The list of Church members who are producers, directors, and actors working both in and out of Hollywood is growing rapidly. And with the success of such filmmakers as Kieth W. Merrill, 67, Mitchell A. Davis, 82, and Richard A. Dutcher, 88, (see Taking It to the Big Screen), the Latter-day Saint film market is enticing many LDS filmmakers, including a number of BYU graduates. Here are a few recent and coming productions created by BYU alumni and catering to the LDS market. For more movies created by LDS filmmakers, see www.ldsfilm.com.
In Forgotten Voyage Scott D. Tiffany, 95, looks at the six-month sea trek of the Mormon families who sailed from New York to California on the ship Brooklyn. The 20,000-mile journey in 1846 took the pioneers through storms and death and led the group to, accidentally, settle San Francisco for the United States. This documentary is available on video.
Handcart, a historical drama about the crossing of the plains by the Martin Handcart Company, is slated for release on Pioneer Day, July 24, 2002. Director Kels Goodman, a former BYU student, plans to use actual historical sites as well as participants in the 1997 pioneer reenactment in this family saga.
Jack Weylands Charly
The all-time best-selling LDS novel is in the process of being adapted to the big screen. Charly, by Jack A. Weyland, 69, a physics professor at BYU-Idaho, has sold more than 250,000 copies since it was first published in 1980. The film version of this romantic comedy about Sam, a conservative BYU student, and his relationship with the impetuous and lovely Charly will be produced by Micah W. Merrill, 97, Lance Williams, '84, and and Tip Boxell, '89. It will be directed by Adam T. Anderegg, 94. The screenplay was written by Janine Whetten Gilbert, 94.The movie is scheduled for release this fall.
Out of Step
T. Ryan Little, 00, who won several awards while at BYU for his short film, The Last Good War, is at the helm of Out of Step, a film that follows a young Utah girl as she travels to New York to fulfill her dream of becoming a professional dancer. Out of Step should arrive in theaters later this year.
The Shadow of Light
T. Rob Sibley,95, KBYU production supervisor, has released on video a film called The Shadow of Light about two brothers who discover a journal in southern Utah which hints at the existence of hidden treasure.
The Singles Ward
The Singles Ward, a film by BYU film graduates Kurt C. Hales, 93, Dave W. Hunter, 98, and John E. Moyer, 94, arrived in selected theaters on the first of February. Will J. Swenson, 93, stars as a recently divorced young man who must adapt to the world of singles wards. This comedy is full of cameos from LDS celebrities. According to HaleStorm Entertainment, the movies production company, The Singles Ward is the first of three planned films for LDS audiences. The other two are The R.M. and Church Ball.