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Short Films
Featuring Latter-day Saint Characters

(Mormon/LDS Characters)

Some Modern Short Films featuring Latter-day Saint Characters
Made for and Screened for Mainstream/Non-LDS Audiences

These are short films with Latter-day Saint characters (i.e., LDS characters, or Mormons) which were not made primarily for Latter-day Saint audiences.

This list only includes narrative short films (i.e., "dramatic" short films or "fictional short films"). Other types of short films, such as documentary short films, are listed separately.

Short films shown as commercial theatrical releases during the first part of the 20th Century are listed with other theatrically-released films.

One might think of this as a list of "mainstream" short films, as opposed to short films made for Latter-day Saint audiences, but "mainstream" might be something of a misnomer here. Short films have a somewhat more specialized audience than big-budget fictional films from Hollywood studios. Most short films can not genuinely said to have reached a "mainstream" audience, and most were not even made for a general, mainstream audience. The films listed below were shown in predominantly non-LDS venues such as film festivals.

Snow Day, Bloody Snow Day (2005)
14 min. horror/comedy. Written and directed by Jessica Baxter and Faye Hoerauf. Plot summary: When an unexpected snowstorm strikes Seattle, the dead rise from their graves to prey on the city's helpless citizens. Filmed on location in Seattle with a $7,000 budget. There are a number of small Mormon roles, including Dave Drummond as a "Zombie Mormon Victim", Don Early as "Zombie Mormon 1", Tom McIntire as "Zombie Mormon 2", Scott Gorham as "Mormon 1", and Wes Johns as "Mormon 2."

Angry and Moist: An Undead Chronicle (2004)
24 min. horror/comedy. Written and directed by James Raynor, from a story by H.P. Lovecraft. Alex Eamonson and Nick Thompson star as Latter-day Saint missionaries. Dr. Norbert Crest is a brilliant scientist undertaking controversial research to find a cure for mortality by experimenting on the recently deceased. All at once, his experiments spiral out of control, brought on by a major breakthrough in his research, the appearance of a beautiful assistant and the persistence of some local Mormons.

Mormon on Mormon (2004)
4 min. 45 sec. Directed by Keith Allan of Austin, Texas. Comedy.

Saint Dog (2004)
Written by Andrew Quinn. Starring Randy Wayne, Elan O'Connor, Tom Jermain, David Wachs, Ryan Dowler, Helene McCardle. Produced by Alissa Neubauer and Andrew Quinn. Music by Mike Mechanick. Cinematography by Leif Olson. Edited by Andrew Shearer. Plot synopsis: "For Chris Hansen, life was supposed to be simple. At 19, he would embark on his Mormon mission - a two year religious commitment that would affirm his faith and secure respect in his community. But no one ever prepared him for what he might leave behind... As his mission nears, Chris' relationship with his non-Mormon girlfriend, Melissa, escalates. While his bishop father expects him to live by the strict tenants of their moral code, Chris cannot deny his feelings for Melissa. Soon, Chris finds that he must choose, between the faith he lives by, and the girl he loves."

Mormon Gone Mad (2004)
Directed by Carlos Corral. Synopsis: One day, two Latter-day Saint brothers, Willie and David, decide to go out to a peaceful neighborhood and preach about the Book of Mormon. When they try to convert an insane Catholic man, all heck breaks lose and a brother ends up dead. Haunted by the images of his dead brother, David must sum up all of his courage and return to the Catholic's house. He must force him to listen to his message once more, even if it means holding a gun to his head.

Don't Make Eye Contact (2003)
11 min. Written and directed by Sam Frazier Jr. Comedy. Black and white (comedy). Brad Hodson plays a Latter-day Saint missionary who is essentially the "punch line" for the entire film. Done in the silent film tradition of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Excerpt from review by Eric Campos: "Shot on digital video, this funny short has been made to look like an old silent film, complete with film scratches and dialogue cards. It depicts the struggle of solicitors to maintain their spot out in front of a grocery store. We watch as a girl scout selling cookies is bumped out of her spot by a pesky market survey woman, who in turn is muscled out by a prostitute, who is then replaced by a pan-handling bum who professes that he will work for food. This bum is then replaced by a more honest pan-handler who claims that he simply needs money for booze and then he is finally scared off by a Mormon. Yep, the Mormon will always send them packing."

Squeezebox (2003)
16 min. Bradley Bachs is in a squeeze. His family, the world famous Bachs Family Accordion Polka Band, is falling apart. His father Willem has just committed suicide, his mother and ex-diva Vivienne is having a nervous breakdown and Brad and sister Lolly are being sent to live with their Mormon relatives in Utah! Now it's up to Brad, teen accordion prodigy and compulsive organ squeezer, to bring things back together. In a last ditch effort to avoid domestic oblivion, Brad and his DJ buddy Seth sign up the Bachs Family Band to perform their new brand of "ghetto polka" at the annual accordion festival.

Andy Across the Water (2002)
30 min. Written and directed by native Utah actor/director Leo Geter. Stars Mormon Broadway star Klea Blackhurst as "Kristen," the Latter-day Saint mom. Plot ( "An aging father, his large family, and a horse are thrown into turmoil when the father has a vision of the Second Coming." Plot, Aspen Shortfest program: "Andy Larson has spent years treating his family badly and they've had years to get used to it. Then he has a life-changing vision - but will his nearest and dearest be able to adjust? Set against the starkly beautiful landscapes of Southern Colorado, this down-to-earth family drama explores trust, forgiveness and redemption." Won Best Comedy at Aspen Shortsfest.

Small-Time Saints (2002)
Made by Florida State University Film School graduates Jon Humphreys and Rob Butler. Shown at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival on October 18th. Comedy about two teenaged Mormon missionaries and was made with the help of several FSU alum including Paul Mayne (DP) and Alex Korp (1st AD).

Byromania (2002)
30 min. Written and directed by Jamil Said, who also stars as "Byron." Byron is obsessed about opening a theme park based on a "serial killer" theme, an obsession which drives him insane. From Phil Hall's review for "Byron... then cons two gullible Mormon missionaries into trying to "convert" a transvestite...but the zany trannie winds up converting them... Byron later snags one of the Mormons, who is wallowing in belated guilt for his romp in the land of alternative lifestyles, and stuff him with an LSD-laced hot dog. The hopelessly stoned Latter-day Saint is directed to Byron's home to kill his wife (she is defined as an evil Catholic, which feeds the Mormon's fury), and when this deed is done Byron lethally freaks out his acid-drenched henchman by appearing as a remarkably vengeful Christ.

Norman the Mormon - Aussie Trainee (1999)
5 min. Directed by Mario Pennisi. Written by Paul Bodington and Gary Sumers. Produced by Paul Bodington and Linton Vivian. Starring Paul Bodington and Bradford Power. Norman, a hopeless Aussie Latter-day Saint missionary trainee, takes his American mentor on a mad and painful trip through Australian suburbia. They have disastrous interactions with a gangster, a busload of nuns and a gardening nut, and learn a valuable lesson about teamwork.

Tennis Elbow (1982)
20 min. Comedy. Timothy Bartlett and Michael Wilson have small roles as Latter-day Saints in this short film directed by John Thomson. Won award for Best Australian Short Film at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

Attack of the Giant Brine Shrimp (1976)
16 min. Utah independent film made by the late Mike Cassidy (he died from AIDS): creature from the Great Salt Lake scales the walls of the Salt Lake Temple.

GLBT-themed Short Films featuring Latter-day Saint Characters

These are narrative short films which were not made primarily for Latter-day Saint audiences, but were made by GLBT filmmakers, primarily for a GLBT audience. GLBT/LDS-themed documentaries are listed separately. Most of these films have have been seen very little outside of GLBT-specific film festivals and venues. The GLBT population in the United States is no larger than the LDS population, so these really are not "mainstream" films aimed at a general audience.

Touched (2003)
25 min. Drama. Written and directed by Mike Lemon. Plot summary: "The story of what transpires one night when Mike, a middle-aged gay man who is desperate for companionship, makes the impulsive decision to give 'the bars' one last try. 'Touched' is a quiet, spiritual tale of loneliness, desperation and connection as two lives collide and are changed forever. Based on a true story." Film includes LDS themes, character(s). Filmed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Starring Vicki Gorman, Bob Bowersox, Reed Apagian, Josh Curdts, Stephen Condon and David Duzenski. Won Audience Awards at the Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and the Wilmington Independent Film Festival. This is a highly personal film for writer/director Mike Lemon (best known as a prominent Philadelphia casting director), whose own son is a Latter-day Saint who left his family to embrace a GLBT lifestyle.

The Mormon Conquest (2003)
Short (5 minutes, 30 seconds) GLBT/LDS-themed comedy film made in Australia. Directed by Jackie Schulz. Written by Greg Waters. Produced by Jason Harty and Karen Radzyner. Starring Heidi Arena. Production Company: Radhart Pictures Pty Ltd. Premiered on 19 March 2003 at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival. Synopsis: "With diamonds and Manolo Blahniks at stake, two women match wits to find out the true meaning of the term 'lay preacher'."

Steven's Sin (2003)
GLBT-themed short film (15 minutes) shot on video. Written and directed by Lynda Tarryk. Steven Brown (Christopher Isaacson) is a 19-year-old missionary called to Southern California whose charismatic senior companion (Patrick White) "introduces him to a world of temptations he's never known," including drinking, swearing, smoking, homosexuality and more. Rich Cline (Shadows on the Wall) wrote about this film: "There's a surprisingly obvious good guy-bad guy thing going on here: clean-cut blonde versus shaggy brunette, all-American versus foreigner. So while the big twist is pretty emotional, it's not too surprising, really."

Superfag (2002)
22 min. GLBT-made live-action comedy about a colorful GLBT superhero. Written and directed by Kurt Koehler. Finn Bryant's part in the cast credits is listed as "Fruity Punch/Mormon." Won awards at the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival and the Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

"Films with Major Latter-day Saint Characters" web page created 9 February 2001. This page (short films) split onto its own page on 4 March 2005. Last modified 23 September 2005.