SOURCE: Black Diamond Pictures

August 13, 2007 14:19 ET

Christopher Cain's 'September Dawn,' Starring Jon Voight and Terence Stamp, About 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre, Opens Nationwide Aug. 24, 2007

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - August 13, 2007) - Christopher Cain's film "September Dawn" that stars Jon Voight as a zealot Mormon bishop and Terence Stamp as Brigham Young and chronicles the controversial real-life 1857 massacre by Mormons of 120 men, women and children traveling through Utah in a wagon train from Arkansas to California, will open theatrically in 800 to 1,000 theaters on August 24, 2007. "September Dawn" will open this month as one of the most anticipated films of the year at a time when issues of Mormonism are in heightened areas of the news.

Although occurring 150 years ago, "September Dawn" graphically dramatizes a tragedy about religious fanaticism that resonates strongly today. The film costars Trent Ford, Tamara Hope, Lolita Davidovich, Dean Cain, Jon Gries, Taylor Handley, Huntley Ritter, Krisinda Cain and Shaun Johnston. The film that includes a Romeo & Juliet relationship love story is being released through Black Diamond Pictures in association with Slowhand Cinema Releasing.

The Mountain Meadows Massacre, as it is known, occurred on September 11, 1857, and was the first known act of religious terrorism on U.S. soil. A group of Mormons, many disguised as Paiute Indians, slaughtered all but 17 small children on a wagon train on its way to California. One man, the adopted son of Mormon leader Brigham Young, was eventually executed for the crime -- 20 years after the event. The film is deemed controversial because it presents a point of view held strongly by hundreds of direct descendants of the massacre: that the iconic Brigham Young had complicity in the massacre, a view denied by the Mormon Church, even today.

Cain says he was drawn to the project because "it so closely resembles the religious fanaticism the world is seeing today. People were killed in the name of God 150 years ago and they're still being killed in the name of God."

Excerpts of initial reviews herald the film as follows:

"Stunning... shocking... powerful. Jon Voight gives a compelling performance." -- Jeffrey Lyons, NBC & Reel Talk

"Gripping and fascinating... a pulse-pounding experience that is bound to create waves of controversy." -- Pete Hammond, Maxim

"A shocking piece of history about a particularly vicious religious war fought right here on American soil... told with artistry, conviction, power, and entertainment value. It opens your eyes and packs a wallop!" -- Rex Reed, The New York Observer

"Bound to incite controversy... a stirring drama with a timely, pertinent message." -- Susan Granger, SSG Syndicate

"Paints an incendiary portrait... of a paranoid religion." -- Stephen Schaeffer, Boston Herald

The trailer for the film narrates the following message:

"On September 11, 1857, in an unspoiled valley of the Utah territory -- and in the name of God -- 120 men, women and children were savagely murdered. Who ordered the massacre, and why, has been hidden in a cloak of secrecy and conspiracy. And the reputation of one of this nation's mightiest religious figures has been preserved and protected. Until Now."

Cain ("Young Guns") also co-wrote and produced "September Dawn." The film was produced by Scott Duthie and Kevin Matossian, and co-written by Carole Whang Schutter. Michael Feinberg, Patrick Imeson and Wendy Hill-Tout were executive producers. Handling U.S. and international distribution for "September Dawn" is Marty Zeidman. The film is MPAA rated "R" and has a running time of 110 minutes. The trailer and other information is available on the website,

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