FILM: Calling All LDS Movie Buffs!

Written by Mckay Stevens on . Posted in Film

If you’ve never heard of ‘Fice, Mind the Gap or The Infinipede Space Monster From Outer Space, you are missing out on some of the best films of 2009.

Each of these films screened and won awards at the 2009 LDS Film Festival that took place at the Scera Theater in Orem this past January. The festival has become increasingly popular among local filmmakers and fans alike during it’s short lifespan.

The festival began in 2001 when Austrian LDS filmmaker Christian Viussa wanted to provide a way for LDS filmmakers to showcase their talent. Attendance numbers have steadily increased since then, culminating in a record 7,000 visitors at this year’s event.

Before you determine this festival as one you will not attend because of the assumption that it will only have “cheesy home movies,” please hear me out. The LDS Film Festival is not for LDS members only, nor is it sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It does, however, embrace and invite the common values and virtues associated with Christianity.

There are several competitions available depending on the filmmaker’s skills and your means. The simplest of the competitions is the 7-page script competition. Writers must tell a story in seven scripted pages. Winners will have their script produced into a short film that will screen at the following year’s festival.

Following the script competition is the famous 24-hour filmmaking marathon. Groups of no more than five must meet early on one morning to receive an object, a phrase and a theme that must be used in their three-minute film. These films must be shot, edited and turned in within 24 hours of the completion of their first meeting. These films screen in front of an audience of around 500 and are voted on by both audience members and a panel of judges. Last year, winners received up to $500 dollars and remarkable exposure for their films and their talent.

The next area is the short film competition. This is an opportunity for more experienced filmmakers to display their work and perhaps add another credential to their resume. First place winners receive a $1,000 prize. The other categories are for screening purposes only and are not competitive. These include special screenings and the feature film exhibition portions of the festival.

The LDS Film Festival has already announced its call for entries for next year. If you have any interest at all in filmmaking, the LDS Film Festival is a wonderful opportunity to be recognized for your talents. If you are one who sees the festival as more of a spectator opportunity, you will not be disappointed.

To see previous festival entries, click here.

Mckay Stevens is a film correspondent for Rhombus. You can see his previous festival entries here and here.

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