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LDS Film Festival brings diversity, family fun

Published: Thursday, Jan. 17 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

"Christmas Oranges" will be shown at the LDS Film Festival 2013 on Jan. 26, 2013.

Aaron Evans

OREM — The LDS Film Festival, which will feature films covering topics from World War II to Latter-day Saint history to heartwarming tales about family and faith, will take place Jan. 23-26 at SCERA Center for the Arts, 745 S. State in Orem.

There will also be question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers following feature films and special screenings.

With 5,000 to 7,000 people in attendance each year, Christian Vuissa, the founder and director of the festival, believes the growth serves as an indicator that the Latter-day Saint film community is growing and gaining experience.

“I think the festival is really nice because we have nice premieres, and when you come you know what’s happening that year in the LDS filmmaking community,” Vuissa said.

The festival has served as the venue for the premieres of popular Latter-day Saint movies such as “Saints and Soldiers” and “17 Miracles.”

Featured at the festival is a forum and panel exploring the future of Latter-day Saint cinema, to be held Jan. 26 at 10 a.m., and a 24-hour film festival Jan. 18, with submitted three-minute films showing Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.

The festival includes a more diverse lineup this year with films not only directed by Utah filmmakers, but also an Australian film, “The Playbook,” about an Australian basketball coach, and an Italian film, “Dr. Smith and the Fantastic Castle,” about a psychologist’s journey to save a rebellious teenager from the imaginary world in which she lives.

“We’re really glad we can show ‘The Playbook.’ It really has a nice Christian theme of redemption and overcoming the circumstances,” said Vuissa.

Also new this year is a program devoted to short films featuring children as main actors, taking place Jan. 26 at 3 p.m.

“Each year we try to look and see what’s happening. There’s generally a trend for family-friendly content,” said Vuissa, who recommended “Christmas Oranges,” “Heaven’s Door” and “Dr. Smith and the Fantastic Castle” as the most family-friendly films at the festival.

“There are a lot of feature films this year. It’s a pretty full program and it just shows how this community is growing.”

Times vary by event and tickets are $20-$30 for day passes and $50 for an all-events pass. Individual event prices vary from free to $7. Tickets can be purchased at www.scera.org.

For more information, visit www.ldsfilmfestival.org or www.scera.org or call 801-225-2787.

Email: ajones@desnews.com

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