In 2011 I was invited to be part of a production team, filming a documentary on the story of Colorado City, Arizona, a place I have known since childhood as Short Creek. I knew little about the community itself, beyond tidbits of information from my childhood and the arrest of Warren Jeffs which had made national news a few months earlier. Our film crew, led by a woman named Amber Dawn Lee who also grew up in a similar cult, wanted to create a timely story of life in Short Creek. Unfortunately, we never were able to get funding to finish the film and as they say, it still sits on the cutting room floor.
During my production visits to Colorado City, I had the pleasure of meeting numerous locals who had left the religion but remained in the community. They stayed, partially to be of emotional support to others who were waking up and seeing how they had been manipulated, and also because they owned homes and had no place else to go.
One of the women I had the pleasure to meet, and still keep in touch with to this day, is a delightful woman I came to know as Cora Raven. When Cora’s book, Snowland, was published several years ago, I was among one of her first readers. Over the years we’ve talked about turning her story into a movie and several weeks ago I was thrilled to learn that a documentary filmmaker has taken up the vision.
The documentary film, SNOWLAND, explores the fantasy world created by Cora Lee Witt as she looks back at her arranged, plural marriage at the age of 14 in the Short Creek polygamous group. Her journey to find the courage to speak out and believe in herself is a vital story of women’s empowerment.
You can be a part of helping make this dream come true and help tell Cora’s story with the film’s crowdfunding campaign. The team has met their first stretch goal of $20,000 for initial production. Additional funding will make it possible to hire an animator to bring Cora’s characters to life.
Checkout the crowdfunding campaign and be a part of telling Cora’s remarkable story at https://www.seedandspark.com/fund/snowland#updates/30091