Elizabeth Smart finally ready for a movie to tell her story

A roundup of news from the Television Critics Association summer meeting, at which TV networks and streaming services are presenting details on upcoming programs.

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SMART PERSPECTIVE

Elizabeth Smart said it required years for her to participate in a movie about her kidnapping ordeal.

Smart said Friday that she couldn’t have done so immediately after her abduction from her Salt Lake City home in 2002 at age 14. She was rescued nine months later, and said Friday she was eager to “run away” from the experience.

Even as an adult, Smart said it took time and serious discussion with producers for her to agree to work on Lifetime’s “I Am Elizabeth Smart.”

Smart said she began to realize that such a project could make a difference. She narrates the drama, which stars newcomer Alana Boden as Smart and Skeet Ulrich as her abductor.

“I will say that it is the best worst movie I’ve ever seen. I mean, I think it’s so well done. I think it was accurate,” she said. “I’m very proud of it, but at the same time, part of me thinks I’ll be happy if I never have to watch it again.

Smart took advantage of her appearance at a TV critics’ meeting to promote AMBER Alert, designed to help locate missing children with alerts distributed through media, email and other means. Smart asked that promote the system and activate it on their smart phones.

“I Am Elizabeth Smart” debuts Nov. 18 on Lifetime, preceded by a two-part documentary on Nov. 12 and 13 that Lifetime said will include new information on the case and detail Smart’s life today.

A ripped-from-the-headlines TV movie about the crime, “The Elizabeth Smart Story,” aired in 2003.

Brian David Mitchell, a Utah street preacher, was convicted of kidnapping and raping Smart and sentenced to life in prison.

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FLINT’S FURY

Melissa Mays, a resident of Flint, Michigan, came armed to discuss the city’s tainted water crisis and a new Lifetime TV movie dramatizing it.

Mays, speaking to a TV critics’ meeting Friday, pointed to several bottles she had filled with her tap water and challenged the room to taste or even smell it. There were no immediate takers.

The activist, who said the battle over water safety continues, is among the residents portrayed in Lifetime’s movie titled “Flint,” debuting Oct. 28. Mays is played by Marin Ireland, who co-stars with Betsy Brandt, Jill Scott and Queen Latifah.

Executive producer Neil Meron said the film is intended to spotlight what happened in Flint,…

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