SALT LAKE CITY – David Whitmer, one of the famed Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon, was born on January 7, 1805. In honor of his birthday, the filmmakers behind the highly anticipated feature film WITNESSES announced the release of the film’s first trailer and key art. (This movie made the list of one of our Latter-day Saint movie favorites.)
“WITNESSES is the most significant and ambitious film dealing with the early history of the Church and the translation of the Book of Mormon to ever be released on the big screen,” stated Brandon Purdie, president and founder of Purdie Distribution. Purdie Distribution is managing the nationwide theatrical release of the ground-breaking film.
“While many people know some of the Three Witnesses’ story, we created the film with the goal of reaching a broader and younger audience to share this incredible story of faith,” stated Russell Richins, the film’s producer.
For nearly 200 years, skeptics and critics have attempted to explain away what Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris claimed – that they had seen angels and hefted golden metal plates containing ancient inscriptions. To their dying days, these witnesses defended their testimonies even when faced with threatening mobs, ridicule, and betrayal by friends and family. And now, their incredible untold true story comes to the big screen for the very first time.
Filmed on location in the US and Canada and featuring a world-class cast of American and Canadian actors, WITNESSES is the epic true story of how Harris, Cowdery and Whitmer became witnesses to the gold plates from which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon. Their statement of what occurred, and its veracity, has been published with every copy of the Book of Mormon since 1830.
Many people know the story contained in their statement, but not many know the full story on how they became witnesses or why they chose to leave the church they were intimately involved in creating.
“Each of these men asked God for the opportunity to be a witness to the Book of Mormon and the prophet Joseph Smith’s work, and each one, while they left the religion, they never denied their faith or their statement,” said Mark Goodman, director of WITNESSES.
The film’s production team – Director and Editor Mark Goodman, Producer Russell Richins, and Executive Producers Daniel and Deborah Peterson of the The Interpreter Foundation – partnered to bring this incredible story of early LDS and American history to the big screen. The Witnesses Project includes the feature film, a documentary film featuring scholars, skeptics and experts on all the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, and a series of “snippets” or short films about the many witnesses.
You can watch the trailer below:
For more information, visit www.witnessesfilm.com
Purdie Distribution is a full-service theatrical distribution company known for releasing independent films nationwide. Established in 2011, Purdie Distribution led the theatrical campaigns for SAINTS AND SOLDIERS: AIRBORNE CREED and THE VOID, THE SARATOV APPROACH, FREETOWN, MEET THE MORMONS, ONCE I WAS A BEEHIVE, THE STRAY, OUT OF LIBERTY, HEART OF AFRICA, along with T.C. Christensen’s THE FIGHTING PREACHER and LOVE, KENNEDY.
Purdie Distribution is generally focused on films that inspire audiences and elevate the human experience. Before launching on his own, founder and owner Brandon Purdie helped establish the faith-based theatrical film movement with his work on the release of SAINTS AND SOLDIERS, THE WORK AND THE GLORY trilogy, and FOREVER STRONG.
RedBrick Filmworks is made up of producers Russ Richins, Mark Goodman and James Jordan. Along with an extensive team of seasoned professional filmmakers, they have decades of experience in producing feature films (SOMEONE WAS WATCHING, WHISPER ISLAND), as well as helping create docudramas for PBS Television, BYUtv and other broadcast outlets.
They have filmed around the world, focusing on telling important stories of significant historical figures (AMERICAN PROPHET, FIRES OF FAITH, HANDEL’S MESSIAH). RedBrick Filmworks believes in the power of wholesome movies to uplift audiences.
THE INTERPRETER FOUNDATION:
The Interpreter Foundation (www.interpreterfoundation.org) is an independent, non-profit organization that advocates the claims and defends the doctrines of the Restoration and supports the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through solid, peer-reviewed scholarship.
Founded in 2012 and led and almost entirely staffed by volunteers, it publishes at least one online article each week in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, along with weekly radio broadcasts and scripture roundtable discussions, blog entries, conferences, books, and now, films.