A BYU film prof described States of Grace as "a spiritual journey couched in Mormon doctrine, but it's more universal than that. He has done something really brave." Do you think you're brave?

Dutcher: I don't know if I'm brave or stupid. I never really wanted to make films that serve anybody else's agenda. I really see film, especially spirituality in film, as an opportunity to explore things and make some kind of spiritual progress, through the filmmaking itself. What interests me is to take something that I'm grappling with, or some dilemma that I have, and explore it throughout the filmmaking process, and then throw it out there into the community and start a conversation.

I'm not going to turn away from a story that I feel like I need to tell simply because somebody is going to get angry about it. Now I don't have any ambitions in any church—LDS or otherwise—as far as achieving any kind of position or notoriety or anything like that. I'm just a guy with a fairly varied religious background and who has an intense interest in religious and spiritual issues.

I recognize that I'm going to be constantly angering people. If I do something that depicts Mormons or Mormonism other than 100 percent positive, it's going to offend a lot people. But if I portray Mormonism too positively, that's going to offend a lot of people. I made peace long ago with the fact that whatever I do, I have to hold true to my own standard, trying to be honest to my own life experiences and philosophies, and to recognize that by doing that, I'm going to anger a lot of people. That's just the way it is.

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