The goal is not only to offer free screenings of films based on books every first Saturday of the month, but also engage "reluctant readers into literature through film," said Katharine Wang, Park City Film Series executive director.
"The idea is to get involved with characters that are seen on TV or film, and we're trying to up the game by picking films based on books of substance by authors such as E.B. White, Beverly Clearly and others who are somewhat prolific writers," Wang told The Park Record. "That way, kids can go to the library before or after the film to check out the book."
The Books 2 Movies film that will be screened Saturday, April 5, in the Jim Santy Auditorium will be Hiromasa Yonebayashi's animated feature "The Secret World of Arrietty," which is based on the Carnegie Award-winning book "The Borrowers" by Mary Norton.
The film, underwritten by Zaniac, an after-school math program located at Kimball Junction, will begin at 3 p.m. It is rated G and will be screened in English and will feature French subtitles.
"We've always run Spanish subtitles with the film, but will provide French subtitles this weekend," Wang explained. "We will alternate between the languages and reach out to our dual-immersion students as well as our Spanish-speaking and French-speaking communities.
In addition to the Zaniac sponsor, the Park City Film Series was a recipient of an Echo grant from Vail and Canyons Resort.
The Echo program allowed more than $500,000 to be distributed to various nonprofit organizations in Park City and allowed the Park City Film Series to expand the advertising for Books 2 Movies, Wang said.
It also has allowed us to add in a film/literacy component to the screenings, she said.
"Martha's Vineyard Film Festival has come up with nine short films that are about five minutes long," Wang explained. "They feature characters named Professor Projector, who is a crazy Dr. Who-ish character and Mr. Quack, who is a duck."
During these shorts, the two characters talk about and teach viewers the elements of storytelling and filmmaking.
"They explain that a story has a beginning, middle and end, and they also explain what different types of films — such as documentaries and features films — are," Wang said.
While these shorts are aimed at younger audiences, they are designed to help them get familiar with how a story is told.
"I don't think people, especially when they are younger, think about how a film is made or how a book is written," Wang said. "So these shorts will help plant a seed into these kids' minds."
In the future, the Park City Film Series will add more film/literacy components into the Books 2 Movies program.
"We might add an animation workshop, because that is so popular right now, and we'll add more layers as time goes on," Wang said.
Interest in literacy is important to develop in younger children because it will help them throughout their lives.
"There is a strong link between literacy and academic success and, of course, economic success later in life and that is measured as early as the third grade," Wang said. "Kids who read at the required level in third grade are more likely to go onto college. So we want to get them involved at an early age."
The Park City Film Series will present a free screening of Hiromasa Yonebayashi's "The Secret World of Arrietty," rated G, at the Jim Santy Auditorium at the Park City Library and Education Center, 1255 Park Ave., on Saturday, April 5, at 3 p.m. For more information, visit www.parkcityfilmseries.org.