SYNOPSIS, SHORT

When Warren Jeffs rose to lead the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) he brought his dictatorial and sadistic desires to bear on a society that was all too vulnerable to exploitation. The FLDS was already a paternalistic religion with a history of polygamous and underage marriage, yet Warren managed to expand these practices in unprecedented ways, bridging the gap between sister wives and ecclesiastically justified rape.

 

SYNOPSIS, LONG

Like any good religious tale it boils down to sex, greed, and the preservation of wealth. When Warren Jeffs rose to lead the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) he brought his dictatorial and sadistic desires to bear on a society that was all too vulnerable to exploitation. The FLDS was already a paternalistic religion with a history of polygamous and underage marriage, yet Warren managed to expand these practices in unprecedented ways, bridging the gap between sister wives and ecclesiastically justified rape.

This film will examine Warren Jeffs’ life to show how he seized control of people’s lives and an organization worth hundred of millions of dollars. Warren has a devout following numbering in the tens of thousands – many who would give their life at any moment with just one word from the Prophet. Despite a trail of abuse and ruined lives, Warren has maintained his grip on power and created a more obedient following. Meanwhile, the world has turned a blind eye toward his fundamentalist fiefdom in southern Utah.

This film explores what others have not. The FLDS story has been told before but no one has been able to look past the atrocities and understand how the man behind the curtain came to be there. Experts Jon Krakauer and Sam Brower help us understand: How did a man like Warren Jeffs raise himself to lead an entire religion?

 

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

In 1999, on the way home from a climbing trip in Southern Utah, author Jon Krakauer made what he assumed would be a routine stop for gas at a town straddling the borders of Colorado City, AZ, and Hildale, UT, an area commonly referred to as Short Creek. He intended only to refuel and take a quick scenic tour of the town before continuing on his drive. What happened to Krakauer on that visit, however, launched a several year long investigation that produced his bestselling book Under The Banner of Heaven in 2003, and culminated with the 2007 Utah trial of Warren Jeffs, prophet of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). The topic of Mormon Fundamentalism was all-consuming for nearly a decade of Krakauer’s life and that of his comrade in arms, Private Investigator Sam Brower. Sam’s book Prophet’s Prey is the result of their treacherous quest for truth and justice.

It was with great honor that I joined forces with Jon and Sam to create this film, in what we hope is an opportunity to galvanize an unprecedented level of awareness and action around the issue Jon and Sam have doggedly devoted so much of their lives to exposing.

Over the past year, I have met so many men, women and children whose lives have been devastated by the corruption of the FLDS, whose voices deserve to be heard.

I am so proud to be returning to the festival and that we are premiering Prophet’s Prey at Sundance 2015 in Utah, where this crisis is still so palpably evident.

 AMY BERG, Director

CREW BIOS

Amy Berg, Director

Amy Berg is a critically acclaimed, Emmy-award winning and Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her documentary DELIVER US FROM EVIL (2006). She went on to direct WEST OF MEMPHIS, a documentary about the failure of the justice system in the West Memphis Three case. She worked in collaboration with producers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh. The film premiered to rave reviews at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was BAFTA nominated. Sony Pictures Classics released the film in Fall 2012.

Amy completed her first narrative feature, EVERY SECRET THING, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2014 and will be released theatrically in 2015. She is currently in production on several films at her company, Disarming Films, which includes a project about music legend Janis Joplin as well as Prophet’s Prey, which was made in association with Showtime and Imagine Entertainment. Amy’s company, Disarming Films, writes and produces long-form documentaries focusing on social justice.

 

Brian Grazer, Executive Producer

Brian is an Oscar-winning writer and producer whose vast filmography includes AMERICAN GANGSTER, 24, and FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. He and Ron Howard founded Imagine Entertainment, which they continue to run together as chairman.

 

Ron Howard, Executive Producer

Ron is a director, producer and actor. He has directed and produced countless films including RUSH and Oscar-winning A BEAUTIFUL MIND. He and Brian Grazer founded Imagine Entertainment, which they continue to run together as chairman.

 

Erica Huggins, Producer

Erica Huggins is President of Imagine Entertainment and has produced numerous films including J. EDGAR, RUSH and the James Brown biopic “GET ON UP.”

 

Scott Stevenson, Editor

Originally from Los Angeles, Scott Stevenson has spent most of his long career editing both documentaries and fiction in France. On the non-fiction side, he was most notably one of the editors of Jean-Xavier Delestrade’s series The Staircase (Sundance Channel, Canal+), as well as for the Delestrade-produced series Sin City Law (Sundance Channel, ARTE). The former was the winner of the International Documentary Association “Best Limited Series” Award, the DuPont-Columbia Broadcast News Award and the Peabody Award in 2005, while the latter also received the IDA’s “Best Limited Series” Award in 2008.

In features, Scott received the “César” (the French Oscar) for his work on Mathieu Kassovitz’ “La Haine” (“Hate”) in 1996. The film also won the Best Picture César that year, as well as the Best Director Award at Cannes.

 

Brendan Walsh, Editor

Brendan Walsh recently completed his first feature editing credit on the indie thriller Preservation (Tribeca Film Festival 2014). He was an additional editor on Wes Craven’s Scream 4 and edited the Fiona Apple music video Hot Knife after working as an assistant editor on Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood and The Master.

 

Mark Degli Antoni, Composer

Mark degli Antoni is a film composer / performer living in Los Angeles & NYC. He received a BM & MM in Composition from the Mannes College of Music in New York City and is a Composer Fellow of the Sundance Institute. He has scored films for an eclectic selection of award-winning Narrative and Documentary directors including Werner Herzog, Wallace Shawn, Finn Taylor, William Wegman, Lily Baldwin, Jed Rothstein and Roger Ross Williams.

Mark is a co-founder of the internationally acclaimed Warner Bros band Soul Coughing. He has also performed and recorded with David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, John Zorn, Low, John Scofield, Angelique Kidjo, among others. He has created sound scores for artists Richard Prince, Julia Scher, Christian Marclay, Nam Joon Pike.

Mark’s approach to film scoring is a unique fusion of his studied appreciation of traditional forms, embedded with sound from the space around us, crafting a distinct dramatic voice.

 

TO DOWNLOAD THE- PROPHETS_PREY_PRESS_KIT in PDF Format, CLICK HERE

 

SUBJECT BIOS

 

Sam Brower, PI

Sam Brower is a private investigator based in Utah, whose book Prophet’s Prey was the result of a seven year investigation into Warren Jeffs and the FLDS Church. He continues to fight for justice for those whose lives have been destroyed by the church.

Jon Krakauer, Author

Jon is a writer and mountaineer, best known for his non-fiction books Into The Wild and Under the Banner of Heaven.  

Thomas Jeffs, Ex-FLDS Member

Thomas is an ex-FLDS member, whose father Lyle has taken over for Warren Jeffs as the leader of the FLDS community. Thomas lives in Utah with his wife and is expecting his first child.

 

CREDITS

 

Directed by

Amy Berg

Produced by

Amy Berg

Katherine LeBlond

Sam Brower

Written by

Amy Berg

Based on the book by

Sam Brower

Edited by

Brendan Walsh

Scott Stevenson

Cinematography by

Peter Donahue

Executive Producers

Brian Grazer

Ron Howard

Jon Krakauer

Dustin Lance Black

Erica Huggins

Anna Culp

Shannon Costello

Geralyn Dreyfous

Regina Scully

Co-Producer

Jayne Goldsmith

Music by

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis

Narration by

Nick Cave

END CRAWL

FEATURING

(In Alphabetical Order)

Elaine Anderson

Sam Brower

Andrew Chatwin

Lori Chatwin

Ross Chatwin

Sheriff David Doran

Mary Harris

Brent Jeffs

Thomas Jeffs

Wallace Jeffs

Janetta Jessop

Jon Krakauer

Kathy Mankin

Randy Mankin

Ron Rohbock

Ben Thomas

Karl Von Rump

Sheriff Rick Wheeler

Additional Cinematography

Andrew James

Tyler Measom

Steadicam Operator

Matt Harshbarger

Additional Camera

Mark Harrison

Chris Newman

Joel Remke

Sebastian Sokolowski

Production Sound Mixers

Roger Davis

Mike Fugal

Andy Giner

Katiene Norton

Stills Photographer

Olivia Fougeirol

Assistant Camera

Roman Bateman

Kelly Eaton

Stephen Macdougall

Sebastian Sokolowski

Sebastian Vega

Grips

Timothy Carr

John Steven Iriguchi

Judd Hilman

Gaffers

Timothy Carr

Len Levine

Co-Producer

Peter Clune

Associate Producer

Katelyn Howes

Production Coordinator

Sarah Rudoy

Production Accountants

Nicole Blum

Joyce Canlas, Jacobson Production Services

Archivist

Mark Harrison

Researchers

Aysha Cromeenes

Gabriela Manevich

Bria Stuart

Transcribers

Lizette Alvarez

Emebeit Beyene

Sabrina Bleich

Morgan Bush

Tiffany Bratcher

Melanie Greenberg

Julie Claire Guest

Kathleen Howes

Jake Krakovsky

Jesseca Lee

Julia Lee

Erica Mountain

James Parabue

Sam Perez

Hannah Mae Robinson

Arielle Shapiro

Cameras & Accessories Provided By Canon USA

Benchmark Camera

Publicists

Donna Daniels

Robin McMillan

Nancy Willen

Insurance Provided by

Kelly Pryor

Albert G. Ruben AON Insurance Services Inc.

Post Production Supervisor

David Serafin

Additional Editing by

Mark Harrison

Magnolia Rosso

Brek Twomey

Assistant Editor

Evan Tarne

Original Artwork by

Noriko ‘Cutie’ Shinohara

Graphics & Animation by

The Render Guys

Eric Levy

Juan Carderelli

Additional Graphics by

Peter Berkley

Test Animations by

Casey Ellison

Digital Intermediate provided by
Company 3

Colorist

Andrew Geary

DI Producer

Rhonda L. Moore

Digital Conform

Samantha Uber

Color Assistant

Giovanni DiGiorgio

Head of Production

Nick Monton

Account Executive

David Feldman

CO3 Executive Producer

Stefan Sonnenfeld

Audio Post Production Services provided by

ParabolicNY

Re-Recording Mixers

Lew Goldstein

Tom Ryan

Dialogue Editor

Kate Bilinski

ADR Recorded at

Retreat Recording Studios, London

Music Supervisor

Gary Calamar

Music Coordinator

Alyson Vidoli

Music Editor

Mark Henry Phillips

Additional Score by

Mark Henry Phillips

 

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