You’ve seen (or at least heard of) Meet the Mormons. Chances are you’ve got an old VHS copy of the Singles Ward in your closet. But did you know LDS filmmakers have a number of films waiting in the wings to bring inspirational, exciting stories not only to members, but to audiences nationwide? Here are 5 upcoming LDS films that are sure to change the way you feel about going to the movies.
The Cokeville Miracle
T.C. Christensen, who wrote and directed 17 Miracles and Ephraim’s Rescue, shares the dramatic and inspiring true story of a school take hostage in The Cokeville Miracle. Though the entire student body was taken hostage and the bombs used by David and Doris Young did go off, no one, except for the two perpetrators, died. Learn more about what went into the film-making process here.
Freetown is the story of a group of native Liberian missionaries who make a desperate cross-country trip through their war torn country to save one of their own. The film is from writer/director Garrett Batty, whose previous work, The Saratov Approach, has become an LDS classic. You can visit the film’s official site to learn more.
Reign of Judges: Title of Liberty
The official website for the Reign of Judges movement offers the following synopsis for Reign of Judges: Title of Liberty: In the New World 82 BC, a humble soldier rises unexpectedly to become the protector of a young republic. While falling in love with a beautiful indigenous princess he’s sworn to protect, MORONI discovers his noble-blooded “friend” has been secretly plotting to supplant their free government.
This fan-driven liberty film movement launched Independence Day, July 4th 2014. In just 3 months, it grew, with no paid advertising, to over 19,000 fans in more than 23 different countries. The film’s second teaser concept gained over 42,000 views in the first 3 weeks of its release. Reign of Judges: Title of Liberty is a historical epic/period action film like Gladiator, but set in the New World against the backdrop of a war-torn indigenous nation. It is the beginning of a movement that is still in development. This is the first time (that we are aware of) a major indie motion picture has released its script to the public, “for the people” to drive it onto the screen.”
End of an Empire
Based on the Book of Mormon, a news article about End of an Empire states, “End of an Empire, is the first of a planned 6-film epic war saga based off of a historical record of civilizations that inhabited Central America over 1600 years ago. The film is planned to receive a PG-13 rating and feature lots of action, epic special effects, ancient landscapes, elaborate cities, war scenes, and romance. The core of the story revolves around the age-old concepts of greed versus sacrifice, love versus hate—ultimately the classic good versus evil struggle with many interesting, engaging, and unexpected twists.” The filmmaker, Zach Thomson, has worked on the Hollywood blockbuster Avatar and is striving to give the film the time and attention it deserves. Though sparse at this time, the film’s official site and Facebook page both offer concept art and updates as production moves forward. (Concept art featured at the top of this post).
16 Stones tells the fictional story of one young man in the late 1830s who sees first-hand the destruction and loss the Latter-day Saints suffer after a mob attack in Far West, Missouri. Hoping to save others from future persecution, he and two friends set out to produce proof of the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon by finding an unimpeachable artifact – the 16 stones touched by the finger of the Lord as recounted in the Book of Ether. 16 Stones is about to be released on DVD for families of all ages to enjoy! You can pre-order your copy here.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.