Maybe I'll get a chance to see this

>> Saturday, December 5, 2009

Yesterday, the local newspaper had an article about one of the documentaries premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

At 2 p.m. Thursday, the 2010 Sundance Film Festival announced that former Utah newsman Reed Cowan would bring his new documentary to the elite festival.

By 5 p.m. Thursday, Cowan learned religious and anti-gay activists were organizing, discussing online whether they should gather at Park City to show their angry opposition to the screening.

Cowan's film is "8: The Mormon Proposition." It is described on the Internet Movie Database,, as "a scorching indictment of the Mormon Church's historic involvement in the promotion and passage of California's Proposition 8," the proposition that banned same-sex marriage in California.

"I know that it's going to be protested," Cowan said in an e-mail interview from his home base in Florida.

"I just got forwarded a blog threatening boycotts and protests. ... I can tell you thousands of gay-rights leaders from all over the country are going to be marching in counterpoint to the other marches."
Guess this means the Mormons are going to have to do more on behalf of gay rights than just support measures up for review in the Salt Lake City Council.
Cowan said he initiated the film project because he saw the need.

"I saw pain," he said. "Pain from people who were affected by the 'YES ON 8' movement. Pain from LDS people with gay family members. My motivations were 100 percent personal."

Cowan said officials of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declined to be interviewed for the documentary. He said LDS Church spokeswoman Kim Farah spoke briefly with producer Steven Greenstreet in a segment that is included in the film, but then insisted in going off the record.

According to an Associated Press story, Farah later told a reporter, "It is obvious that anyone looking for balance and thoughtful discussion of a serious subject will need to look elsewhere."

Other high-ranking church officials refused to be interviewed, Cowan said.

"Because the church, as they put it to me, is only interested in participating in stories that 'make them look good,' exact quote, unfortunately the official LDS Church reaction is not reflected," he wrote in his e-mail.

"That's ultimately a tragedy for the LDS Church. We had no other choice but than to tell the story through the statements of their past and present leaders, and the actions of their more verbal members."
And we all know it isn't going to look good. I wonder what steps their public relations people are planning now. They have about 6 weeks until it premieres.
Cowan is well aware that he is bringing a documentary critical of the LDS Church to ground zero.

"The chickens are coming home to roost," he said. "What happened in California began in SLC. And now we're bringing it home."
Yeah, baby!

I just hope this plays outside of Park City too. I don't want to drive all the way up there in the snow to see a movie.


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