Virgin Tales

Evangelical Christians are calling out for a second sexual revolution: chastity! As a counter-​​movement to the attitudes and practices of today’s culture, today one in eight girls in the US has vowed to remain “unsoiled” until marriage.

For two years the filmmakers follow the Wilsons’, founders of the Purity Ball, and their children.


Evangelical Christians are calling out for a second sexual revolution: chastity! As a counter-movement to the attitudes and practices of today’s culture, today one in eight girls in the US has vowed to remain “unsoiled” until marriage. But the seven children of the Wilson family, founders of the Purity Ball, take this concept of purity of body and mind one step further; even their first kiss will be at the altar.

For two years the filmmakers follow the Wilson’s as some of their children prepare for their fairytale vision of romance and marriage and seek out their own prince and princess spouses. In the process, a broader theme emerges: how the religious right is grooming a young generation of virgins to embody an Evangelically-grounded Utopia in America.


Mirjam von Arx

Director, Producer, Author
Mirjam von Arx

After studying at the Ringier School of Journalism, von Arx worked for 18 years as an editor and freelancer for a number of German language magazines. In 1991, she moved to New York and together with Polo Hofer produced the road movie BLUESIANA. In addition to regular contributions to Swiss television, von Arx produced two documentaries for SF and Sat1. In 2001, she moved to London and started filming the documentary BUILDING THE GHERKIN. In 2002, she started her own production company ican films gmbh. In 2003, her first documentary ABXANG was theatrically released. In 2005, BUILDING THE GHERKIN (CH, DE, UK) followed. In 2006/7 she produced Thomas Haemmerli’s documentary SEVEN DUMPSTERS AND A CORPSE, with a theatrical release in 2007. The film won the Zurich Film Award 2007 and was nominated for a Swiss Film Award in 2008. Her documentary SEED WARRIORS was theatrically released during autumn 2010. VIRGIN TALES opened theatrically in June 2012 and amongst others, won the Zurich Film Award 2012. Von Arx latest feature documentary FREEFALLING – A Love Story is currently being edited and will be completed in 2014.

Michèle Wannaz


Michèle Wannaz studied film, journalism, and contemporary German literature in Zurich. Alongside her studies she trained as a script consultant. She worked as film editor for the news magazine Facts, was responsible for conception, casting, and research for the documentary series DIE SPURENSUCHER for arte /​ zero one film Berlin, and worked as dramaturge for Micha Lewinsky, Markus Imhoof, Xavier Koller, and Pipilotti Rist, among many others. She is currently project director at the W.I.R.E. think tank, where she manages exhibition and book projects, as well as being a member of the Zurich Film Foundation film commission.

Publications: “Dramaturgy in Auteur Film: Narrative Patterns of Social-​​Realistic Arthouse Cinema” (Schüren, 2009), “Mind the Future: Compendium of Contemporary Trends” (Coauthor, Verlag Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 2011).

Kirsten Johnson


Kirsten Johnson works as a director and a cinematographer. She recently shot the Sundance 2012 Audience Award winner, THE INVISIBLE WAR. In the last year, as the supervising DP on Abby Disney and Gini Reticker’s series, WOMEN, WAR AND PEACE, she traveled to Colombia, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. She shared the 2010 Sundance Documentary Competition Cinematography Award with Laura Poitras for THE OATH. She shot the Tribeca Film Festival 2008 Documentary winner, PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL. Her cinematography is featured in FAHRENHEIT 9/​11, Academy Award-​​nominated ASYLUM, Emmy-​​winning LADIES FIRST, and Sundance premiere documentaries, FINDING NORTH, THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED, AMERICAN STANDOFF, and DERRIDA. A chapter on her work as a cinematographer is featured in the book, THE ART OF THE DOCUMENTARY. She is currently editing a documentary on sight that she shot and directed in Afghanistan. Her previous documentary as a director, DEADLINE, (co-​​directed with Katy Chevigny), premiered at Sundance in 2004, was broadcast on primetime NBC, and won the Thurgood Marshall Award.

Claudia Raschke


Award winning cinematographer Claudia Raschke-​​Robinson has photographed independent feature films and documentaries for over 20 years. She is best known for her smooth hand-​​held camera work and natural lighting style. Her background training is in dance, martial arts and fine arts. Claudia lives with her husband, who is a personal trainer and football coach and her two children in New York City.

Notable documentaries include Oscar-​​nominated GOD IS THE BIGGER ELVIS (HBO) Peabody Award winning documentary BLACK MAGIC (ESPN), A SEA CHANGE (Discovery), WHAT’S YOUR POINT, HONEY? (Lifetime), MAD HOT BALLROOM (Paramount), Oscar-​​nominated MY ARCHITECT (add’l DP), Oscar-​​nominated SMALL WONDER (add’l DP), Oscar-nominated SISTER ROSE’S PASSION (add’l DP) as well as indie features like KISS ME GUIDO, WALKING ON THE SKY and FRAME OF MIND.

Sabine Krayenbühl


Sabine Krayenbühl, has worked in both the United States and Europe editing documentaries and features. Her work includes the critically acclaimed documentary MAD HOT BALLROOM, distributed by Paramount Classics and the Oscar-​​nominated feature length documentary MY ARCHITECT; A SON’S JOURNEY, for which the American Cinema Editors nominated her for an Eddie award in 2004. Other works include the controversial doc THE BRIDGE, PICASSO AND BRAQUE GO TO THE MOVIES on which she collaborated with feature film director Arne Glimcher and established producers Robert Greenhut and Martin Scorsese, and AHEAD OF TIME, about 97 year old journalist-​​activist Ruth Gruber. Sabine recently finished the theatrical documentary MY REINCARNATION with director/​producer Jennifer Fox about the high Tibetan Lama, Choegal Namkai Norbu and his Italian born son Yeshi. The film will open the 2012 POV series on PBS, USA.

Judy Karp


Judy Karp has travelled around the world recording sound on documentaries and independent feature films for over 30 years. Her credits include Paris is Burning, The War Room, Hotel Terminus and seven feature films with John Sayles. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Jaime Reyes.

Adrian Frutiger

Original Score

Born 1971. Studied Set Decoration at the Zurich University of the Arts. Since 1991, Frutiger has composed soundtracks for numerous theatrical and TV productions; in addition he has contributed music to various music concepts, shows, animations and postproduction. He has been honored with 6 Awards for his film compositions.

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