Born and raised in the Mormon faith, Dan Reynolds doesn’t quite fit the mold of the rowdy, rebellious rock star. The young father of three and lead singer of the platinum record–selling, Grammy Award–winning alt-rock band Imagine Dragons is also not the most likely of activists for same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights. But when the youth suicide rates in Utah start to spike dramatically, and lesbian friends of his wife, Aja Volkman (the lead singer of the indie rock group Nico Vega), are denied the right to marry, Dan begins to question the anti-LGBTQ tenets of the Church—tenets he had long accepted as gospel and had been trained to proselytize as a young missionary. What starts as a journey of discovery becomes something of a crisis of faith as Dan comes to recognize the harm and pain the Church is causing for thousands of LGBTQ Mormons.
Determined to change hearts and minds within the Mormon community and to hopefully force the hand of Mormon leadership, Dan teams up with Tyler Glenn—the lead singer of the band Neon Trees and a rare out gay Mormon—to produce LOVELOUD: a major pro-LGBTQ concert that takes place in the heart of Utah. In front of an audience of more than 17,000, Dan shares the stage with not just the music festival’s cofounder and his wife, but also a number of Utah natives, who, between songs, recite their own beautiful and inspiring tales of resilience in the face of homophobic oppression. Are Dan’s heartfelt intentions and “Love Is Love” message enough to bridge the gap between the LGBTQ and Mormon communities? An audience hit at Sundance, Believer is the latest feature from acclaimed documentarian Don Argott (Last Days Here, The Art of the Steal). Produced by Live Nation Productions.
— JOANNE PARSONT
- Premiere Status: Bay Area