February 27, 2019
Writer: Virginia Henry

The awards season has come to an end for Hollywood, but film makers are gearing up for another year!

Kels Goodman is the president and owner of the LDS Film Festival, which is happening this week from Feb. 27 through March 2.

He said festivals are an ideal place for film makers to get their work out into the open, especially when they aren’t connected to big corporations.

Festivals provide a place where decision makers, people who buy or promote films, can meet the people who make them. This can often lead to a film being purchased or the director receiving needed feedback.

“The film makers that really succeed are the ones that have a good balance of art and business and there’s very few of them,” Goodman explained.

This is the reason they seek help from people who are experienced in the business or marketing world when they want to get their film out there.

“A lot of film makers make movies, but the right people just never get to see them,” Goodman said. “So there are so many films out there that never see the light of day.”

Goodman wouldn’t consider the LDS Film Festival a traditional one. He told BYU-Idaho Radio the LDS market is not very big, but it is specialized and limited. Limited with regards to content, which is clean and moral.

“(LDS movie watchers) accept maybe something bloody and violent in Avengers but then when an LDS film maker they expect more out of them as far as morality and violence you know keeping things to a PG level,” Goodman said. “They’re willing to forgive Hollywood but when it comes to people of their own faith making films, they have a little more expectation from them.”

The main “decision makers” as he called them, who will attend this year are Living Scriptures, which is a streaming service, kind of like the LDS Netflix, Excel Entertainment which has a theater focus, Covenant Communications, which focuses on DVDs and home videos.

This year they will feature films, people will pay to see a full movie or a series of short films. Often the directors are there for people to meet and give feedback to.

There will also be panel discussions from the film makers where people can ask them questions about their films, etc.

Some of the big films for the LDS community that are coming out later this year in theaters are “The Other Side of Heaven 2,” “The Fighting Preacher,” and “Out of Liberty.” None of these films are completed yet so they will not be showing at the festival, but their directors will do presentations, which are free to attend.

For more information about the film festival and its calendar of events visit ldsfilmfest.com.