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LDS Film Festival returning to Orem for its 11th year

Published: Thursday, Jan. 19 2012 6:51 p.m. MST

Christian Vuissa, right, director of the LDS Film Festival, with Curt Doussett at the opening night of the 8th LDS Film Festival in 2009.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

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OREM, Utah — The 11th LDS Film Festival will run Jan. 25-28 at the SCERA Center for the Arts.

The LDS Film Festival has screened hundreds of films since Austrian filmmaker Christian Vuissa founded it in 2001.

"It's not exclusively LDS, but we do want to have an emphasis and focus on films made by LDS filmmakers," Vuissa said.

Festival events include a 24-hour filmmaking marathon, film screenings, opportunities to meet with filmmakers, filmmaker presentations, an awards ceremony, LDS film forum and panel, celebrity wall and a film fair. All events are open to the public.

The 24-hour filmmaking marathon will be held Friday, Jan. 20, at 10 a.m. Groups of up to five people may compete in the event. Participants will be given a theme their films should follow and will be asked to implement a specific object and dialogue line into their films.

Each group will have only 24 hours to write, shoot and edit a three-minute short film. All the finished films will be screened on Thursday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. The entry fee per group is $45, and includes five tickets to the 24-hour filmmaking marathon screening.

The main events of the festival will begin Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 6 p.m. with a free mingle and greet event, followed by a half-price admission opening night film premiere with live music, special guests and the feature film "Redemption."

Film screenings and filmmaker presentations will take place throughout the festival. Special screenings, short film programs, the 24-hour filmmaking marathon and feature film presentations cost $7. Filmmaker presentations are $4.

Meet and greet opportunities will be available with actors and filmmakers before and after their presentations and the screening of their films, which Vuissa said can be valuable for viewers.

"You really have this direct communication and interaction with the filmmakers themselves," Vuissa said. "After the film, the filmmakers answer questions and you can get a little deeper in what has been done and why it's been done."

The LDS Film Forum, where presenters explore the theoretical aspects of LDS filmmaking, will be held Saturday, Jan. 28, at 10 a.m. and costs $7.

The awards ceremony will be on Jan. 28 at 9:30 p.m. with free admission.

The film fair will take place Jan. 26-28 in the lobby of the SCERA Center for the Arts, with exhibitors offering information and networking opportunities for festival guests. Admission to the film fair is free.

Visitors planning to attend multiple events may want to purchase a day or festival pass. Day passes are $25 for Friday and $30 for Saturday. A festival all-event pass costs $50.

Tickets are available at 801-225-ARTS, online at www.scera.org or at the door.

For screening schedules, or to learn more about the festival, visit www.ldsfilmfestival.org.

Among the films being screened this year are "Redemption," "The Letter Writer," "Elizabeth's Gift" and "The Last Eagle Scout."

"Redemption," directed by Tom Russell, follows the story of Henry Heath (played by John Freeman), a lawman on the western frontier in 1862, whose experiences bring him to face the question: How do you forgive the unforgiveable?

Christian Vuissa's new film "The Letter Writer" is about a rebellious teen, Maggy Fuller, who tries to track down the writer of a life-changing letter she unexpectedly receives in the mail.

In "Elizabeth's Gift" by director Rob Diamond, two parents are left to pick up the pieces of their once perfect life when their young daughter dies of a rare heart condition and an angel guides their way to a little homeless girl.

"The Last Eagle Scout," directed by Kels Goodman, takes place in the not-so-distant future when extreme political correctness is bringing the Boy Scouts program to an end and Boy Scout Cliff Elliot sets out to become the last Eagle Scout.

Email: rbrutsch@desnews.com

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