This week's CW cover story on LDS comedy-film star Michael Birkeland recalls a mid-2000s boom in Mormon-made films. Despite the collapse of that particular crest of LDS culture-savvy flicks, the folks involved in that boom continue to be busy.---
Halestorm producer Dave Hunter was one of several executive producers over the Mapleton-based Hallmark TV movie, A Christmas Wish, which aired in late November. It was a more than credible addition to the Christmas TV-movie genre, thanks in part to a solid performance by Kristy Swanson as a destitute waitress.
Hunter's former partner, director Kurt Hale, has turned his hand to scriptwriting. He says a zombie script he wrote has already been filmed and should be shown on cable next year. In the meantime, he has also committed to write another cable script, this time about killer mermaids on spring break.
Director Ryan Little's star continues to rise with the sequel to his highly acclaimed war pic, Saints and Soldiers, coming out in theaters soon. Meanwhile, LDS-cinema pioneer Richard Dutcher has two films he made in recent years scheduled for theatrical releases in April, he says. His tale of a photographer struggling with faith, morality and snuff footage, Falling, will be at a local independent art house, while the horror movie Evil Angel will be at local megaplexes.
One of the most interesting talents to emerge from that fiery LDS-comedy cauldron, though, is actor-turned-director Daryn Tufts. He's following up his bright, much-admired romantic comedy My Girlfriend's Boyfriend with, of all things, a horror film he recently shot in the disused Provo jail. It stars Luke Goss as an inmate stranded in a cell as some unseen force advances towards him, killing off the prison population as it comes.