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 and a Utah opening Oct. 12, was directed by a woman, Chantelle Squires, and written by a woman, Melissa Leilani Larson, with collaboration from two other women, Tamu Smith and Zandra Vranes. It was produced by Jenn Lee Smith, Madeline Jorgensen and others.

Read more about this honor and other films that made this list

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