“Damned to Heaven” is the story of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS), a polygamist religious sect located in the southwestern United States on the Utah and Arizona border, headed by self-proclaimed prophet, Warren Jeffs.
The documentary premiered at the 47th annual Krakow Film Festival in Krakow, Poland, May 31 – June 5, 2007, as one of 10 (out of 300 submissions) to premiere in the World Panorama program. The Krakow Film Festival is one of the oldest and most respected documentary film festivals in Europe.
Documentary filmmaker, Thomas Elliott, conceived the idea for the film, and approached cinematographer Pawel Gula to collaborate. Elliott and Gula had the foresight to begin filming months before Jeffs’ capture came to the attention of the American public. “Damned to Heaven” details the practice of polygamy, sexual and physical abuse, and marriage of underage girls in Colorado City, Arizona. The film contains exclusive interviews with former cult survivors, many of whom came forward to tell their story for the first time.
Gula and Elliott were pleased to receive the award at the TVIFF, which has honored such directors as Doug Liman (“Bourne Identity”) and Academy Award Nominee, John Badham (“War Games”). Two of the film’s featured subjects were present at the premiere: polygamy survivor and activist, Flora Jessop, and Mohave County Supervisor, Buster Johnson. Together with the filmmakers, they hosted moving Q&A’s for rapt audiences after the screenings.
Two-time Academy Award winner, Janusz Kaminski, characterized “Damned to Heaven”, by saying, “This film is shocking. As a society we are obligated to see it.”
– Source: Fresh Produce Media, Inc.
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