2018 Sundance Docs in Focus: BELIEVER

Courtesy of Sundance Institute / photo by Dan Argott

BELIEVER
Don Argott follows Mormon rockstar as he advocates for inclusion and acceptance of LGBT people in the Church of Latter Day Saints.

Festival Section:
Documentary Premieres

Sundance Program Description:

Dan Reynolds was just a normal Mormon kid from Utah. He did everything by the book, and his faith in God, family, and community held firm – even when he became a giant rock star. As the creative force behind the wildly successful band Imagine Dragons, Dan comes to a crossroads when he witnesses fellow members of the Mormon church spurned due to their sexual orientation. Since 2008, teen suicide rates in Utah have skyrocketed, which many people attribute to the Mormon church’s official stance regarding same-sex relationships. With an unrelenting desire to engender positive change within their tribe, Dan and openly gay former Mormon Tyler Glenn, lead singer of Neon Trees, decide to create LoveLoud, a music and spoken-word festival designed to spark dialogue between the church and members of the LGBTQ community.

Director Don Argott (ROCK SCHOOL, 2005 Sundance Film Festival) chronicles a very personal year in Reynolds’ life as he risks his relationships with his faith, family, and fans to stand up for what he believes in – that we should all be loved and accepted for who we are.

Some Background:
Director/Producer:

  • Don Argott
    Past Sundance docs:

    THE ATOMIC STATES OF AMERICA (2012)
    ROCK SCHOOL

    Argott produces via Philadelphia-based 9.14 Pictures, the production shingle he co-owns with his wife, producer Sheena M Joyce.

Producers:

  • Heather Parry

    This is the first Sundance project by the Live Nations Production head.

  • Sheena M Joyce
    Past Sundance docs:

    THE ATOMIC STATES OF AMERICA (producer/director)
    ROCK SCHOOL

    Through 9.14 Pictures, Joyce has produced nearly all of Argott’s previous films, and joins her husband as fellow director/producer for their upcoming hybrid feature DELOREAN.

  • Robert Reynolds

    Reynolds is an attorney, manager for Imagine Dragons and The Killers, and brother to Dan Reynolds. This is his first Sundance project.

Executive Producers:

  • Michael Rapino
    Past Sundance docs:

    UNDER THE ELECTRIC SKY (EDC 2013) (2014)

    Rapino is CEO of Live Nation Entertainment.

  • Dan Reynolds

    Reynolds is the lead singer/frontman for the Grammy Award-winning Imagine Dragons.

  • Adam Milano

    Milano is SVP of film/television at Live Nation, and was formerly at Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music.

  • Thruline Entertainment’s Willie Mercer and Jeff Ciabattarri

    This is the first Sundance producing credit for the talent managers.

Editor:

  • Demian Fenton
    Past Sundance docs:

    THE ATOMIC STATES OF AMERICA
    ROCK SCHOOL

Why You Should Watch:
Reynolds is an appealing subject, willing to risk his professional standing for his principles, and Argott captures genuine tension in the countdown to LoveLoud, which might just be doomed to failure for being perceived to go against LDS doctrine. It was announced earlier this month that HBO has acquired US television rights to the doc and plans to broadcast it this coming Summer.

More Info:
For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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