Audiences Flood Utah Theatres Friday Night to See JANE & EMMA

Having Pledged to Make a Matching Donation to the NAACP Salt Lake Branch for Tickets Purchased up to $40,000, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation and the Bonneville Charitable Foundation Maxed out This Gift in One Night as JANE & EMMA Exceeds Expectations !

JANE & EMMA debuted last night in Utah theaters.


As you may have heard, on Thursday, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation and Bonneville Charitable Foundation announced they would match the amount of movie tickets purchased last night with a donation to the NAACP Salt Lake Branch (up to $40,000).


In one night, that match–in full–was reached due to overwhelming reaction from audiences.


“We have believed all along that people in Utah would support this film, and last night we were thrilled to see jam-packed theaters wherever we went. As a result, our friends at the NAACP Salt Lake Branch received an outpouring of love and financial support. We are so grateful to be a part of all of this,” said Chantelle Squires, director of JANE & EMMA. “Let’s keep this momentum going! We’re asking everyone who came to invite at least three friends to go see this powerful film. Let’s celebrate this win and work together to make history!”


JANE & EMMA tells the true story of two women—a free-born African-American woman and a wife of a controversial religious leader—whose unlikely bond of friendship gave them the strength to withstand grave challenges on the night Church founder Joseph Smith was murdered by a mob in 1844.


JANE & EMMA opens in limited release on October 12th.






FILM SYNOPSIS: JANE & EMMA is based on the life of Sister Jane Manning, one of the first black Mormons. She returns to Nauvoo to find that Joseph Smith, her prophet and friend, has been assassinated. Jane spends a ceaseless night with his widow, Emma Smith, sitting watch over the body of the prophet as a whirlwind of loss and confusion leaves them wondering how either one of them will be able to move forward. Through the long night, Jane wonders if the prophet’s promise to extend the blessings of eternity to her has died along with him. The film explores the possible events of that night, including Jane’s endeavor to remain amongst the Latter-day Saint people and Emma’s struggle to cope with her heartbreaking loss. Poignant issues of racism and polygamy threaten to break their bond of friendship. In the end, will Jane and Emma have the courage to follow the path each believes they must take?

The JANE + EMMA cast includes Danielle Deadwyler as Jane (THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS, GIFTED), Emily Goss as Emma Smith (THE HOUSE ON PINE STREET, SNAPSHOTS), Brad Schmidt as Joseph Smith (THE BIRTH OF A NATION, HOUSE OF LIES), and K. Danor Gerald as Isaac James (SAINTS AND SOLDIERS, THE VOID)

JANE & EMMA is directed and produced by Chantelle Squires (RESERVED TO FIGHT) of Clearstone Films, and written by Melissa Leilani Larson (FREETOWN). It is produced by Madeline Jorgensen, Jenn Lee Smith, and Tamu Smith and Zandra Vranes (Sistas in Zion). The Executive Producers are Brent Jorgensen, Sundance Film Festival Co-Founder Sterling VanWagenen, and Jon Lear.


The movie also features the title song “Child of God,” performed by The Bonner Family.





Clearstone Films is a Utah-based, woman-owned production company known for Reserved to Fight, an award-winning national PBS documentary, and The Generations Project, an award-winning, multi-part documentary series for BYUTV. Its first narrative feature film, JANE & EMMA, is due in theaters October 12, 2018.



Excel Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deseret Book Company, is the preeminent independent film distribution company in Utah. Since 2000, Excel has released more than 40 successful films. Well-known for telling Mormon stories (GOD’S ARMY, THE WORK & THE GLORY SERIES, 17 MIRACLES, PRIDE & PREJUDICE), Excel has also had success with films with non-Mormon themes and stories (FOREVER STRONG, SAINTS & SOLDIERS, JUST LET GO, THE COKEVILLE MIRACLE). Excel exists to tell stories that challenge us to live up to the light that is within each of us, bringing hope and inspiration to audiences worldwide.

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