“The Falls” – Mormon Love: Interview with Writer/Director Jon Garcia

Benjamin Farmer and Nick Ferrucci in “The Falls”
Photo: Breaking Glass Pictures

“I fell in love with the process,” says writer/director Jon Garcia, who’s new film, the beatific, compelling and heartbreaking love story, “The Falls,” will be released on DVD on Tuesday, December 11th from Breaking Glass Pictures. The film, about two 20-year-old Mormon men who fall in love while on their Mission away from home, has been winning raves at film festivals and stellar reviews upon its release.

Garcia, who is gay, originally was heading in a different direction with the story, writing about a young gay man in Idaho coming out to his family, but after learning of the strong Mormon contingent in Idaho, he shifted the direction of the story and started researching and attending the Mormon church to fuel the writing process.

As it turns out, there are more gay Mormons in our country, open and repressed, than he imagined.  “I’ve now spoken to a lot of men who went on Missions and have stories similar to RJ and Chris (the two leads) in “The Falls” says Garcia.  “A few gay missionaries that fell in love with their straight mission companion and came out to them, some missionaries that had a love affair with their companion, and some that came out during their marriage. I think the coming out process is very fragile and people choose to come out when the time is right for them unless they are forced due to the circumstances. For Mormon men and women, the mission is usually the first time these kids have left home so I think it can make a person embrace their self-control or make repressed emotions rise to the surface.”

As a gay filmmaker, Garcia connects with his characters because they are nuances of himself. “However, I started to build a stronger personal relationship to the story and the script when I found out the amount of suicides there are due to the dilemma of some Christian denominations and their stance on the gay and lesbian community.”

Next up for Garcia is the wonderfully original romance “Tandem Hearts” which will be released in February of 2013, and he is currently in post-production on the horror film, “The Hours ‘til Daylight.”  With such an eclectic filmmaking sensibility, Jon Garcia is looking to become a major new talent in American cinema.

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