-Groundbreaking film’s world premiere set for January 7, theatrical opening on January 14-
SALT LAKE CITY – Filmmakers Nathan Florence and Matt Black announced today the release of their documentary film, Bright Spark: The Reconciliation of Trevor Southey. The film will hold its world premiere on Friday, January 7 at 5:15 PM at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in the Dumke Auditorium on the University of Utah campus. The film opens exclusively in regional Megaplex Theatres on Friday, July 14.
Bright Spark: The Reconciliation of Trevor Southey follows the journey of artist Trevor Southey, a convert to the LDS Church from British Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) who dreamed of being a Latter-day Michelangelo and transforming Salt Lake City’s Temple Square into a place where people came from around the world to look at the art. He immigrated to Utah in the mid-1960s and soon found a gang of like-minded artists at BYU. These artists formed a loose art colony in Alpine, Utah to pursue their dreams. But it all came crashing down when Trevor’s homosexuality was exposed, and he was excommunicated from the Church. Thirty years later, as his adult daughter suffers a major health crisis, the Church steps in to help and he finds himself in the strange position of being fellowshipped and invited to rejoin the Church that rejected him. Bright Spark explores conflicts of personal freedom, religious belonging, and artistic expression with honesty and compassion.
“I attended the panel discussion of the Art and Belief artists at Trevor’s UMFA retrospective in 2011 and was overwhelmed by the love and community support for Trevor. Here was a room full of Mormons, non-Mormons, gay people, straight people, politicians, artists, collectors, etc. all brought together by the art of this man,” explained Florence, the film’s writer and director. “The bright lines of separation that are often drawn by religion and political affiliation vanished. What started as an idea for an essay or an article evolved, with several conversations, into the beginning of this film.”
Soon after starting the film, Florence met noted documentary filmmaker Matt Black through a mutual friend. “Despite his best instincts, Matt clicked with several elements of the story and became an essential part of the project,” explained Florence. “Matt is an exceptional storyteller and editor and became my partner in directing the story.”
After years in production, Florence and Black are thrilled to present their work to a broad audience. “I am not a filmmaker, well…I guess I am now,” jokes Florence. “I was primarily an oil painter and my paintings are often narrative, like stills from a film, and I love stories. When I first began this project, I was the head of a high school art program and had several students I thought should know this story, so decided making the film would be a satisfying 6-12 month-long project. Now, ten years later, I could not be prouder of the resulting film.”
To see the film’s trailer, visit:
For more information on the film, visit: https://www.brightsparkfilm.com/