- Don Verdean, directed by Jared Hess, written by Jared and Jerusha Hess, will premiere at the festival. The film was produced by a group of BYU alums, Dave Hunter, Brandt Andersen and Jason Hatfield (producers) and Jared and Jerusha Hess (writers/director). In an article that came out last April, the group gives a shout out to their alma mater, the BYU film program. “Having all got their start at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, (BYU) studying film, they have made it their business to keep the local movie activity robust as they continue to work together and build something really special for the Utah film industry.” (To read the whole article, go to http://adnewsonline.com/dream-team-don-verdean/). Don Verdean is a man of faith who has devoted his life to biblical archaeology, scouring the globe in search of artifacts that back up the teachings of Jesus Christ. Now, traveling from town to town, he and his devoted assistant, Carol, spread the gospel by peddling books and DVDs out of his shabby RV while his Holy Land contacts, Boaz and Shem, do the digging from afar. When evangelical preacher Tony Lazarus offers to bankroll Don’s modest roadside operation, the escalating pressure to find increasingly significant relics leads Don and his team down a less-than-righteous path. With more than just the word of God on the line, Don finds himself in the midst of a spiteful feud between two opposing congregations, leaving him to question what is truly important in life. With a fantastic ensemble cast in tow, director Jared Hess returns to the Sundance Film Festival with this hilarious and biting satire that explores the thin line between faith and fabrication.
- Most Likely to Succeed, directed by BYU alum Greg Whiteley: Where a college diploma once meant a guaranteed job, now more than half of America’s new college graduates are unable to find employment. Director Greg Whiteley (Mitt, 2014 Sundance Film Festival) locates the source of the problem not in the economy, but in our educational system, which was developed at the dawn of the industrial age to train obedient workers and has changed little since, despite radical changes in the marketplace wrought by technology and the outsourcing of labor. With a world of information available a click away, and the modern workplace valuing skills like collaboration and critical thinking, our rote-based system of learning has become outdated and ineffective. Charter schools like San Diego’s High Tech High, which replaces standardized tests and compartmentalized subjects with project-based learning and a student-focused curriculum, offer an alternative. Whiteley follows students, teachers, and parents to see if this different model can reawaken the love of learning and offer the potential for a paradigmatic shift in education.
- Ready To Fight: 4thwalldramaturgy.byu.edu/ready-to-fight
- Monte Cristo in Costume: 4thwalldramaturgy.byu.edu/monte-cristo-in-costume
- Big Budah of Fox 13 News previewed the production: fox13now.com/2014/12/05/budah-previews-the-count-of-monte-cristo-the-musical/
Identified in Variety as one of the ten screenwriters to watch in Hollywood, BYU alum Hubbel Palmer has joined with Chris Bowman for a successful screenwriting partnership. Their first collaboration was Humble Pie, a 2007 film that Hubble wrote and starred in and Chris directed. To read the full article in Variety, click here.