Talk:LDS cinema

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Does "Napoleon Dynamite" qualify?[edit]

I don't really think Napoleon Dynamite would qualify as LDS cinema. It's made by mostly BYU grads, but it's not any more targeted towards the LDS population than any other group.

Fist, I'd like to say I never realized BYU grads made the film. I think I'll have to check it out now. Second, I don't think it qualifies because the characters are not particularly portrayed as LDS. There are a lot of notable LDS producer/directors (like Don Bluth), but their output is not LDS cinema. Searching for the two terms in google, a Meridian article claims specifically that it's not LDS cinema. On the other hand, an alternative weekly article did characterize it as an LDS film, but they also call the movie Latter Days one. I don't think a definition this broad is correct.
On the other hand, the rise of LDS moviemakers is in part due to the success of this subgenre. Therefore, maybe we should list movies like Napoleon Dynamite in a seperate section. "Movies made by LDS newcomers to filmmaking" or something. Cool Hand Luke 02:40, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Explain how Napoleon Dynamite doesn't qualify, but Pride and Prejudice does... Napoleon only became a hit outside of LDS circles by sheer dumb luck when Fox Searchlight Pictures chose to distribute it well after the film had been produced. Can you honestly tell me someone as uniquely bizarre as Napoleon could be anything other than a Mormon that's whacked out a bit? How is Napoleon to be distinguished from Saints and Soldiers? What sort of criteria is: "overtly" about LDS? There are many reasons to consider Napoleon as "LDS Cinema" besides the narrow criteria proffered so far. (Keep in mind, I add things just to play devil's advocate sometimes just to flesh out the issue.)

Well, Pride and Prejudice was marketed as an LDS movie ("A latter-day comedy", or whatever the line was), but you do make a valid point about dumb luck. I suppose if Napoleon was not picked up at Sundance and the makers had to distribute on their own, it may have been marketed the same way. In that case, maybe they should all stay, but with a little elaboration. (Like how The Other Side of Heaven notes it was not LDS-produced.)
This version of Pride and Prejudice has return missionaries and a lot of other stuff in it. It qualifies because of that and because it's specifically targeted at a Latter-day Saint audience. Napoleon Dynamite is neither of those. It is not LDS cinema. I think we can make another section or article or something for films produced by Latter-day Saints, but Napoleon Dynamite should not appear here.Cookiecaper 23:12, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Mr. Dynamite is an LDS film because the guy that made it studied filmmaking at BYU. I'm pretty sure he dropped out without graduating but that doesn't matter. It's sort of like gum. You get this sticky gunk on the bottom of your shoe, you track it into your house. Doesn't matter whether you deserve it or not; it's yours now.Friendly Person 12:37, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

It doesn't qualify. Just because the directors/producers graduated from an LDS university, it doesn't make it an LDS film. It's not about Mormonism--it's never mentioned or even hinted at. Is every book by Orson Scott Card a Mormon book? No. Most stories don't even mention the religion. — Frecklefoot | Talk 18:14, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Does the definition of "LDS cinema" only include Mollywood movies?[edit]

If the definition of LDS cinema included here is to stand, then it would seem to include older moview like Brigham Young (1940). And surely, Latter Days (2003) would qualify under this standard, even though it's not BYU Date-Nite material, because it deals with Mormon themes. And what about documentaries? If we want to include all cinema on LDS themes, we have to include the good, the bad, and the ugly (not the Clint Eastwood movie, of course). COGDEN 01:47, August 27, 2005 (UTC)

The problem (and advantage) of word meanings in English (as opposed to other major languages) is that they are really defined by usage. The meaning will drift over time, sometimes becoming the opposite of what the word originally meant. I'm trying to say that some definitions are worse than trying to nail unset Jello to a tree.
With that said, let's get out the hammer and nails. First of all is the definition of "Mollywood". It would seem to include the upright and uplifting LDS cinema. But we're trying to define "LDS Cinema" itself which can easily go beyond Mollywood. There are two ways we can start to define a definition: Start with those that are put in the category, or start with the definition. Step-wise, cyclic refinement can then be done until we get to something we consider good enough to put in the article itself.
A platypus is a mammal even though it lays eggs. A shark is a fish even though it gives birth to live young. Snakes are reptiles even though they also give live birth to their young. Do we want to craft a definition like science has done that has a myriad exceptions, or do we want to divine the meaning based on usage (like the English dictionary publishers do)?
I'm throwing things out for consideration without hammering the first nail. But I do trust you enough that I'll hold the nail while you use the hammer. Now, you find some Jello for us. Val42 02:35, August 27, 2005 (UTC)
Nailing Jello to a tree is a good analogy, especially when you're talking about Mormon culture. I hate to try and "steer" a definition in a particular direction unless there is already a well-established usage out there, so I'm inclined for the article to reflect common usage. I would suspect that LDS Cinema generally refers to Mollywood movies only. But what do you call non-Mollywood films that explore Mormon themes? If people would also refer to these other films as LDS Cinema too, then there's a problem of ambiguity. But I don't know. Maybe the Deseret News of the Salt Lake Tribune have some standard usage that makes more sense. COGDEN 06:16, August 28, 2005 (UTC)

The Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd is in the category of LDS cinema. This is contrary to the definition given in the LDS cinema article. I think that movies produced by the LDS Church for proselytizing or seminary use should be in a category of their own. This is a category that the short movie Johnny Lingo would be in but the full-length motion picture would not be. What about these categories:

  • LDS cinema: Movies produced from a Latter Day Saint perspective for commercial purposes.
  • LDS something: Movies produced by a Latter Day Saint church for non-commercial purposes.
  • LDS film portrayals: Movies that feature Latter Day Saints that don't fit the above categories.

The first definition may or may not include Napoleon Dynamite, The Other Side of Heaven and Saints and Soldiers depending on subleties to be determined. (Personally, I think that the first doesn't but the others do.) The second definition would include the LDS Film Classics that have recently come out on DVD because the films were made at BYU for church purposes even though they mostly don't have people identifiable as LDS. The third definition would include commercial portrayals where a main character can be identified as mormon, and anti-Mormon films. When the category pages are produced, the category pages should be interlinked. Val42 02:56, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Sons of Provo[edit]

I'm going to be writing up an article for "Sons of Provo". This article lists the release date as 2005 whereas the IMDB lists it as 2004. Which is correct? Val42 20:47, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

Movie series[edit]

Since they are presumably going to make one movie for each book, there will be nine entries. Should we continue to list movies strictly chronologically? I have another suggestion: For movies with multiple installments, they can all be listed as an indented list under the first (released) movie. So far, this could also be applied to God's Army. It will soon be applicable to The Singles Ward, and hopefully The Book of Mormon Movie. Val42 05:01, 10 November 2005 (UTC)


Where is the article on just general Christian cinema that would basically be the parent to this? I was looking for it while working on List of entertainers in Christian media and couldn't find it.--T. Anthony 07:37, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

It seems that since there are more protestant Christians in the United States that there should be more of such films. There is the Left Behind series produced by Cloud Ten Pictures. This company has produced other pictures in this same genre (a total of eleven). I followed this chain up to Category:Christian media companies, but I haven't found any other company that has produced movies. So right now, movies by Cloud Ten would be the only ones in this supercategory. This should be investigated to see if this is due to a lack of research by Wikipedia editors.
In the LDS cinema genre, there are three companies listed, but I think that there are a few more. Disney can be included because of their production of The Other Side of Heaven because it was driven by an LDS producer. Maybe Disney can be also included in the supercategory because of the production of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Val42 05:24, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I found a site called that has a studios section. I'm not sure if there's many companies they list as I just found them. I'd think there would be more non-LDS Christian cinema groups than LDS ones, especially in Southern Europe or most of Africa, but I admit I don't know.--T. Anthony 23:36, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I just watched Sister Act this evening. I think that Sister Act and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit belongs in the Catholic Cinema category like The Other Side of Heaven belongs in the LDS cinema category. Along with Cloud Ten Pictures, this would give us three items that would belong in the supercategory. Anybody have any counterarguments? Val42 05:22, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I can think of clearer cut examples of Catholic cinema. Diary of a Country Priest, The Flowers of St. Francis, Thérèse, A Man for All Seasons, Going My Way, The Passion of the Christ, and Millions. (The last heavily concerns saints and was written by the Catholic Frank Cottrell Boyce who has seven children) The Sister Act movies may count, but most of the people involved aren't Catholic or especially sympathetic to that religion. I liked the first one, but I'm just saying it's a gray area.--T. Anthony 15:06, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Let's create that category and populate it. Val42 03:52, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I created the category and populated it with the list that you gave above. Val42 04:33, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Neat. I'll see what else I can find.--T. Anthony 05:21, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Down and Derby[edit]

Yesterday, I created the article for the "Down and Derby" movie. It is related to LDS Cinema (because it is distributed by Excel Entertainment Group) but is definitely not in this category. But I figured that people who are interested in this category would also be interested in this movie. Please review the article. Val42 19:02, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Plan 10 from Outer Space[edit]

This movie belongs here in some category. And it needs its own article. -- 23:29, March 13, 2006 (UTC)

We have had a discussion about definining the category (No!) or documenting the usage of the term (Yes!). Therefore, we've done our best to document usage of this term. Plan 10 from Outer Space does deserve its own article (you're welcome to write it), but the article doesn't belong in this category. Val42 06:01, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Take a Chance[edit]

This movie is a HaleStorm production, stars Kirby Heyborne, Corbin Allred and several others who have been in other LDS cinema productions, but there are no LDS characters in the film. I think that this was aiming for a larger audience. But does this still belong in this category? If not, where would you suggest that it go? Val42 05:21, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

It could go several places, such as the article on Kirby Heyborne or Corbin Allred or the article on the production company. Either way, it should belong to the category for the year it was produced, such as Category:2005 films. HTH — Frecklefoot | Talk 21:02, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I've created the article. It is not in this category, but I figure that people who care about this article will want to check out the article. Val42 14:12, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

The Other Side of Heaven[edit]

The article as it stands at present (2007 May 10) carries this text: "The Other Side of Heaven — 2001. Not by an LDS studio. Although special pains were taken to remove overt LDS references, it is often counted as LDS cinema because it was brought to fruition by an LDS producer." This doesn't seem quite apt. The movie is about an LDS missionary in Tonga. I don't see how anybody could watch the movie and be unaware of this, unless they slept thru the whole movie. I suggest that the above text should read instead, "The Other Side of Heaven — 2001. Not by an LDS studio, but it is often counted as LDS cinema because it is about an LDS missionary."Friendly Person 02:31, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

I think that they tried to remove many references, but they obviously couldn't remove them all without significantly changing the story. ("Based on a true story" anyone?) I think that this information is on the DVD in one of the extras. But since there isn't a source for this information, and I don't know where it is, make the change. Since you came up with the wording, I think that you should make the change. Val42 03:38, 15 May 2007 (UTC)


This morning, Frecklefoot removed the "Horror" section that contained:

with the comment:

Dutcher is not LDS anymore, I doubt his latest film can be considered "LDS Cinema"

I disagree with the comment. I think that Dutcher could still produce a film that would be considered LDS Cinema; the definition for this category has never really been nailed down. However, I think that this item still should be removed because it is too far from release.

But I started this subject to discuss when/whether Familiar Spirits should be included. It is listed on LDS I'm thinking that because it has been screened at the LDS Film Festival in January 2007, it could be included. Val42 20:57, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

I looked at the synopsis for Evil Angel and I don't see anything LDS-centric about it. It's about the Lilith myth, a topic not present in LDS culture. I guess we could wait and see when the movie comes out to see if it the plot is presented in a LDS-centric manner. As it is, however, I don't think it belongs. The LDS version of the gospel doesn't include Lilith.
As for Familiar Spirits, I think it's also too early to tell (is it also unreleased?). It sounds like standard horror/mystery fare. From the movie's website, I don't see anything particularly LDS-centric about it. If it's presented in an LDS manner or with LDS theology mixed in, it could be included. Otherwise, I'd leave it off. You sound like you're familiar with the movie. Is it particularly LDS-ish? — Frecklefσσt | Talk 18:09, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Familiar Spirits has been shown publicly so there could be reviews. I think that it should be listed with the information that we have, mostly from LDS However, it is supposed to be released on DVD soon, so I won't object to not listing it until it is released on DVD. — Val42 (talk) 19:06, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Saturday's Warrior[edit]

The article states that the LDS cinema movement began in 1999, but what about the Saturday's Warrior film that was released in 1989?

Although it was based on a play, I think this film is worth mentioning. Am I wrong? -Tea and Crumpets (Talk - contribs) 13:22, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm not familiar with when the Saturday's Warrior film was released, but I'll take your word that it was in 1989. Saturday's Warrior started the LDS theater movement, and (in my opinion) the film was just a continuation of that. It could have been the spark that would light an LDS cinema movement, but it didn't catch. God's Army, however, was a spark that did light the LDS cinema movement, releases of LDS-themed and targetted films. The difference is not the timing, but in whether or not it sparked others to do similar things.
However, I think that Saturday's Warrior should be mentioned in this article. I think that it would be safe to bring up the things that I brought up in the previous paragraph. — Val42 16:43, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Meet the Mormons[edit]

What about the forthcoming film Meet the Mormons (released 10/10/2014)? Produced by the LDS church, does it qualify as "LDS cinema"? Source:εcklεfσσt | Talk 23:40, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

It is the first movie in the modern era that the church has produced to be released thru the standard film industry distribution system, and it has a MPAA rating. I'd say that it does qualify. Asterisk*Splat 00:01, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
It seems to me that LDS cinema films are independent, whereas this is produced by the LDS Church. I think listing on LDS Films is sufficient. —Eustress 16:06, 3 October 2014 (UTC)