LDS Film Festival, a weekend success

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Frances explores the world of insects in the film "Frances and the Bugs," one of the movies Family Films Competition that will be featured on Saturday at the LDS Film Festival. (Photo Courtesy of the LDS Film Festival.)
Frances explores the world of insects in the film “Frances and the Bugs,” one of the movies Family Films Competition that will be featured on Saturday at the LDS Film Festival. (Photo courtesy LDS Film Festival)

Bands hoping to make it big. Thought-provoking shorts. Lots of popcorn. Seemingly unconnected themes all with one big connection, the LDS Film Festival.

Hosted at the Orem SCERA Theatre, thousands of people ranging from college students to grandparents attended the festival Feb. 5–8.

“I’ve always known about the festival,” said festival goer Amy Whitcomb. “I’ve just never come. I wish I saw more films.”

Viewers can determine their experience by choosing out of the dozens of movies ranging from short documentaries to full length features to stand up comedy.

A predominant theme throughout the festival was the idea of acceptance, whether it be the arts forms presented or the subject material.

Thursday night featured the special screening of “Gay and Mormon,” a compilation of short films about the delicate topic. The uplifting short “It Gets Better at BYU,” rounded off the screening.

A question and answer followed, where film director Stephen Williams emphasized the importance of being accepting toward others, even if one doesn’t necessarily agree with the ideology.

“Regardless of where you are in life, people look for acceptance and love,” Williams said. “Accept people for who they are.”

International films also made its way to the Orem theatre, including the Italian feature, “Cripta,” proving the festival’s influence and reach outside of Utah.

The festival also headlined live music in the lobby, showcasing some of the best talent in Provo.

One band composed entirely of BYU students, Red Yeti, was the star of a microtrilogy film: a documentary, a music video and a short film all within 20 minutes.

Additionally, the festival presents a unique opportunity for those hoping to break out in the movie industry.

“I think the number one thing about the festival is networking and ideas,” said awards show host Nathan Osmond. “You got directors and actors to support the films and make connections with here.”

Osmond, a BYU alumnus, actor and now country singer, is an example of how connections benefit ones career.

As emphatic movie goers, music enthusiasts or aspiring filmmakers, the LDS Film Festival offers something for everyone.

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