Documentary takes on ETX church arsons - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Documentary takes on ETX church arsons

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Filmmakers from California learned about the church arsons of 2010 that burned 10 East Texas churches to the ground. They decided to turn the story into a documentary and are setting out to share the story of the arsons, which launched the largest criminal investigation in East Texas history.

"The layers of characters and themes that were represented in this huge crime were just perfect for a documentary," says Theo Love who directed and co-produced the film with Trenton Waterson.

Love and Waterson thought they knew what they were getting into but it suddenly became real when they stepped inside East Texans' homes.

"When we actually started talking to people about how they felt about their churches they would start telling us stories about how they were married in that church, their kids were baptized in that church, and there were funerals in that church, and their grandparents were buried behind the church," Love says.

The type of passion East Texans had for their churches was something they had never seen before.

"People got really emotional talking about when they were standing outside in the middle of the night watching them burn down … Because it wasn't just a building that was burning down, it was their memories, it represented something that was so much bigger than just a building that people meet in on Sunday," says Love.

"The post process took a few extra beats because we realized there is just so much more to the story than we set out to tell," Waterson says.

"I think every single person in East Texas knows what happens but we were there to try to uncover why it happened," Love adds.

The documentary also discusses the arsonists, Jason Bourque and Daniel McAllister.

"There's a whole part to this movie that goes into the actual arsonists' background and their lives. That's when we started to uncover these layers of tragedy," says Love.

But they say the documentary does more than just explore what happens, it poses a question: What does a church mean to you?

The documentary is called "Little Hope Was Arson", which is one of the clues that led investigators to the suspects. It's showing several film festivals this October in Indianapolis, Indiana, Hollywood, California, Hot Springs, Arkansas, and here in Texas in Austin.

The filmmakers plan to bring the film to East Texas this Spring.

To watch the "Little Hope Was Arson" trailer click here. You can also find out more about the film by going to this page

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