Deseret News Archive

Filmmaker T.C. Christensen has won more than 270 national and international awards for his work in writing, editing, directing and producing movies.

In 2010, he was invited to join the American Society of Cinematographers.

What sets Christensen apart is his ability to find and share a meaningful story. This is a list of some of his memorable films.

Related article: T.C. Christensen: the man, the movies and stories that matter (+video)

'The Mouths of Babes'
The Visual Transit Authority

This film was made around 1980. It provides a comedic and insightful look at children in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It was produced and directed by T.C. Christensen.

'On Our Own'
Commonwealth Cinema

This 1988 film depicts four children who set out on their own after their mother's death to avoid being separated by foster care. While trying to find their uncle Jack, they encounter adventure and danger. Before the story's touching and humorous conclusion, they make some serious mistakes and learn some important lessons.

Christensen was over the film's cinematography.

'Touch of the Master's Hand' and 'The Pump'
Deseret Book

These two short films are all-time favorites among LDS audiences.

"The Touch of the Master's Hand" is about a finely crafted violin that falls into uncaring hands and has no worth until a touch from the Master’s hand reveals its great value.

"The Pump" is a dramatic parable of choice and its resulting consequences.

Both films were produced and directed by Christensen in the 1980s.

'The Buttercreme Gang'
Feature Films for Families

Produced by Feature Films for Families in 1992, this movie tells about a gang of kids in a small, happy town that do service and good deeds instead of causing trouble. Their leader, Pete, has to go live with his aunt in Chicago for a time, and after some bad things happen, returns a changed person. Soon Pete is hanging around with the wrong crowd. But the remaining members of the gang, especially their new leader Scott, refuse to give up on their friend.

Christensen was over the film's cinematography.

'American Prophet: The Story of Joseph Smith'

Christensen was in charge of cinematography for this PBS documentary that examined the life of Joseph Smith.

'The Testaments: Of One Fold and One Shepherd'
Deseret News Archive

This film, sponsored by the LDS Church, depicts the life of Jesus in Jerusalem while also depicting the events described in the Book of Mormon from approximately the same time period. The story builds to the appearance of the resurrected Lord in the Americas. It was released in 2000.

Christensen was over the film's cinematography.

'The Work and the Glory'

This movie is based on the first novel by Gerald N. Lund in the nine-part "The Work and the Glory" series.

Christensen was over cinematography.

'Down and Derby'
Deseret News Archive

"Down and Derby" is a 2005 comedy about a Cub Scouts' pinewood derby race. The cars in the race are supposed to be built from kits by boys with appropriate adult supervision. But in the film the fathers of four kids take over the project and get carried away by their competitiveness.

The family-friendly movie was filmed in and around St. George, Utah. Christensen did cinematography with Gordon Lonsdale.

'Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration'
Deseret News Archive

This 2005 film, sponsored by the LDS Church, focuses on some of the events during the life of church founder Joseph Smith Jr.

The film has been shown in the Legacy Theater of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and several LDS Church visitors centers since December 2005.

Christensen co-directed the film with Gary Cook.

'Outlaw Trail: The Treasure of Butch Cassidy'
Deseret News Archive

This 2006 film is loosely based on legends arising from the fate of real-life Western outlaw Butch Cassidy, whose gang robbed trains and banks in the 1890s. Cassidy fled to South America in 1901, where he is believed to have died in 1908.

The main protagonist in the movie is Cassidy's teenage grand-nephew, Roy Parker, who sets out in 1951 to find the treasure he believes Cassidy left behind in Utah. Overcoming his unforgiving grandfather's opposition, Roy and friends are involved in several chase scenes, pursued by criminals.

Christensen shared cinematography duties with Geno Salvatori.

'Emma Smith: My Story'
Deseret News Archive

This 2008 film focuses on the life of Emma Smith, wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

It was produced primarily for her descendants, and seeks to illustrate a more positive legacy and perspective than some attribute to Emma.

Christensen was over the movie's cinematography.

'Forever Strong'
Go Films

This 2008 film is about a troubled rugby player who must play against the team his father coaches at the national championships.

"Forever Strong" is based on a compilation of individual true stories.

Christensen was in charge of cinematography.

'Gordon B. Hinckley: A Giant Among Men'
Living Scriptures

This 2008 film was the first to dramatize how Gordon B. Hinckley was prepared by the Lord from his youth to one day become the president of the LDS Church.

Christensen served as the film's producer.

'Only a Stonecutter'
Excel Entertainment

This 2008 short film follows the life of pioneer John Rowe Moyle. In 1856, Moyle and his family left England, crossed the plains with the Ellsworth handcart company to eventually settled in Alpine, Utah. Soon after their arrival Moyle was called by Brigham Young to work as a stone mason on the Salt Lake Temple. For 20 years he walked the 22 miles to Salt Lake City to chisel his deepest convictions into granite. Even after an accident caused him to lose his leg, John continued his sojourn to the temple site each week until his death. Today his handiwork can be seen on the east side of the Temple where he carved the words, “Holiness to the Lord.”

Christensen served as the writer, producer and director of this film.

'Treasure in Heaven: The John Tanner Story'
Deseret News Archive

"Treasure in Heaven" is the true story of John Tanner, a wealthy New York landowner and convert to the church who in 1834 sold his properties to assist the church. He freely gave all he had, displaying an example of generosity and consecration in serving the Lord. Tanner is Christensen's great-great grandfather.

Christensen served as the writer, producer and director of this film.

'17 Miracles'
Deseret News Archive

This 2011 film is based on the actual experiences of members of the Willie Handcart Company following their late-season start and subsequent winter journey to Salt Lake City in 1856. The film emphasizes the miracles documented by individual participants during the journey.

Christensen wrote, produced and directed the film.

'Ephraim's Rescue'
Remember Films

Christensen's newest movie hits theaters on May 31. It is based on the remarkable life of LDS convert and pioneer Ephraim Hanks.

By listening to and following his heart, Hanks finds his way in life and eventually provides relief and rescue to the suffering Martin Handcart Company.