Roll out the red carpet: BYU gets a taste of Hollywood with an early film screening


BYU students will be able to participate in a question-and-answer session and free screening of the new film “Ephraim’s Rescue” before it opens in theaters.

“Ephraim’s Rescue” tells the story of Ephraim Hanks, one of the men who participated in the rescue of the Martin Handcart Company. The film follows Hanks as he decides to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and moves with the pioneers.

Ephraim's Rescue tells the story of Ephraim Hanks, one  the men who participated in the Martin Handcart company rescues.
Ephraim’s Rescue tells the story of Ephraim Hanks, one of the men who participated in the Martin handcart company rescues.

“One of the main themes of the movie is that decisions determine destiny,” director T.C. Christensen said. “This theme is exemplified by Ephraim’s life (because) it was full of making right choices.”

Christensen studied filmmaking at BYU and has worked on LDS films such as “Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration,” “The Work and the Glory” and “17 Miracles.”

“This isn’t a sequel, but it intersects with ’17 Miracles,'” Christensen said. “Ephraim was one of the rescuers, and the final scenes involve him and the Martin Company. Where it is different is that ‘Ephraim’s Rescue’ concentrates on the stories of two people, Ephraim Hanks and Thomas Dobson.”

Excel Entertainment, the company in charge of the distribution and release of “Ephraim’s Rescue,” has worked with BYU on similar events in the past.

“We had a good turnout and successful showing for ‘Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed’ when we had a similar event at BYU,” said Heather Hendrix, media representative for Excel Entertainment.

Excel decided to host a showing of “Ephraim’s Rescue” at BYU in hopes of similar turnout and support for the film.

“This screening gives us the opportunity to do something unique and help the student body out,” said Jennifer Spille, who is a member of BYU’s Student Events Management Team. The team hopes that events like the “Ephraim’s Rescue” screening will lead to new opportunities for upcoming events.

The free screenings will take place in the Varsity Theatre May 24 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Between showings there will be a question-and-answer session with director T.C. Christensen and one of the film’s actors, James Gaisford. “Ephraim’s Rescue” will be released in theaters on May 31.

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