Local film student directs unsolved murder movie

Published: Dec. 6, 2019 at 10:26 PM MST
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A cold case, 24 years in the making is now being retold.

Kierra Hall is a film student native to Fruita. For her senior thesis at The Savannah College of Art and Design, she wanted to direct a movie that hits close to home. The film is set to be shot near Kodel's Canyon.

It tells the true story of 15-year-old Kiplyn Davis who disappeared back in 1995 out of Spanish Fork, Utah. She left school to go out hiking with friends, but she never returned. Investigators were never able to find out exactly what happened to her. Three classmates were later convicted of perjury in relation to her disappearance.

"She ditched class one day to go hiking with a few of her friends, and things just went terribly wrong," says Hall. "An alert was sent out to surrounding states and districts to look for her."

Hall's grandfather was the mayor of Fruita at the time of Davis’ disappearance and wanted to stage her hometown as the set.

"Which is another reason of why we chose Colorado to film in, because the terrain is very similar and a lot of people actually know the case that we're covering," says Hall.

It's a yearlong film in the making, with a full crew soon to be 30 to 40 members.

"It's a 30-week process, ten for pre-production, ten for production and ten for post," says the film producer, Joey Robinson. "Our permitting for the National Parks Service was that we're doing a screening with them, and they get a copy of the film,"

Hall hopes to shed light on a story that has few answers.

"I just really wanted an opportunity to talk about this case and how there was so much closure that people in the community and her family never did get," says Hall.

Right now the production is in the short film category but the crew is trying to get the funds for a feature-length film.

They will finish their filming in Colorado, and will then head back to Georgia to work on the remainder of the project. It’s all expected to be finished up by June 2020.

Kiera just received a Laurel certification for being previously accepted into a film festival. Her team plans on submitting this project to several different film festivals including the Colorado Short Circuit Film Festival