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The 18th Annual LDS Film Festival

For the past 18 years, Utah filmmakers have come together with specialists worldwide for a family-friendly film festival. Once concurrent with Sundance, the LDS Film Festival is now held the last week in February. It has grown in popularity from humble beginnings in the Provo Library to a four-day event featuring some of the best films, documentaries, filmmakers, actors and production teams. This year's festival runs February 27-March 2.

Fans and filmmakers all meet together at the SCERA Theater to show their work, and learn of upcoming projects. In past years, Hollywood insiders with experience in casting, screenwriting, set design and costumes have come to present and be on panels to introduce film fans to the art of filmmaking.

The 24-Hour Marathon has been extended to 48-Hours. Teams come together a week prior to the festival and are given a theme, an object and a line of dialogue. In only 48 hours these teams produce a three-minute film. All completed projects are shown at the festival, and awards, including "audience favorite", are given at the Awards Ceremony on Saturday night.

This festival is not exclusively for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and not all films are faith-based. "We aim for films the grandparents can enjoy with the grandkids, and everyone enjoys the experience," said Kels Goodman, organizer of the event, who took over the reins from Christian Vuissa in 2017.

This year, one of the panelists includes Evangelical filmmaker Dallas Jenkins, maker of the first-ever multi-season drama on Jesus Christ, The Chosen. He has made several films, and one tells the story of the life of Christ from the perspective of the shepherds. It is something crowds (20 million views in ten languages from around the world) have come to love through the VidAngel streaming service.

A recent addition to the festival is family films made by families which are entered, judged and receive awards at the festival. The Awards Show is always free, and local people are invited to come cheer the winners, and encourage the others to be glad they made the effort. These entries come from all over and are not limited to the USA or Utah.
This year's presenters include: Dallas Jenkins – guest speaker, director of “The Chosen” Mitch Davis – new film “The Other Side of Heaven 2” T.C. Christiansen – new film “The Fighting Preacher” Garrett Batty – new film “Out of Liberty” Christian Jacobs and Jason DeVilliers – “The Aquabats” Excel Entertainment – “Jane and Emma” Covenant Communications – “Christmas Break In”Families are encouraged to attend, and seeing films together on the big screen at Scera is an experience not to be missed.

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