 17 Miracles) will show 20 minutes of scenes from his new movie due to come out this summer.

2 pm – An Ordinary Hero

This is the true story of Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, a white southern girl who was sent to death row in Mississippi for her part in a sit-in for Civil Rights.

So, that’s what I’m interested in.  Please post reviews here if you see these movies.

Do you plan to go to the LDS Film Festival?

  • No (78%, 7 Votes)
  • Yes, I will be there (11%, 1 Votes)
  • I would if I lived in the area. (11%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 9

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While we’re at it, let’s talk about Mormon movies in general. I know that it seems cool to slam Singles Ward, but I loved that movie.  I’m also a fan of Richard Dutcher movies:  God’s Army, States of Grace.

On the other hand, The Home Teachers, Down and Derby, and Church Ball were absolutely dreadful.  Can you comment on specific LDS-themed movies?

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7 Responses to LDS Film Festival 2013

  1. Usually a lurker on January 21, 2013 at 8:31 AM

    I loved Singles Ward as well. For someone who lived the situation for years, so many of the jokes hit home. The people were caricatures, of course, as they are in most comedies, but hilariously accurate in many ways.

    We watch Down and Derby every year in my scout group before the Pinewood Derby. It’s a great movie for that age group.

    I keep intending to rent a movie I hear good things about: The Other Side of Heaven. Any opinions on that one?

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  2. Mormon Heretic on January 21, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    I really enjoyed “The Other Side of Heaven”. I thought it was well-done, and was surprised that Disney bought the movie. Apparently Disney thought it would appeal to a wider audience than just Mormons, so it has that going for it.

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  3. Hedgehog on January 22, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    I also enjoyed “The Other side of Heaven”.

    My big gripe with these ‘LDS’ films however is that the DVDs are not multi-regional… (Leastways they haven’t been in the past. It’s a few years since I checked.)

    Napolean Dynamite was an exception in being released in the Britain.

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  4. FireTag on January 26, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    I think the only way we would have a revival of LDS-themed movies would be if Romney had been elected. And then who knows what we’d be getting!

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  5. Todd Blood on January 29, 2013 at 6:06 AM

    My daughter Libby Blood ( had her short film “Lucy” accepted to the 2013 LDS Film Festival. She was so happy to be included and especially to win a cash prize. Her 3 films have won 54 Film Festival awards to date and she worries so about the cost of the films and festival entry fees. She is such a hard worker. She was so pleased to win the audience award as well because this was the first time “Lucy” played with her all new original score that she and Zack Ryan created. Apparently the audience liked it. Libby grew up in our little movie theaters cleaning up after and watching all the great LDS Films like: Charly, The RM, The Best Two Years, Saints and Soldiers, The Singles Ward, The Work and The Glory, Legacy, The Legend of Johnny Lingo, Book of Mormon Stories and Napoleon Dynamite. Thank You LDS Film Festival.

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  6. Bonnie on January 29, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Have to say my favorite Mormon-themed movie was Brigham City. Or The Other Side of Heaven. And so proud of Nick Galeti (one of Real Intent’s writers) for his file Murder of the Mormon Prophet. I didn’t make it. What did you think, MH?

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  7. MH on January 29, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    I didn’t make it to the festival either, despite my good intentions. I really wanted to see Murder of a Mormon prophet.

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