Independent film about LDS missionaries premiers tonight


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A new, independent film that gets its name from a popular LDS hymn premiers in Utah tonight.

Made by Latter-day Saints about Latter-day Saints, the film's setting is far away from Utah. "The Errand of Angels" tells the story of young Latter-day Saint women missionaries in Austria.

The screenplay is based on the real-life experiences of Heidi Johnson, who served there in 1993. Now a mother of four, she calls seeing part of her life on screen incredible. "When I first saw it, that was when I realized it, I mean, I'm seeing a miracle right here, because this shouldn't have happened. You know, I'm a stay-at-home mom. Why should that have happened, you know?" Johnson said.

The actresses who play the American leads say this film is about relationships -- the good ones and the difficult ones.

Independent film about LDS missionaries premiers tonight

Erin Chambers, who plays Sister Taylor, said, "That's something that a lot of people experience and go through, whether it's a companion on a mission or a family member or a neighbor. It's something we all struggle with and we can all identify with."

Rachel Emmers, who plays Sister Young, said, "Just trying to approach things from a less judgmental point of view. Just being a little more open and a little bit less quick to assume you know what's going on."

Independent film about LDS missionaries premiers tonight

The director, Christian Vuissa, studied film at BYU and was thrilled to make a movie in his home country. "It really becomes an additional character, the whole locations. I just wanted to make a 'Sound of Music' for the LDS audience, you know, something that makes them want to go and visit Austria," he said.

The production company decided to put most of its advertising budget into Olympics coverage, hoping that pays off at the box office. "The Errand of Angels" has won awards at two film festivals and will screen at another. It opens this weekend in Utah theaters.

E-mail: cmikita@ksl.com

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