Local filmmaker T.C. Christensen finds inspiration for his films in the extraordinary experiences of Utah’s pioneers. His latest film biopic, Ephraim’s Rescue, depicts the true account of Ephraim Hanks, a Utah frontiersman who helped rescue the Martin Handcart Company.


In 1856, an early snowstorm put the handcart pioneers in grave danger. Many were freezing to death, and the company had nearly run out of food. Hanks was part of a rescue party sent by Brigham Young, he found the Company on November 10th. He brought them buffalo meat and administered to the sick. His assistance gave people strength to complete the journey to Salt Lake.


This Sunday marked 157 years since Hanks aided the Martin Handcart Company. To commemorate the events of that November rescue, between the 7th and 17th, Excel Entertainment will donate $1 of each Ephraim’s Rescue DVD or Blu-ray purchased at Deseret Book or deseretbook.com to the Salt Lake Chapter of the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

The money donated through sales will be used to sponsor a refugee family this Christmas with the International Rescue Committee’s annual Light One Candle program.

Descendants of Ephraim Hanks will purchase and gift-wrap the presents for the refugee family.

International Rescue Committee, The IRC resettles roughly 500 individuals per year in Salt Lake City. IRC staff and volunteers meet refugees at the airport and provide initial housing, furnishings, food and clothing.   Additional services include employment assistance, health and social service referrals, vocational training, English-language classes and orientation to their new community.  The IRC helps refugees to move towards self-sufficiency and integration. More information can be found at www.rescue.org