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Park City Film offers membership discounts and continues Virtual Cinema screenings

The Iranian film “Yalda, A Night for Forgiveness," which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and won the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema Dramatic, will be available through Park City Film's Virtual Cinema screenings from Dec. 11-25. The film examines issues including patriarchy, class differences and media obsession, and alludes to a real, popular Iranian reality TV show.
Courtesy of Pyrimide Films

For Park City Film membership and Virtual Cinema information, visit parkcityfilm.org

Park City Film, Summit County’s only art-house cinema nonprofit, has a deal to offer local film lovers.

All memberships for the upcoming year are half price, thanks to a Shop In Utah program grant, said Park City Film Executive Director Katharine Wang.

The Shop In Utah program, funded by the federal CARES Act monies, is a program to help support businesses and provide discounts to consumers, Wang said.



“Those who receive this grant are required to provide a benefit to patrons,” she said. “We’ve been doing that by offering gift cards to local businesses and restaurants, and we also use the funds from the grant, which are unrestricted, as an incentive for people to renew their memberships and buy new ones.”

The funds are available to Park City Film until the end of the year, so until then, those who renew their memberships or buy new ones will get the discount.



Memberships start at $55 for individuals.

With the exception of the Twilight Drive-In at Utah Olympic Park series, Park City Film has been screening films through its Virtual Cinema program since March due to COVID-19 protocols that prohibit large gatherings in the Jim Santy Auditorium.

While film lovers have been registering for these online screenings, the nonprofit has seen a drop in its revenue, and the memberships have helped it continue, Wang said.

“Our annual budget is nearly $500,000, and we use that for licensing fees and other costs that allow us to continue to use the art of cinema to elevate, inspire and entertain,” she said. “Our members have been what has sustained us through this challenging time. We are grateful that we can continue to bring in films that ignite conversations about different cultures, new ways of things that are integral in the human experience.”

In addition to the 50% membership discount, people who renew or buy memberships will be put into an opportunity drawing for gift cards from local businesses and restaurants, Wang said.

“Park City is an ecosystem of small businesses who have been generous in their support of us over the years,” she said. “So this is our chance to say thanks to them.”

To take advantage of the offer, people can visit parkcityfilm.org/support/membership-levels and use the code, ShopUtah50.

Those who are renewing or buying new memberships with a check can write Shop In Utah in the memo line, and send it to Park City Film, P.O. Box 683058, Park City, Utah, 84068.

In the meanwhile, Park City Film will continue to offer its virtual screenings this month, starting with Joshua and Rebecca Harrell Tickell’s documentary “Kiss the Ground,” which will screen from Dec. 4-6.

The film is part of Park City Film’s Reel Community Series, which elevates the community’s dialogue in issues including sustainability and climate change, Wang said.

“‘Kiss the Ground’ is an empowering and optimistic film about climate change that centers around regenerative agriculture and soil health as a way to restore natural ecosystem functions through carbon sequestration,” she said.

Wang has tracked this film, which premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, since March.

“There are so many climate change films out there, but what I really liked about this film is it tries to find that combination of being engaging, informative and optimistic,” she said. “Certainly when we talk about climate change it can be very gloom-and-doom and dire, without looking at solutions and how we as average citizens become part of those solutions like this film does.”

“Kiss the Ground” will be a free screening, but registration is required, and registration will also allow access to a panel discussion that will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

The discussion, which will be moderated by Nell Larson, Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter executive director, will include Andrea Morgan of Ranui Gardens; Dr. Jennifer Reeve, associate professor of organic/sustainable agriculture at Utah State University; Craig McKnight of Bill White Farms, and Brett Denney from Summit Land Conservancy.

“Although COVID-19 has dominated our lives over the past eight months, I think it is important to remind our community about environmental and conservation issues that will continue to impact our lives after COVID,” Wang said.

Another documentary that Park City Film will start screening on Dec. 4 will be Tania Cypriano’s “Born to Be,” which premiered at this year’s New York Film Festival.

The film, which will be available through Dec. 21, is about the pioneering work of Dr. Jess Ting, a plastic surgeon at the groundbreaking Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery in New York City, Wang said.

“The film details the emerging innovations of this field of medicine,” she said. “In the film you will see how Dr. Ting humanizes the stories of his patients as they realize the images of their gender identities, and how their decisions and Dr. Ting have impacted their lives.”

The December screenings will continue on Dec. 11 with the premiere of Massoud Bakhshi’s “Yalda, A Night for Forgiveness.”

This film, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and won the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema Dramatic, is a drama about an Iranian woman who is accused of murdering her husband, Wang said.

“She is given the opportunity to go onto a reality TV show to beg forgiveness from her husband’s daughter,” she said. “The daughter has the power to forgive the woman and save her from the death sentence.”

“Yalda, A Night for Forgiveness,” which will be available through Dec. 25, examines issues including patriarchy, class differences and media obsession, Wang said.

“Although this is a feature film, it alludes to a real, popular Iranian reality TV show, and looks at Iran’s obsession with reality TV,” Wang said. “(Also) the Night of Forgiveness is an actual celebration in Iran that gives people a chance to be forgiven of their sins.”

On Dec. 18 Park City Film will shine the spotlight on Jill Orschel, local filmmaker and founder of the Park City Filmmaker Showcase.

“She is finishing up her debut feature-length documentary, ‘Snowland,’ and has launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise the last portion of money that will allow her to finish editing the film so she can submit it to festivals,” Wang said.

Registration for the Dec. 18 event will be a minimum suggested donation of $10. And registrants will receive a link to participate in this event.

“Snowland” is about a woman who created a fantasy realm to escape her life as a child bride and plural wife in a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sect in southern Utah, according to Wang.

“Jill will present the first trailer of the film and talk about her seven-year journey of making the film,” she said.


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