Film Series gears up for new programs, offerings
A little more than a year ago, the Park City Film Series was keeping its operation small. With a few exceptions, the organization stuck to its core mission, providing Park City with independent and foreign films, along with an occasional free offering.
But in the last two years, the series has steadily expanded its offerings. First came the organization’s collaboration with the Sundance Institute for the pair’s monthly Documentary Film Series. Then came the occasional Best of Slamdance series, and in September, the Global Lens 2005 program came to the Jim Santy Auditorium screen.
Now the Park City Film Series is unveiling a new film festival, a new program and a new film series, and like the Sundance documentaries, the Slamdance movies and Global Lens screenings, each of the new programs will be presented free of charge.
"We’re showing in excess of 25 free films a year," said Park City Film Series executive director Frank Normile, making a conservative estimate.
The first initiative to come to the film series will be an educational series, Reel Classics, which will feature free screenings of classic films along with educational materials and question-and-answer sessions on the third Thursday of each month.
In April, the film series will present the 2006 Sundance Film Festival World Dramatic Competition film, "Solo Dios sabe," in conjunction with the Kimball Art Center’s "Arte Latino" exhibition and the Sundance Institute. In May, the film series will present The New Reel, a festival and competition featuring local filmmakers.
"This is in keeping with wanting to promote filmmaking up in Summit County," Normile said.
"I encourage everyone who’s in the business to submit a film to it," he added.
The New Reel is accepting entries between now and April 15. Films should be 30 minutes long or shorter and must be made by a filmmaker from Summit County. Entries will be judged in two categories: one for adults and one for students 18 and younger. Both entering and attending the event is free.
The film series decided to present the event after Park City High School and a group of local filmmakers each presented their own film festivals at the Santy early last year.
"This has grown out of that," Normile said.
The two different festivals, he noted, produced a natural division, keeping student filmmakers in their own event and out of the Local Filmmakers Showcase. The new event will take place May 12-14 and will effectively combine the high school film festival with the Filmmakers Showcase.
"Doing that there instead of a regular film we’re pretty much foregoing any sale of tickets," Normile said, "but we feel the sacrifice is worth it."
Entries will be judged on their quality; the film series will award $600 first-place prizes, $300 second-place prizes and $100 third-place prizes in each of the two categories. The judges will include a selection of people with film expersise from film school graduates and students to local filmmakers.
The film series, he noted, has been thinking about hosting such an event for two or three years. The organization decided to host the event this year because it had the money to do so, and because demand for the event seems to exist, Normile said.
"I think it was natural after seeing how successful the local filmmakers’ festival was last year," said Normile."
While The New Reel festival is accepting entries in preparation for its screenings in middle May, the film series’ other new program will begin its run much sooner. The Reel Classics series will start on March 16. That series, which will show classic film noir works with an educational aim including the question-and-answer session and educational materials will feature a screening of the 1944 Otto Preminger film "Laura" this month and Alfred Hitchcock’s "Dial M for Murder" in April.
"We’re hoping the high school students will come up [for the screenings]," Normile said. "We’re hoping students from the valley will come up too."
With free access the educational films, Normile said the only obstacle to hosting that series, which will be free and open to the public, was securing regular access to the Santy Auditorium.
The idea behind the Reel Classics series is to expose Parkites and others to some works that might have otherwise remained obscured by time.
"I really want to explore the film noir genre as best we can," Normile said. "We’re going to see films you probably haven’t seen."
While the event might start small, he said he hopes it will expand in popularity as time passes. And overall, Normile said he is excited about the new events coming up. With the potential of the local film festival and the Reel Classics program, he noted that the film series would be bringing Park City some new kinds of programming.
"This is going to be fun," he said.
For more information about how to apply to The New Reel festival, or for information about the Park City Film Series, upcoming films or programs, visit http://www.parkcityfilmseries.com.
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Park City resident and author Justin T. Call has released “Master Artificer,” the next novel in his “Silent Gods” fantasy series.