Editor’s Note: Among the other wonderful films in this year’s LDS Film Festival line-up, Meridian writer Mariah Proctor has a film that she wrote and directed screening in the Shorts section. Keep an eye out for “The Way They See Us” to see her work.

Festival owners and co-directors Marshall Moore and Michelle Moore announced today the award-winning documentary from Sidewinder Films, Waterman will be the festival’s opening night feature film. Acclaimed filmmaker, Issac Halasima and the producing team of Dr. Steven Ungerleider, David Ulich, Michael Cascio, and Chet Thomas continue the tradition of delivering amazing films for audiences to enjoy. The festival’s full schedule released on Monday, January 24. Additionally, the Moore’s also announced today that at the conclusion of this year’s programming the LDS Film Festival will become Zion Film Festival as part of the new vision going forward.

Waterman explores the life and influence of legendary Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku and Duke’s legacy as a legendary swimmer, trailblazer, and the undisputed father of modern-day surfing. Through Duke’s incredible athletic accomplishments, personal doctrine of Aloha, and enduring gift to the world of surfing, the film explores a theme that still resonates today – the role of sports in breaking societal barriers – and celebrates his triumphs and philosophy of kuleana [koo-lee-ah-nah], which means responsibility and a deeper sense of relationship that incorporates the spirit of Aloha into our own lives.

Adding to the essence of the film, Waterman also features the extremely talented A-list actor and native Hawaiian Jason Momoa (Dune, Aquaman) as the film’s narrator. “Jason has an incredible affinity, love and respect for Duke,” said Halasima. “He’s a waterman himself and brought that passion to this project.”

Having Waterman as the featured opening night film for the LDS Film Festival signals the new direction organizers Marshall and Michelle Moore and its recently assembled Board of Directors plan to take the festival under its newly minted moniker Zion Film Festival. The 2022 festival will continue as the LDS Film Festival name for one last time and then more details about the new Zion Film Festival will be shared during the award show on March 5th.

“This year’s LDS Film Festival will give just a taste of what’s in store for future festivals,” said Marshall Moore, co-owner and co-director of new Zion Film Festival. “We are confident longtime and first-time attendees of the festival will be surprised and delighted with this year’s programming and that it will set the stage for the Zion Film Festival to become one of the top international film festivals over the next decade.”


Celebrating twenty-one years of programming in 2022, the LDS Film Festival has promoted cinema as a means of conversation and perspective that often touches the heart and opens the mind. What began as a short film festival, is now a major event showcasing an impressive array of feature films, documentaries, special screenings, short films, music videos, and top-level panels. The festival runs March 2nd – 5th at the Scera Center for the Arts. More information and tickets can be found at ldsfilmfest.com.