Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black lent his voice to upcoming feature documentary 8: The Mormon Proposition, about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' involvement in the California's Proposition 8 that banned gay marriage.
That film's producer, Utah documentarian and City Weekly "Best of Utah" award-winner Steven Greenstreet (This Divided State, Killer at Large), spoke with City Weekly after the release of the film's trailer this week.
Black, who won an Oscar for the screenplay to last year's Milk, reads the film's voice over. Black's prominence may help 8 gather public and industry attention.
“We're submitting the film to dozens of festivals right now,” including the Sundance Film Festival, Greenstreet said. As yet, it's not clear where the movie will premiere. “Hopefully it will be screening in January.”
Greenstreet said the movie is fact-based and not anti-Mormon, though several emotions enter the film.
“We're dealing with so many touchy subjects in this film. There are so many sensitivities. I totally appreciate that everybody on the crew had the same mindset: Let's stick to the facts, let's stick to people's lives,” he said. “Because at it's essence, this film isn't about bashing religion or an organization, but lives effected by Proposition 8 and details—hidden to this point—about why it happened, and how.”
That piqued my interest. What are these new revelations the film will detail? Greenstreet didn't give away too much.
“I'll say this: We connected many dots—if not all the dots—that we could when it comes to the money trail and power play that went on behind [those] who organized Proposition 8,” he said. "How much money? Where did it come from? And why did so many people lie about it after the fact?”
Since Greenstreet wouldn't give up the goods, I have to wonder if they worked into the film that the LDS Church has a long history of giving political donations to anti-gay marriage groups. For example, the church gave $500,000 to the Alaska Family Coalition in 1998, who in turn contributed $597,000 to the Proposition 2 battle in that state. Proposition 2, similar to California's Proposition 8, added to that state's constitution the following sentence: "To be valid or recognized in this state, a marriage may exist only between one man and one woman."
The semi-official number currently reported as to the LDS's Church's contribution to Proposition 8 is $190,000, but there are still a lot of people who doubt that amount. Moreover, at least one group concluded LDS members contributed as much as 77 percent of the overall funds raised for the pro-Prop 8 side. That number—77 percent—whether its impeccably accurate or not, was cited by many protesters when thousands of them gathered outside the Salt Lake City LDS Temple Nov. 8 to protest the church's political actions and opposition to gay rights.
Also, watch for the giant pink pig on Sen. Chris Buttars' desk as he utters the words “pig sex.”
Greenstreet lives in Washington D.C. currently, and only recently moved there from Utah. The film's director, Reed Cowan (The Other Side of the Lens), is an Emmy-award winning former news reporter for KTVX Channel 4 in Salt Lake City.
The film's trailer: