Utah film about Mormon heroines Emma Smith and Jane Manning James gains Hollywood honor for its gender balance and racial diversity (Salt Lake Tribune)

A Utah-made film about two famous women from Latter-day Saint history — a determined black convert and the first lady of the faith — earned a place on a new Hollywood list of “gender-balanced and racially diverse films both in front of and behind the camera.” The movie, “Jane and Emma,” tells the story of the unlikely, even risky, friendship between Jane Manning James and Emma Smith, wife of church founder Joseph Smith, in the 1840s as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was facing mounting opposition. The film, with a scheduled showing in Los Angeles next month …

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New film ‘Jane & Emma’ captures the friendship between a black convert and the beloved wife of Mormonism’s founder (Salt Lake Tribune)

New article in The Salt Lake Tribune about Jane & Emma Many modern Mormons see black LDS pioneer Jane Manning James as heroic. What they may not know is what an unlikely, even risky, friendship the 19th-century free black member had with the first lady of Mormonism, Emma Smith. In an era when tensions over slavery later would explode into the Civil War, Jane and Emma’s personal and religious bond cut across racial and social lines. Their mutual affection ran so deep that both wanted to be “sealed” as family for eternity. Emma proposed the newly announced LDS ritual of “adoption” …

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Faithful LGBT Mormon Couple Walking A Tightrope (Huffington Post)

Mette Ivie Harrison writes about Faithful in the May 25, 2017 issue of the Huffington Post:  Some might wonder what would lead a lesbian couple to try to remain Mormon after the new policy instituted in November, 2015, which stated that same-sex married couples are to be considered apostates and called up for excommunication proceedings, and that their children should be excluded from many church rituals, including baptism. But in the short film Faithful, by Jenn Lee Smith and Dane Christensen, a lesbian couple in the small town of Roosevelt, Utah, is depicted trying to do this very thing. Read the rest …

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