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Utah Filmmaker and Registered Sex Offender Explores Forgiveness in New Documentary

A film company based in South Jordan is premiering a documentary Wednesday called "The Forgiveness Journey." The director is a registered sex offender in Utah.

Filmmaker and former broadcast reporter Matt Duhamel has spent a lot of time thinking about forgiveness. He was convicted in 2007 for buying and distributing pictures of scantily clad young girls on the Internet, and he spent 4 years in prison.

“This is a very personal project for me,” Duhamel says. “I do want to say that the film is not just about me. I have a small portion in the film, but it is personal.”

The documentary features Duhamel’s story about his estranged daughter, as well as authors, psychologists, religious leaders, and people who have struggled through the process of forgiving. The screening is at Broadway Centre Cinemas in Salt Lake City. There will be a discussion after the film with guest speakers including Carla Kelley, Director of the Human Rights Education Center in Utah.

“I think it might be a difficult Q&A,” Kelley says. “I’m not scared, but I’m going to be really pretty adamant about keeping the conversation about forgiveness, versus Matt being a sex offender.”

The event is free with a suggested donation to benefit the Forgiveness Project, a charity that uses storytelling to explore forgiveness, reconciliation and conflict resolution.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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