HBO Documentary Films has acquired U.S. TV rights to Believer, an entry at the Sundance Film Festival that follows Imagine Dragons front man Dan Reynolds as he investigates how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Believer explores how the Church of Latter-day Saints and its policies against same-sex marriage played a part in the surge of suicide in Utah in the past 10 years. The film from director Don Argott (The Art of the Steal) follows Reynolds as he helped in organizing the inaugural LoveLoud Festival concert in Orem, Utah. The concert benefits gay rights organizations such as the Trevor Project and GLAAD.
Reynolds, born Daniel Coulter Reynolds, was raised a Mormon before he became the front man for Imagine Dragons. He took part in the film out of his concern for the LGBTQ members in the Mormon Church. The singer wants the film to start a dialogue about the limitations for LGBTQ members of the church.
The 30-year-old American musician said that he wants Believer to initiate meaningful discussions about gay rights within Mormonism. Eventually, these discussions can help bring about the much-needed awareness and change in the treatment of the LGBTQ members of the Mormon Church. Reynolds wants Believer to reach out to several people and members of the Church of the Latter-day Saints.
"LoveLoud reached 20,000 people in Utah, which is really small compared to the number of people who need to be reached. I think the reason the film needs to happen is because I feel like this is a way that nobody can turn their heads away," Reynolds said.
Talking about the documentary film, Reynolds said that the initial plan was a documentary on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, where he grew up. However, Argott wanted to delve into his life and faith too.
"He was living in my home, documenting me and my family, and that opened up old wounds. My dad's brother is gay and Mormon — he was shamed in his community. Teaching that being gay is a sin is so damaging; it sparked me to take action," Reynolds said in an interview with Billboard.
Aside from Reynolds, Believer will also feature his wife and fellow musician, Aja Volkman, and Neon Trees front man, Tyler Glenn. Glenn kept his sexuality a secret for years and recently came out. A big part of the film explores what the singer went through when he felt rejected by Mormonism because of his sexuality.