Park City Film heats up summer screenings

Some lead up to a Smithsonian exhibit

James Cromwell and the piglet Babe in a scene from the film “Babe” that will be part of the free outdoor screening series programmed by Park City Film and North Summit Unite. The series features films that focus on rural communities, and will lead up to a Smithsonian Institute exhibit “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” that will open in September in Coalville.
Photo by Universal/Getty Images/Courtesy of Park City Film

Park City Film will fire up its summer season in July with a series of free films that will take place around Summit County.

Many of the screenings are through a partnership with North Summit Unite, a non-profit consisting of local residents who are on a mission to preserve and retain the unique culture of the North Summit area.

“There is a lot of growth and change, but we want to make sure we preserve that unique rural community in these places that are less populated,” said Lynn Wood, NS Unite board member. 

In addition, the films programmed in this partnership lead up to “Crossroads: Change in Rural America,” a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition that will be shown at the Ledges Event Center in Coalville from Sept. 16-Oct. 28, said Wood, who is also the exhibit’s project director.

“The exhibit is all about rural communities examining their past, looking at where they are today and where they want to be in the future,” she said. “This film series is related to that. They are all films that will complement the exhibit, and prepare everyone to visit the exhibit in the fall.”

Park City Film Executive Director Katharine Wang programmed the films that include Chris Noonan’s “Babe,” Phil Alden Robinson’s “Field of Dreams” and Carroll Ballard’s “Fly Away Home.” (See accompanying schedule for times and venues).

“With this series, we are extending our reach to the east side of Summit County for some of the July films, which is exciting,” she said. “We have dipped our toe in the water over the years, but not in as big of a way as we are doing this summer. And the screenings are designed to touch on aspects of the exhibit and bring people together.”

Some of the films were suggested by the Smithsonian Institute, Wang said.

“We looked at the films that were about community, and that special aspect of rural life that is harder and harder to find,” she said. “We worked with North Summit United to find films that they felt would resonate with their community. “

The films, which will be screened in English with Spanish subtitles, on LED screens, are made possible by NABS Creative (Need a Big Screen) and Dragonfli Media Technologies, Wang said.

“The LED screens allow us to show these films earlier in the evening, which is great as we try to attract younger audience members,” she said. “We would also like to thank the Summit County RAP Tax and the Summit County Restaurant Tax to make all that possible.”

Wood said the film series would not be possible if it weren’t for Park City Film.

“Through their expertise, they were able to locate the films, and that is a skill set we don’t have,” she said. “So to be able to partner with them has been fabulous.”

In addition to the films co-presented with North Summit Unite, Park City Film has scheduled other summer screenings.

These additional films include Dean Fleischer-Camp’s “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” and Atsuko Ishizuka’s “Goodbye Don Glees.” 

Atsuko Ishizuka’s anime “Goodbye Don Glees” is one of Park City Film’s summer movies that will screen at the Park City Library.
Courtesy of Park City Film

“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” will screen July 14, as an outdoor screening on the Park City Library patio with free popcorn and admission, and “Goodbye Don Glees” will show July 25 inside the Jim Santy Auditorium at the Park City Library.

All the summer screenings are kind of a throwback to how Park City Film used to program its summer pre-COVID-19, Wang said.

“We worked with the Park City Library and (Snyderville Basin Special Recreation) to experiment bringing people to the movies in different spaces — smaller versions of pop-ups,” she said. “It’s a different way of programming than what we do in our regular season. We still do it with an eye on artistic excellence and the art of storytelling in a cinematic format. But we are focusing more during the summer months at the younger demographic and families.”

During the pandemic, Park City Film partnered with the Utah Olympic Park and Dragonfli Media to host the Twilight Drive-In series, and Wang would still like to program more of those.

“We’re hoping to get back there this fall,” she said. 

Park City Film and North Summit Unite Screenings

Admission is free

• July 6 — Chris Noonan’s “Babe,” rated G, at Hoytsville Park, 1095 Hoytsville Rd., 7 p.m. “The film is based on Dick King-Smith’s children’s novel, ‘The Sheep Pig,’ and it’s a delightful film about a pig who escapes the dinner table to become a sheep-herding pig,” said Park City Film Executive Director Katharine Wang. “It’s a great story about what life is like on the farm in a different way. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, and won one.” 

• July 20 — Phil Alden Robinson’s “Field of Dreams,” rated PG, behind the Ledges Event Center, 202 Park Rd. in Coalville, 7 p.m. “This Is the classic baseball film about the farmer who built a baseball diamond in his cornfield, after hearing a voice saying, ‘if you build it, they will come,” Wang said. “‘They’ are the 1919 Black Socks, led by ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson. It’s about life, baseball and following your heart. Three Oscar Nominations, including Best Picture.”

• Aug. 3 — Carroll Ballard’s “Fly Away Home,” rated PG, at Henefer Town Park, 100 W. Center St., 7 p.m. “This is a classic and beautiful film about a young girl who loses her mother, and has to uproot her life and move in with her father in Canada,” Wang said. “Her father is an odd-ball inventor whom she doesn’t know very well. But things begin to change when she discovers a collection of abandoned goose eggs, and becomes the goslings de facto mother. It, like the other films in the series, touches on community and the theme of finding your place in the world.”

Additional Park City Film free summer screenings

• July 14 —  Dean Fleischer-Camp’s “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” rated PG, on the Park City Library patio, 1255 Park Ave. “This is one of my favorite films of the year, and we showed it when it first came out last fall,” Wang said. “It is the story about a one-inch shell named Marcel, who is discovered by a documentary filmmaker, who makes a short film in an attempt to find Marcel’s long lost family of shells. It was nominated for Best Animated Picture Academy Award this year and we are partnering with the library and Snyderville Basin Special Recreation, a partnership we have done for a number of years, for this one.”

• July 25 — Atsuko Ishizuka’s “Goodbye Don Glees,” rated PG, in the Jim Santy auditorium at the Park City Library, 7 p.m. “This is a Japanese anime that we will show dubbed in English,” Wang said. “It’s a coming-of-age story about a group of teen misfits who have to prove their innocence after being wrongly accused of starting a forest fire. We revived our International Film Series, a program we started in 2019 where we try to bring in films from around the world that would be appropriate for our younger film lovers and families and engage them in the art of cinema.”

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