LDS Film Festival
2nd Annual 24-Hour Film Marathon A Success

The 3rd Annual LDS Film Festival launches a full slate of offerings this week, with numerous screenings, professional presentations, and lots of  filmmaker networking, says Festival founder Christian Vuissa.

“This is sure to be our biggest festival yet,” says Vuissa, who founded the event three years ago as “a celebration of Latter-day Saint values, Latter-day Saint art, and Latter-day Saint film making.” An award-winning director himself, Vuissa says this year’s program of screenings and presentations will inspire and educate both current and aspiring practitioners of this vital art form.

But this year’s festival has taken a big step forward as well: several films will play on the big screen at the University Mall Cinemas in Orem; among them:

Pre-release screening of Saints and Soldiers, a World War II drama directed by LDS Canadian filmmaker Ryan Little;

Pre-release screening of The Best Two Years, a Scott Anderson film that will open in Wasatch Front theaters in February;

Return to the big screen of other popular films that screened at earlier Festivals, including God’s Army, Brigham City, The Other Side of Heaven, Singles Ward, and Charly.

Vuissa also says last week’s “24-Hour Filmmaking Marathon” was a huge success. Thirty-nine crews showed up to pursue the challenge of making a complete 4-minute film in exactly 24 hours. Twenty-six crews, including one headed by a 16-year-old Layton boy, returned with a film within the time allotted, and are entered in the judging competition (winners will be announced Thursday night).  Another four came in late, says Vuissa, keeping them out of the competition, “but all 30 will be screened Thursday night.” Nine crews “disappeared” along the way.

Vuissa says 80 percent of the film and script submissions in the festival’s first year were from film students at BYU and the University of Utah. This year, he says, perhaps only 30 percent are.  “This year, they’re from all over, including several from as far away as England. The word is definitely spreading among Latter-day Saint filmmakers.”

The complete festival program, including a schedule of presenters, film screening times and locations and registration information is available at the Festival web site: www.ldsbox.com .