Trouble with covering a film festival is you can't see everything at once, and jumping from screen to screen leaves you too confused to do anyone justice. Many are left out. My feeling is that everyone who can should come next year, and see as many screenings, presentations and competitions as possible.
Start With Nothing was a made-for-teens, boy-wants-girl story filmed over several months in all sorts of extreme weather at one location, and made to look like it all happened in one afternoon. Screenwriter Karen Peck and director Susan Phelan made the most with what they had, and pulled off a fun little film the 'tweens will really enjoy watching. At the Q&A afterwards, veteran French actor Arthur Boyadjian impressed attendees with stories of the many famous actors he has worked with over his long career. You can follow Start With Nothing and many of the other films on Facebook.
The Book of Life is the first foreign film to have its American premiere at the LDS Film Festival. The film was written, directed and stars Italian comedian Marco Lui (known to Italian children as the television character, Mr. Him). Lui, who is a member of the Church, was able to pull together all he needed for a self-funded three-week shoot, spending all he had to make his passion real. Lui was able get 13 year-old singer, Alice Rosolino, to play the niece of his love interest, and she was impressive as an actor. You can watch a bit of the film here:
In Italian, with English subtitles, the audience was enchanted with the story and came out asking if it would play in theaters so they could bring others to see it. Festival-goers liked it so much, Christian Vuissa arranged to have the film shown a second time at the festival.