Local Artist & Filmmaker Nathan Florence Presents Work-in-Progress Film Art & Belief

Local artist Nathan Florence is breaking into the film scene by launching a work-in-progress film that he has been working on since 2010 called Art & Belief. The film will be shown as part of the new ‘Made in Utah’ program hosted by the Park City Film Series. Art & Belief will preview on September 6th at 7:00pm in the Jim Santy Auditorium at the Park City Library. “It is a work in progress screening, which will be interesting for people to see” notes Nathan.

The film follows the lives of the founding members of the Art & Belief movement, including Trevor Southey from his sickly childhood in Africa, to Mormon convert, to art stardom in Utah, to his coming out and subsequent public excommunication from the church, to eventual reconciliation.

“The central theme of the film is self-definition, seen through the twin lenses of faith and culture and on a large format the film asks the question—what does it mean to make great art, both for oneself and within and/or outside of an institution? For the believer, non believer, and apathetic, passionate, Art & Belief explores what belonging means within difference and the power of the creative spirit” explains Nathan.

The local is entering the film scene admittedly on accident. “I'm primarily an oil painter. I grew up in Utah and looked to these artists as role models. I paint people and landscapes and show  at Modern West Fine Art in Salt Lake. I'm an accidental filmmaker! I started this project because I wanted to know more about these artists and I thought their story was compelling. I feel like one of the most subversive things we can do right now is engage in meaningful conversation with people we might not agree with and I think these artists and their story reach a broad range of audience.”

He’s not going down this road alone. “I have been honored and thrilled by the support of Sterling VanWagenen, who is one of my executive producers and founder of Sundance, and Geralyn Dreyfous, who is a wonder woman in the documentary/film world, who is another executive producer. I could not ask for better support.”

Nathan and his team have submitted Art & Belief to Sundance, and they are hopeful that the film festival will pick up the piece. “We do have a distributor who has expressed some interest as well so that is great. The intent is to get it in front of people, so there are a lot of ways to do that.”

Be sure to head to the Jim Santy Auditorium on Sept. 6th at 7:00pm to check out the work-in-progress screening of Art & Belief. Nathan is currently fundraising to support the film. “My fiscal partner in the film is the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art so all donations go through them and are tax deductible.” You can learn about the film and make a contribution at www.artandbelieffilm.com