The Other Side of Heaven may be the only mainstream movie about the experiences of an LDS missionary. Despite the relative unpopularity of Mormons and religious themes in the media, this drama included stars like Christopher Gorham and Anne Hathaway and touched the hearts of millions. How did the film gain such success? Much of the credit goes to the film’s director, Mitch Davis.
Davis received his B.A. from BYU and his Master’s in film production from USC. During his graduate studies, he worked at Disney on films such as Dead Poet’s Society and Newsies. His full-fledged writing, producing, and directing roles have spanned decades and included the films Windrunner, Christmas Eve, and even one that is being released this very day! The movie is called The Stray and tells the story of a stray dog who saves a young family from being torn apart–Mitch Davis’ family, in fact. The movie is based on a screenplay written by Mitch’s son, who convinced his father that this family story would speak to people of all ages. You can watch The Stray today to see some highlights of Mitch Davis’ life and work!
But years before his film career began, Davis received a spiritual prompting as a missionary that he would someday make a movie about the LDS mission experience. His dream became a reality with The Other Side of Heaven.
Because the film was based on a book by Elder John H. Groberg, Davis got to work with Elder and Sister Groberg to keep the film true to the spirit of their real-life experiences. Davis’ goal was not to delve into LDS doctrine, but to portray God touching the lives of everyday people. He created common ground for religious and nonreligious viewers alike, as well as a visually beautiful lesson about love and loyalty.
It’s no wonder that we at Living Scriptures are excited to announce our new release of The Other Side of Heaven in our library! You can now stream Mitch Davis’ film, along with over 500 other titles, at LivingScriptures.com.