Christian Vuissa

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Christian Vuissa, Mormon filmmaker

Christian Vuissa is a feature filmmaker and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon Church.

Vuissa was born in Bregenz, Austria in 1969 and grew up in a Catholic home. His mother was already a member, since sister Mormon missionaries had taught the family when Vuissa was a child. His father had remained Catholic and desired the children to follow that faith. Vuissa essentially grew up in both faiths, attending Catholic classes in school and going to a small LDS branch on Sundays. Confused, he became non-religious as he aged, but then had a reawakening as a young adult. He studied the Bible and then joined the Mormon Church at the age of 22. [1] Vuissa, after his conversion, served a full-time mission for the Mormon Church in the Germany Leipzig Mission (at age 24) and then attended Brigham Young University in Media Arts (at age 27). Vuissa created the successful LDS Film Festival in 2001 (based in Orem, Utah). The festival showcases new and upcoming filmmakers and attracts thousands of visitors each year. Vuissa often presents one of his new films at the festival.

Vuissa's films are oriented toward sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and Mormonism. His films include One Good Man, The Errand of Angels and Baptists at Our Barbecue. In summer of 2011 Vuissa released his most ambitious project, the story of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon through young Joseph Smith. The film is called Plates of Gold.

Plates of Gold demonstrates how Joseph Smith received the gospel and directions for organizing the restored church of Christ line upon line and not all at once. The actors portraying Joseph and his wife, Emma Hale Smith are very young, as Joseph and Emma were.

"My goal as a filmmaker is to portray real people, relatable human beings. I’m interested in exploring humanity in everyday situations and experiences,” he said. “In Plates of Gold, Joseph’s external struggle always concerns the golden plates; how and when to receive them, how to keep them, how to translate and publish them,” he said. “But the bigger, more important struggle is internal. It is his quest for salvation. This is what brought Joseph to the sacred grove in the first place.” [2]

One thing demonstrated by Vuissa is that Joseph Smith moved many times under duress while translating the Book of Mormon, and that he received revelation in many ways during the effort. As Joseph grew accustomed to using the Holy Ghost he relied less and less on the Urim and Thummim found with the gold plates.

Updates

The Joseph Smith movie, Plates of Gold, opened in late summer 2011 to packed movie theaters in Europe and on the U.S. east coast. It was scheduled to open in Utah on September 2, 2011. He wrote and directed "The Letter Writer" in 2011, and "Silent Night" in 2012.