I was honored to have been invited to the LOVELOUD Music Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah (LOVELOUD 2018 – When In Utah, Let The Rainbow Flag Fly High). It was a great event based on an immediate need to change the culture of Utah and the world. Too many LGBTQ+ youth are taking their lives because they do not feel welcome within their own homes, communities, and faith.
Attending LOVELOUD, I made some great friends, most of them straight allies. They keep me up to date on what is occurring in Utah and how they as allies are trying to move forward with the LOVELOUD message of acceptance and life. One friend texted me on Tuesday:
We lost a 15-year old girl last week. Friend of my daughter's friends. My oldest is 13, but walking into high school this fall. We are on high alert right now.
Parents aren't talking but … that's the stigma here in Utah.
The first LOVELOUD festival focus was on the LDS Church and how they shun the LGBT community. The second concert last year still focused on bringing attention of the poor teachings of the LDS in regard to LGBT citizens, but also stated that the issue is nation and world wide.
I applaud my allies and new friends in what they are still doing in Utah to fight for us, fighting for LGBT youth. They have also brought more attempts to rock the LDS Church and their anti-LGBT stance, their stronghold on judgment in Utah.
One ally has brought our attention to City of Salt: A Murder Mystery With A Greater Purpose.
It is described as a movie that speaks up for the LGBT community and addresses other issues such as teen suicide and opioid addiction.
The movie is in the Kickstarter stages right now and is looking for funding. Check out the information on their Kickstarter.com page or the brief review here.
What is the film about?
City of Salt is a murder mystery feature-film about a popular high school girl struggling with her identity who goes missing in the midst of her father‘s political campaign. Authorities and those close to her attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding her disappearance from Salt Lake City, Utah.
Why do we want to make this film?
City of Salt is not just a murder mystery film; it’s so much more. This film is all about impacting positive social change. The story speaks up for the LGBTQ community while addressing many other issues we have going on today, such as gun violence, opioid addiction, suicide/mental illness, and other cultural issues. It is so important that we talk about these issues and make a positive social change through narrative and cinema.
Where is the money going?
The director and producers are so passionate about this story, that they have put up their own money and resources to make this film happen. However, there are so many costs associated with making a film and as for any project, the more funding we can put into it, the higher quality of a film we will be able to produce. Many of our cast & crew are working pro bono to get this story told, but there are many other expenses like sound/lighting equipment rental, props, location, film festival submission fees, feeding the cast/crew, etc (the list goes on and on). With your help and generosity, we will be able to get this story out there so hopefully it will help give a voice to those who are affected by these cultural issues every day.
The movie has been a controversial one to occupy Kickstarter since it is seen as a project that will be going against the norm, addressing the choices a powerful church makes and how it promotes its beliefs. It has not been glorified like many other needed Kickstarter projects, but possibly, just the opposite.
I share this with you as a notice that there are people out there, allies that are working to help educate and change the world. Do you donate? That is up to you. This movie is more than about the City of Salt / Salt Lake City / Utah. It is about our LGBTQ+ community as a whole trying to survive, trying to thrive, wanting to exist, wanting to just simply be.
Thank you, Allies. Thank you.
About the Directors
John D. Farmer is an award winning director and is known for his work on Attollo (2018) and Quaestio (2018). In addition to his work in independent films, he has also been in the music and entertainment industry for almost 30 years, having founded several independent and local radio stations in 2008.
In July of 2018, John won multiple awards at the 48 Hour Film OUT Festival for Quaestio (2018), Audience Choice Award and Best Use of Prop Award. John is the Co-Director for City of Salt and is excited to produce a movie as groundbreaking as City of Salt.
Alicia Oberle Farmer has been in the entertainment industry since she was 11 years old. In 2009, her passion for filmmaking began on the set of The Cell 2. In 2016, she founded the film production company Zepstone Media. Since then, Zepstone has won multiple awards, including Audience Choice, Best FX, Best Sound, Best Use of Props.
More awards are pending with multiple nominations currently. Alicia’s partner and husband John D. Farmer convinced her to try screen writing in 2017, since she was an English major and loved writing for her PhD in Innovative Education. City of Salt is Alicia’s feature-length screenwriting and directorial debut. She is looking forward to writing and directing on a feature-length scale. Zepstone Media is all about impacting positive social change, and City of Salt is one example of how Alicia and John plan to make a difference and catalyze change.