Drive-in series still offering screenings at the twilight of the season
Mountainfilm shorts are scheduled
For information and tickets about the Twilight Drive-In at Utah Olympic Park series screenings, visit parkcityfilm.org.
Mountainfilm on Tour’s Big Green World short documentaries list Submitted by Park City Film
Screenings will take place Sept. 30 during the Twilight Drive-in at Utah Olympic Park series. Note, the films are all not rated.
- “I Am Salmon,” directed by Whit Hassett (USA, 2022, 3 min.) Connecting humanity with salmon and the sea through the subtle art of poetry and Gyotaku (fish rubbing), Duncan Berry shares his experience as a long-time environmentalist and former captain of a salmon troller. In adopting the perspective of this transcendent fish, the beauty and power of the Oregon coast become the canvas through which the evolution of the salmon is illustrated.
- “American Scar,” directed by Daniel Lombroso (USA, 2022, 13 min.) When wedding photographer John Kurc decided to spend a few days between assignments exploring the borderlands of southwest Arizona, he had no idea he would spend the next eight months documenting the devastation of the desert ecosystem created by the construction of Trump’s border wall. In the blitz to build the barrier as fast as possible, the administration ignored 47 laws protecting bears, deer, jaguars and javelina roaming the mountains in both the U.S. and Mexico. In addition to being a failed re-election campaign prop and racist monument, the wall also inhibits wildlife migration, putting 70 vulnerable plant and animal species at risk.
- “Finding Hetch Hetchy,” directed by James Q Martin and Chris Burkard (USA, 2021, 9 min.) When the O’Shaughnessy Dam was constructed in 1923, the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park became nearly inaccessible to visitors. It has since become the subject of great environmental controversy. Eager to explore this wild and largely unvisited corner of Yosemite, veteran climbers Timmy O’Neill and Lucho Rivera set out to experience Hetch Hetchy firsthand, scaling its granite walls and advocating for its restoration.
- “Wood Hood,” directed by Alexander Cullen (USA, 2022, 16 min.) From the hood of Rockaway, Queens, 15-year-old Devon finds a safe place and brotherhood in the woods along the Appalachian Trail, thanks to the Camping to Connect mentorship program. For urban kids of color historically unable to access natural places, we witness the joy and growth that is possible when kids have an opportunity to find that “quiet place.”
- “Flow (with Sam Favret),” directed by Maxime Moulin (France, 2021, 5 min.) Skier Sam Favret embarks on an adventure of epic proportions, traversing the slopes of a closed ski resort on a majestic bluebird day. Moulin takes us on a cinematic aerial and symphonic journey as we are enveloped in powerful skiing and the complete unreality of such a serene landscape.
- “Loon,” directed by Jason Whalen and Chris Zuker (USA, 2021, 10 min.) When hiking the Appalachian Trail, thru-hikers often choose a trail name that says something about their home or history. Mike Freed, now in his 80s, chose the name Loon as a symbol of the spirit of the wild, interconnected lakes of his Minnesota homeland. The Appalachian Trail is also where Loon had a revelation about what course of action to take with his 2,000-acre expanse of unfragmented land in the pristine Boundary Waters region.
- “Eco-Hack!” directed by Josh Izenberg and Brett Marty (USA, 2022, 16 min.) Due to increased human activity, desert biologist Tim Shields has been watching the tortoise population of the Mojave desert decline since the 1990s. Rather than sitting back to let nature take its course, Shields combats the depressing nature of conservation biology by accessing its antithesis, modern engineering. Through the use of specialized drones, desert rovers, laser cannons and fake exploding tortoise shells, Shields and his colleagues take what control they can over the ecological levers in play to save the tortoise population. Akin to a cathedral builder laying bricks, Shields may never get to see the true effects of his work, but he does not let that deter him in his endeavors.
- “The Ocean Solution,” directed by Darcy Hennessey Turenne (USA, Canada, 2021, 15 min.) Bren Smith isn’t just redefining ocean farming; he’s turning it upside down. After experiencing a string of pitfalls in conventional fishing, Smith decided to reimagine the future of aquatic farming by asking the ocean, “what should our relationship be?” He found his answer and returned to the sea with a new method of restorative ocean farming that produces a sustainable food source, restores the ocean, fights the climate crisis and mimics nature’s penchant for biodiversity.
- “Stories of You and I,” directed by John Davies (UK, 2021, 19 min.) Starring Academy Award-nominated Jonathan Pryce, Stories of You and I is a series of love letters to the Earth and a plea for environmental justice. What feels like universal memories of moments with the natural world are director John Davies’ recollections of a lifetime spent in love with nature. Alongside Davies’ true accounts and personal anguish over the environmental crisis are striking images of the wild that emphasize what is at stake.
- “Powder Snow Hokkaido,” directed by Jake Cohn, Charlie Cohn and George Knowles (Japan, 2021, 3 min.) The essence of Hokkaido skiing is as pure and unique as each snowflake that falls on this Japanese Island.
Tickets are on sale through the website parkcityfilm.org.
Summer may be over, but Park City Film’s Twilight Drive-in at Utah Olympic Park series is holding on for one last hurrah, said Executive Director Katharine Wang.
The screenings are Friday, Sept. 30, with Mountainfilm on Tour, she said.
“We are excited to bring back the tour to Park City, and this will be our second year doing it,” Wang said. “It’s a series of 10 short films curated from the Mountainfilm Festival that takes place in Telluride over Memorial Day weekend, and the films focus on celebrating social justice, activism, adventure, culture, environment and the ‘indomitable spirit,’ as they call it.”
While the films are exciting and engaging, they also have some meat to them, according to Wang. (See films and descriptions in accompanying list)
“They curate a couple of different series for the tour, and we selected the Big Green World playlist, because of its ties to the environment and conservation — such strong themes and an ethos here in our community,” she said. “We felt this collection of films in particular, celebrates the wild places, the animals that inhabit the world, and also the people who are stewards of the environment. Those who are really trying to create change.”
The screenings include Darcy Hennessey’s 15-minute documentary, “The Ocean Solution,” which is about ocean farming and seaweed, to more philosophical films such as John Davies’ nine-minute offering, “Stories of You and I,” featuring Academy Award-nominated actor Jonathan Pryce, Wang said.
“This film really is more of a meditation piece about the earth and environmental justice,” she said.
Then there’s Jake Cohn, Charlie Cohn and George Knowles’ three-minute ride, “Powder Snow in Hokkaido,” Wang said.
“That is about powder skiing in Japan, and this community can relate to that type of experience,” she said. “So, you can see the collection is a mix of thought-provoking and inspirational (films) and (films about) the joy and celebration of the natural world around us.”
One ticket covers the films, and tickets are by carload, Wang said.
“One ticket covers both films, since it’s a double-feature,” she said. “Again, these films are a celebration of the sport.”
“Anywhere from Here,” which will screen at the drive-in on Oct. 8, goes all out, Wang said.
“The story is about the freedom you feel while skiing, and where skiing can take you, as seen through the eyes of an up-and-coming freeskier,” she said.
Athletes appearing in the film include Sam Kuch, Tonje Kvivik, Eric Hjorleifson, Markus Eder, Emily Childs, Logan Pehota, Caite Zeliff, Lucas Wachs, Mathea Olin, Craig Murray, Lucy Sackbauer, Mark Abma, Sam Cohen, Dennis Ranalter, Hunter Hess and Birk Irving.
The film also features 12-year-old phenom Walker Woodring.
“Anywhere from Here” was shot on location in Alaska, British Columbia, Austria, Colorado and Oregon, and Wang is happy to bring a Matchstick Productions film back to Park City.
“We’ve been showing their films for decades now, and we’ve had some great responses to ski films at the drive-ins,” she said. “So we thought that would be a fun thing to bring to close out the season.”
Oct. 8 isn’t the only time Park City Film will screen “Anywhere from Here,” Wang said.
The film returns with weekend screenings from Oct. 28-30 at the Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium, she said.
“We’ll have a bunch of swag, athletes and poster signings at the Santy screenings,” Wang said. “We’ll also have beer and wine for sale.”
The drive-in screenings wouldn’t have been possible without Park City Film’s partnerships with Dragonfli Media, which provides and sets up the outdoor screens, and the Utah Olympic Park, that serves as the venue for the screenings, according to Wang.
“Drive-ins in particular are such heavy lifts, because there are so many moving parts,” she said. “Dragonfli Media has been a great partner, because they bring in all the technology and operation experts. And the UOP is such a beautiful location to host the drive-ins. It provides a great space to engage our film-loving community in a different way so it can come together and celebrate film.”
Speaking of partnerships, Park City Film is also working with some local restaurants for the “Dinner and a Movie” program, Wang said.
“The program is running now with the support of the Summit County Restaurant Tax and Park City Chamber Bureau,” she said. “If you patronize one of our partner restaurants and spend $50 or more, you get a free ticket to a drive-in. Or you can get two free tickets to the films we show at the Santy Auditorium.”
The information for “Dinner and a Movie” can be found at parkcityfilm.org/twilight-drive-in-promotion.
This year’s concerts will also feature a guest, B. Murphy, who was part of The Platters in the 1970s.
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