Utah filmmaker J.C. McNaughton is horrified by his state’s dark history of polygamist sects where adult men marry child brides. He’s also fascinated by the idea of astral projection — and merged these two ideas into his feature script Sweet Molly, which you can help him make by contributing to his crowdfunding campaign at Seed & Spark.
We met the writer-director at Provo, Utah’s FilmQuest and quickly resolved to work with him through our own MovieMaker Production Services, which expands a film’s budget through our partnerships with equipment companies, post-production services, and other essential participants in the moviemaking process. (You can learn more here.)
We rarely highlight projects we think our readers may want to support, but Sweet Molly stood out to us as a remarkable and unique project from a filmmaker whose passion and vision especially stand out — taking us through his research and visuals for Sweet Molly, we were immediately able to imagine the film — and how McNaughton could bring it to life.
So we asked him to answer a few questions about why it may be worthy of your support.
J.C. McNaughton on Sweet Molly
Name of Film: Sweet Molly
Logline: 16-year-old Molly, born and raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), makes a chilling discovery through her ability to astral project that leads to a life-altering event.
Key People Attached: J.C. McNaughton – Writer and Director; Rebekah Kennedy as Molly; Producer, Director of Photography – Sam Sargeant; Producer – Shane Morrisun; Co-Producer – Camila Guerreiro; Co-Producer – Stephen Harr; Co-Producer – Paul Bacera.
Why Does This Film Need to Be Made Now? There is no better time than now to make a film that calls attention to the disturbing truth behind child brides still occurring within some polygamist FLDS communities throughout the U.S. Raising awareness can lead to better resources and help for current members and survivors who make it out.
Why Are You the Ones to Make It? I’m J.C. McNaughton, the writer and director behind Sweet Molly. A couple years ago, I became more aware of the FLDS and their disturbing beliefs thanks to the Netflix series Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey. This prompted me to research the over 100 FLDS offshoots in the US and uncover the abuse and horrors some members, particularly women and young girls, face.
We are so passionate and excited to bring Sweet Molly to life, aiming to shed light on this dark world and give a voice to survivors. We’ve been fortunate enough to interview an ex-FLDS woman who escaped the Warren Jeffs offshoot at age 16, the same age as our protagonist, Molly.
Her knowledge and experience has been vital in creating an authentic portrayal of the FLDS lifestyle, beliefs, and traditions. Join us on this thrilling journey of discovery as we raise awareness and support for members and survivors of the FLDS community.
Total Projected Budget: $40,000
Crowdfunding Goal: $20,000
What Return on Investment Will Contributors Receive, If the Film Is Profitable? (points, shares, etc.) This is a short film, so there is no ROI. However, anyone who contributes to our film will receive some amazing perks that we have listed on our campaign page.
But more importantly, this is your chance to be a part of something important, something that can help give a voice to the young women and children who live with this every day, who were never given a choice and have been forced into horrific circumstances because of the beliefs and actions of their elders. Be a part of giving these children a voice and help raise awareness.
What Benefits Will Contributors Receive, Even if the Film Loses Money? We have some really cool perks available depending on the amount contributed! These perks range from customized shoutouts on social media, private links to the film before release, special thanks credit, a copy of script and signed poster by cast and crew – all the way up to Associate Producer and Executive Producer credits, which gets you on IMDB and a visit to our set during filming, plus more!
Other Funding Sources: If funded, we plan to double our funds raised to $40K through MovieMaker Production Services. We feel incredibly fortunate that MovieMaker has this program in place and are such HUGE advocates for indie filmmakers and dreamers. This program truly helps filmmakers to reach their artistic vision without going broke.