Planning to use social media to spread the word about Jane and Emma's film release this weekend, the team of filmmakers (over 50 percent of whom are women) was surprised by President Russell M. Nelson's clarion call for a 10-day social media fast given during the general women's session of conference.
"No problem," Relief Society sisters said in response. "We've got an even better way to get the word out."
It's a fitting solution, considering the film shows an intimate glimpse into the relationship between Emma Smith and Jane Elizabeth Manning James, a free black woman who converted to the Church. The film shows the immediate aftermath of Joseph Smith's murder and how these two women, these two sisters, support and buoy one another, even as they struggle with challenging topics like racism, polygamy, sexism, and grief.
As part of the promotion in advance of the October 12 theatrical release, the marketing team had intended to rely heavily on social media advertising to spread the word. But following the prophet, literally and figuratively, caused a monumental pivot in their strategy for the film’s awareness.
On Saturday, October 6, President Russell Nelson invited women within the Church to participate in a 10-day fast from social media and focus inward. Instead of becoming discouraged, the Jane and Emma team pushed forward with faith, focusing on old-school marketing tactics by focusing on assembling a phone bank of women to help promote the movie, something that will provide a more personal connection and touch to help spread the word of this movie focused on sisterhood and powerful spiritual and personal experiences.
All women are invited to help spread the word about this inspiring movie by attending an event this Thursday in the Canyons Conference room at the Hilton Hotel (255 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City UT 84101) from 8 a.m. to noon. This call bank will be the final push for this weekend’s release, and the public and media are welcome at the event.
“I won’t lie—initially, we were thrown for a loop by the announcement, but in the end, we fell in love with the new plan. At the core of President Nelson’s announcement was a recognition that we should build stronger relationships with each other offline. By personally connecting with members of our community, we can adhere to the Church’s request and get the word out about our movie at the same time. Plus we’ll get to bond with each other and create some great memories during the process,” said Chantelle Squires, director of Jane and Emma.
If you would like to attend, here are more details:
WHAT: Jane and Emma Volunteer Phone Bank
WHEN: 8 a.m. to noon on Thursday, October 11th
WHERE: Canyons Conference room at the Hilton Hotel SLC located at 255 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City UT 84101
FOR MORE INFORMATION: 801-637-4207
Jane and Emma tells the true story of two women—a free-born African-American woman and a wife of a controversial religious leader—whose unlikely bond of friendship gave them the strength to withstand grave challenges on the night Church founder Joseph Smith was murdered by a mob in 1844. It opens in limited release on October 12th.