Faithful is a story of two women in love with each other and their religion.
Marylu and Lauralie are gay and Mormon––two identities that might seem to contradict each other. While living in a conservative Mormon town in rural Utah, they must adapt and change their relationship in order to remain compliant with Mormon standards. For Marylu and Lauralie, the way forward isn’t choosing one or the other, it is finding a way to be authentic to themselves and their faith.
Faithful was born out of the need to better understand lesbian Mormons. Over the past several decades, at least 20 movies and documentaries have been made about the gay Mormon experience, but almost no films have been made about Mormon lesbians. This is a story we want to tell.
Some of you may be wondering –– do lesbian Mormons even exist? The short answer is YES, although for those who are living on the intersection where faith and orientation are at odds, the world can feel lonely and bleak. Our goal in making this film is to tell an honest story and to foster compassion and conversation around the lived experiences of LGBT+ people. Some live in communities that may have had limited exposure to diversity and as a result, may resist understanding their hearts.
It is through spending time with people different from us that we have the chance to cast aside our own misconceptions and learn to love everyone more fully. Now, more than ever, is the time to raise awareness and understanding of those whose orientation may conflict with their faith.
Dane Christensen grew up in Utah and is a recent graduate from the Documentary Film & Video MFA program at Stanford University. His filmmaking is rooted in the belief that the stories we tell can make change happen. His impetus for making this film comes from the urgent need to understand, empathize, and support our LGBT+ Mormon brothers and sisters. srndpts.com
Jenn Lee Smith was born into the Mormon faith in Taiwan and was raised partly in rural Utah. She worked in academia for over 10 years and pursued a PhD that focused on telling the stories of women migrants. Jenn Lee is a life-long student of film and writing, and strives to give voice to those who have yet to be heard. jennleesmith.com