Family/Cinema. Storytelling/Utah. Martyrdom/Mexico. Exile/Eternity. Faith/America. // Documentary in production with Kartemquin Films.
Family / Cinema
Inspired by religious educational films her mother starred in while a student at Brigham Young University during the 1960s, director Xan Aranda revisits her ancestral religion (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) through the lens of two Mormon classics: a black-and-white Western portraying an historic clash between colonists and Pancho Villa in Mexico, and a jewel-toned yet tragic cautionary tale about marriage and doubt. As deeper threads of LDS beliefs are revealed, Xan explores the controversially clean-cut community she left behind – and her family’s spiritual fate beyond death.
Storytelling / Utah
Quietly tucked within the bustling college town of Provo, Utah is a Motion Picture Studio (MPS) reminiscent of old Hollywood. Among backlots and sound stages, the church has honed its storytelling craft since 1953, after Wetzel O. Whitaker left his job with Disney in Los Angeles to run the Studio. By the time 19-year-old Dana (Xan's mother) was cast in two films he produced, Whitaker's films had made a decade's worth of leaps in quality. In Summer of Decision, as her on-screen fiancé Bill struggles with questions arising from his exposure to a non-Mormon college, Nancy (Dana) joins him in cutting corners on the proper pathway to eternal marriage. We will explore how Whitaker and his team chose to tell this particular story in 1964, as campuses across the nation erupted over civil rights, politics, and free speech. Mormon Movie will also delve deeper into the creation of the MPS, and its influence on future generations of LDS storytellers.
Martyrdom / Mexico
A year after Summer of Decision is completed, Dana is engaged to be married - preparing save-the-date cards after each day on set of an ambitious new film the Studio has undertaken. And Should We Die depicts fatal clashes between revolutionary general Pancho Villa and Mormons who colonized just south of the Texas border. The film inspired viewers with its tale of religious conviction in the face of death. Even after decades of adjustment between Mexicans and Mormons, a balance was still being navigated by LDS Mexicans like Mario, Dana's real-life fiancé, who grew up there. Our cameras will accompany Xan on her first visit to the Colonies as she interacts with descendants of the colonists and martyrs, learns about why these Mormons left America, and investigates why Mario never returned to the Colonies.
Exile / Eternity
Also for the first time, Xan addresses the quiet heartbreak that comes from another form of exile: her choice to leave the church sixteen years ago, during college. Growing statistics show that more than half of all modern Christian twenty-somethings leave active involvement in their church. Through her interaction with the arts culture her parents' creative circle at BYU and the MPS produced, we observe the same delicate window in lives that would for many decades hold steady in the face of difficulty with doctrine, politics, homosexuality, and family obligations - only to make life-shattering shifts later.
Faith / America
Mormon Movie will add spectrum to conversations about Mormon society, strive to clarify perspectives, and provide the first intimate, independent look at the ongoing metamorphosis of this increasingly diverse “new American religion” through the unfolding lives of real people with ties to the Motion Picture Studio.
MM is rounding that crucial corner from Development into Production. We have a full year of shooting ahead, cannot move forward without funds. This is a feature-length documentary with a target release of 2014. Much to do!
To raise over $25,000 for MM by end of day Friday, September 28.
WHAT YOUR DONATION SUPPORTS
Funds raised will enable us to add much-needed additional perspectives and voices to the film. You'll get us shooting with collaborators and subjects in Utah, Mexico, and beyond - building out the film's first rough-cut. Enable us to rent gear, hire crew, write grants, and stay active!
~ KICKSTARTER IS AN ALL-OR-NOTHING FUNDRAISING PLATFORM ~
HOW IT WORKS
- Watch the video (first part = 1.5 min., "work in progress" = 10 min.)
- Browse Pledge levels, get excited about Thank You gifts----->
- Click on desired Pledge amount, complete steps via Amazon
- Your card will be NOT be charged until campaign ends
- Thank You gifts (except for Hideout Block Party passes) will be fulfilled according to their listed availability, after campaign ends
- If $25k goal is not met, your card will NOT be charged
- If goal is not met, you will NOT receive your Thank You gifts
- If goal is met, Kickstarter keeps 5% of Gross funds pledged
- If goal is met, Amazon keeps 3-5% of Gross funds pledged
There's NO LIMIT to the amount of funds we can raise via Kickstarter.
If goal is not met, MM receives no funds. If met, Net funds raised go directly to Kartemquin Films from Amazon, earmarked for MM.
Mormon Movie shares its home with dozens of award-winning social issue documentaries celebrated worldwide - a home which has served the media arts community since 1966 and continues to expand programs to emerging and veteran filmmakers. Kartemquin Films is a 501(c)3 non-profit Corporation and your donation is considered tax-free, to the extent of the law. Your accountant should determine the deductibility of this donation on your personal tax return.
Director & Producer: Xan Aranda
Co-Producer: Rachel Pikelny
Executive Producers: Gordon Quinn & Justine Nagan
Click here for credits related to the above video clips.
During MM's early stages, 40 individuals donated in support of initial shoots and research. This project was then developed with support of the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Mormon Movie is also partially supported by a Community Arts Assistance Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
MormonMovie@Gmail.com // www.MormonMovie.org
www.Kartemquin.com // Twitter // Facebook // Tumblr
Hideout Block Party, Sept 14 & 15 in Chicago
Andrew Bird: Fever Year, Sept 29 at Milwaukee Film Festival
Andrew Bird: Fever Year, October 6 in Portland, Oregon
O Olive Oil "Natural Box" Gift
Big Picture Farm, Vermont
Flyway Film Festival, Oct 18-21 in Pepin, Wisconsin
Rebecca Gates and the Consortium
Lula Cafe in Chicago
Theaster Gates, Cultural Planner-Artist-Potter
Date is set for Sat., February 2, 2013. Party is from 8:00 til 11:30 PM, Hideout Chicago 1354 W. Wabansia, 21 and over. $15 advance, $20 at the door.
Details are developing, visit the Facebook event page here:
Tickets were claimed prior to the event and are no longer available. The Hideout Block Party ended on September 15, 2012.
Your very own Home Viewing Party can happen anytime between October 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013. Vimeo link with specialized password will arrive via email, just before your event. (We recommend testing your internet, TV, and stereo connections prior to the event - using the FEVER YEAR trailer.) Once you've watched the full film, your password will expire.
Tickets remain in SLC, Boston, Philly, DC, Seattle, SF, Mpls, Atlanta.
NYC TICKETS were claimed as of 11:30 AM CST, 9/4/12.
LA TICKETS were claimed as of 9:30 PM CST 9/6/12.
CHICAGO TICKETS were claimed as of 9:56 PM 9/6/12.
Neko's working on her new album now, will tour extensively next year. Estimated tour start is late Spring 2013. Subject to change.
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Ongoing DIGITAL POSTCARDS from my travels, via email. Arty from the road? Weird/funny from film fest visits? Bleary production shots from Utah, Mexico, & beyond? Adventure awaits! (Could expire 9/30/13, maybe last thru 2014 world premiere.)Estimated delivery:
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Your TICKET to the "Dance Derby Fundraiser Spectacular" - my signature "Dance Party for Everyone, w Prizes" at Hideout Chicago. I've thrown several Derbies, they're a blast & this one's for Mormon Movie. DJs w variety of jams, excellent celebrity judges, prizes & more. Airfare, lodging, & other costs not incl. PLUS, digital postcards.Estimated delivery:
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Your VIP ticket* to PORTLAND, OR premiere of my film Andrew Bird: Fever Year (10/6) at the Hollywood Theatre. Join me for the screening, let’s chat after the Q&A! PLUS, digital postcards. *Ticket transferable to a friend.Estimated delivery:
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Your very own MM T-SHIRT, plus digital postcards. Shirt by 1/31/13, postcards start 10/2012.Estimated delivery:
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Digital download of “The Float” - handsome new album from Rebecca Gates and the Consortium. "Van Noten 007" featured in video on this page. She's the excellent singer-songwriter-guitarist oft known for her work w The Spinanes. PLUS, digital postcards.Estimated delivery:
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DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the completed Mormon Movie, PLUS digital postcards. Postcards start 10/2012.Estimated delivery:
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DVD copy of Mormon Movie, PLUS digital postcards. Postcards start 10/2012.Estimated delivery:
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DIGITAL DOWNLOAD and a T-SHIRT, plus digital postcards. Shirt by 1/31/13, download in 2014, postcards start 10/2012.Estimated delivery:
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An O Olive Oil “Natural Box" gift, PLUS MM digital download & postcards. The original maker of specialty organic citrus-crushed olive oils & premium barrel-aged wine vinegars, Sonoma County’s O Olive Oil has received piles of SOFI food awards (that's like the Oscars of food!) It's the family business. A super-delicioso gift from us to you.Estimated delivery:
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Your WEEKEND PASS to the very SOLD-OUT Hideout Block Party (Chicago 9/14-15*) feat. WILCO, IRON & WINE, GLEN HANSARD, others. THE greatest way to close summer. ALSO 2 limited edition posters by Kathleen Judge. Airfare, lodging, & other costs not incl. *Your passes redeemable before Kickstarter campaign ends.* PLUS digital download of MM, digital postcards.Estimated delivery:
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LET'S TALK! I’ve advised folks from the US Dept of Education to 1st-time filmmakers on everything from development thru festival strategy. Need a film crew in another town or advice on a film fest run? Not a filmmaker? We can talk about anything you'd like. Ask what it's like to grow up Mormon or live in China. Need dating advice or to talk about your feelins? How about facts on Lake Michigan shipwrecks or Yukon/Gold Rush ladies of the night? Or, share your thoughts & opinions on Mormon Movie. Tell it like it is, shape our point of view. I'm yours via phone for half an hour. (Expires 12/31/13) ALSO, on-screen Director’s Cut THANK YOU credit, t-shirt, MM digital download & postcards.Estimated delivery:
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Host a private home viewing of ANDREW BIRD: FEVER YEAR, which is only available in fests! AB:FYR looks/sounds great on Vimeo, hooked to TV & stereo, goes well with snacks. Invite 5 friends to get in the "musical hot tub" & enjoy 10 songs+doc story, 80min. We'll send 11x17 posters for each of you. Offer expires 6/30/13. Link expires immediately after event. PLUS, digital postcards.Estimated delivery:
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An all-access WEEKEND PASS to the uber-cozy, wonderful Flyway Film Festival - a beautiful 90-min drive south on Mississippi River from Minneapolis. Includes opening night party & keynote by IndieFlix CEO Scilla Andreen. SEE YOU THERE! Airfare, lodging, & other costs not incl. Plus, on-screen Director’s Cut THANK YOU credit, MM digital download & postcards.Estimated delivery:
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We adore BRUNCH! You & a friend will dine in Chicago with Kartemquin Films co-founder, Artistic Director, and Hoop Dreams producer Gordon Quinn (the Obi-Wan Kenobi of Mormon Movie) and me. Let him regale you with filmmaking adventures far back as 1966. Tell us stories, pick brains. You'll take home signed DVDs, too. Airfare, Lodging, & other costs not incl. (Expires 12/31/13) PLUS on-screen Director's Cut THANK YOU credit, MM digital download & postcards.Estimated delivery:
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We dig DINNER! You & a friend will dine in Chicago with legendary filmmaker Peter Gilbert (Hoop Dreams) and me. We've worked together on Andrew Bird: Fever Year & Mormon Movie. Let's pick brains, make each other laugh, talk about anything. You'll take home signed DVDs, too. Airfare, Lodging, & other costs not incl. (Expires 9/30/13) PLUS on-screen Director's Cut THANK YOU credit, MM digital download & postcards.Estimated delivery:
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We love to eat! DINNER for you & a friend at Lula Cafe in Chicago w my dear friend the celebrated cultural planner-artist-potter THEASTER GATES & me. We love to hear & tell stories/ideas. TG will send you home w a lil handmade pottery gift. Airfare, lodging, & other costs not incl. (Expires 9/30/13) PLUS on-screen Director's Cut THANK YOU credit, MM digital download & postcards.Estimated delivery:
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You & a friend will see the extraordinary NEKO CASE perform live AND meet her after the show. She'll sign a CD or poster-gift for you too. One pair avail to 1st responders in Salt Lake City, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Seattle, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Atlanta. Airfare, lodging, & other costs not incl. ONE PAIR PER CITY. *Check updates or send msg to find out which tix are still up for grabs.* Tix transferrable to a friend. PLUS, on-screen Director's Cut THANK YOU credit, MM digital download & postcards.Estimated delivery:
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Watch the MM team in action! Sit in on a late-stage EDIT SESSION w us at Kartemquin, watch brain-fried minds at work, debate choices w us as we begin to lock the edit down, join us for lunch or drinks. PLUS, on-screen Director's Cut SPECIAL THANKS, deluxe gifts from O Olive Oil & Big Picture Farm, 2 tix to world premiere, MM digital download & postcards, 2 t-shirts. Airfare, lodging, and other costs not incl.Estimated delivery:
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Let's dine together in your N. American town, then host a PRIVATE PREVIEW of the completed Mormon Movie for 4 of your friends. PLUS, receive on-screen SPECIAL THANKS credit in Director's Cut, deluxe gifts from O Olive Oil & Vermont's Big Picture Farm, digital & handwritten postcards, MM digital download, 2 t-shirts, AND 2 tix to world premiere. I'll take care of Dinner & Preview costs. PREMIERE airfare, lodging, & other costs not incl.Estimated delivery:
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Join me in SLC*! We’ll fly you from anywhere in North America, put you up, and spend a day or two exploring the best of Salt Lake City. Shall we tour Temple Square? Hike a canyon or island? Dine w Utah friends, collaborators, or filmmakers? Drive to the Salt Flats and watch the moon? I'll travel from Chicago and show you some fave spots. (Expires 12/31/2014) ALSO receive ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit in all versions of the film & on our IMDB page, deluxe gifts from O Olive Oil & Big Picture Farm, MM digital download, digital & handwritten postcards, 2 t-shirts, AND 4 tix to world premiere. Premiere airfare, lodging, & other costs not incl. *If you live in UT or are familiar w SLC area, this offer applies to a Chicago & SW Michigan visit.Estimated delivery:
- (24 days)