'8: The Mormon Proposition' Premiere at Sundance Draws Sparse Protests
A small group of lesbian and gay marriage supporters rallied outside the premiere of 8: The Mormon Proposition at the Sundance Film Festival Sunday. The documentary details the involvement of the Church of Latter Day Saints in the passage of Proposition 8 in California. Directed by Reed Cowan and narrated by Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black.
A small group of same-sex marriage supporters rallied outside the premiere of 8: The Mormon Proposition at Sundance Sunday, reports Towleroad.
The documentary details the involvement of the Church of Latter Day Saints in the passage of Proposition 8 in California in 2008.
Despite rumored anti-gay protests, it was peaceful in Park City. "They must be in church today," said Emily Pearson, one of the movie's producers.
Prior to the screening, festival director John Cooper had said he anticipated a small, but loud, group of "haters" might picket the film, but doubted that Mormon Church members would be among them.
"It's not really the Mormon style," said Cooper, who is gay and married his partner of 20 years last year during the window between the court ruling and election day.
A Utah-based anti-gay equality group, America Forever, sent out 80,000 faxes denouncing the movie, its makers and the festival on Friday. Internet gossip among other anti-gay groups had also hinted they might come to Sundance.
The Salt Lake Tribune said 8: The Mormon Proposition was shot over 19 months for less than $250,000, the film uses statements of past church leaders and personal accounts of gay Mormons and their families in an attempt to explain what the filmmaker contends is a culture of obedience and an entrenched anti-gay sentiment that permeates Mormonism. Those attitudes, he says, contribute to a myriad of social problems including suicide and homelessness among young gay Mormons.
The 81-minute documentary was written and directed by Reed Cowan, produced by Cowan, Chris Volz, and Steven Greenstreet, executive produced by Bruce Bastian, and narrated by Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black.
"We plan on opening up a dialogue during the festival and hope that dialogue will continue on a national level for years to come," Cowan told The Herald Journal. "The film is important and premiering in Utah makes it even more important. ... Bringing an examination of the wrongdoing to the scene of the crimes, so to speak, is historic."
The film was sold out before any other Sundance documentary and all but a handful of feature films. A total of 271 movies will screen at the festival, which runs from Jan. 21 to 31.
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