Park City Film Series’ December schedule ‘runs the gamut to Hamlet’
While Park City immerses itself in the holiday season, the Park City Film Series has scheduled a string of special screenings that will highlight this month’s regular weekend films.
The screenings range from features to documentaries and children’s films that "run the gamut to ‘Hamlet,’" said Katharine Wang, executive director of the Park City Film Series.
The "Hamlet" she is referring to is the Dec. 6 screening of the National Theatre Live’s presentation directed by Lyndsey Turner.
Benedict Cumberbatch, known to his fans as Sherlock Holmes in BBC’s "Sherlock" and Smaug the Dragon in Peter Jackson’s "The Hobbit" trilogy, plays Shakespeare’s tragic hero.
"This is the National Theatre Live’s most successful performance of ‘Hamlet’ ever because of Benedict Cumberbatch," Wang told The Park Record. "It’s been breaking records all over. They did a screening in Salt Lake and it sold out."
The screening is made possible through a partnership with the University of Utah’s Tanner Humanities Center, the Park City Library and the Park City Film Series, according to Wang.
"We are super excited for this partnership," she said. "The Tanner Humanities Center has put together a scholarly panel before the screening. It will feature three professors from the English department who will talk about the historical context about ‘Hamlet’ and different adaptations of the play."
The film will run from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. and will feature a 20-minute intermission.
"Patrons can pre-order snacks and drinks for intermission, so there won’t be a huge line," Wang said.
As of Monday, tickets to the screening are sold out, so the Park City Film Series has created a wait list.
"People just need to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the list," Wang said.
The film is underwritten by Julie Hopkins of Keller Williams Real Estate.
"This is a test case for us," Wang said. "We booked it a month ago and I can tell you it’s already a success, so we are going to do something like this again."
Three days before the "Hamlet" screening, the Park City Film Series will present another special screening of Porter Farrell’s "Windsor."
"The film is doing well in the independent film circuit and we loved that it was about small-town life," Wang said.
"Windsor" follows high school students who are on the brink of graduation.
"Like all teenagers, they want to get away, but at the same time, they have an awakening about what they are going to miss about their town," Wang explained. "Porter shows this in an interesting way. He intermixes different themes."
One is that the story pivots around the takeover of a small farm by a big agricultural company.
"That starts a storyline of how these kids have rallied around this farming family and how that’s taken them through their lives, which is something that is very special to them," Wang said.
Another theme comes from a character all the students look up to.
"Barry Corbin plays a village elder who mentors and guides the kids in making the best decisions moving forward, but also appreciate what they have," Wang said. "We thought this would be the perfect film to bring to our community and feel this would resonate with our collective sense of community."
The screening will be followed by a Q & A with Porter Farrell, producer Adam Dietrich and Park City High School student Liz Cantlebary.
"Liz is part of the Leadership Class and will talk about her experiences growing up in a small town like Park City," Wang said. "She used to live in a big city as well, so she has that perspective."
On Dec. 5, the film series’ Books 2 Movies program will present a free screening of Robert Zemeckis’ "The Polar Express" at the Jim Santy Auditorium, and the Summit County Library Kimball Junction Branch.
Additional screenings will be shown at the Summit County Library Coalville Branch on Dec. 3, and the Kamas Branch on Dec. 11.
"We felt this was a great holiday tale to bring in," Wang said. "It’s based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg and is about a little boy who has his doubts about Santa Claus and takes a train to the North Pole."
The next special screening is "The Barkley Marathons: The Race that Eats Its Young," a documentary by Annika Iltis and Timothy James Kane, on Dec. 10.
"This is kind of a crazy story about a race that is based on a prison break in Tennessee that didn’t go well," Wang said. "One of the inmates broke out of a prison in Barkley, Tennessee, and authorities caught up with him 50 hours later. The problem was he had only traveled two miles from the prison because the terrain was nearly impossible to navigate."
Ultra marathoner Lazarus Lake decided to create a race based on that story.
"He decided to combine a marathon with orienteering over ridiculous terrain and conditions," Wang said.
It has been an interesting success, because over the past 25 years, 40 runners from around the world participate in the 100-mile race.
The entry fee is only $1.60, but the course changes every year.
"They have 60 hours to do this and its totally unsupported," Wang said. "There are no aid stations and it is considered the Holy Grail of ultra marathons. The thing is that throughout the past 25 years, only 10 people have finished the race."
One of those athletes, Jared Campbell, will be on hand for a Q & A, according to Wang.
"We also just got word that Lazarus Lake will be flown in for the screening as well," she said. "He’s kind of mysterious and is like the man behind the curtain in the ‘Wizard of Oz’ in regards to the race."
Tickets for "The Barkley Marathons" are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.
The last of the December’s special screening is Alfredo Soderguit’s animated film "Anina" that will show on Dec. 12. The film is part of the Park City Film Series’ Dual Language Immersion program.
"’Anina’ is a film from Uruguay and, as with many Latin American stories are, this one is so fantastic and beautifully told," Wang said. "This is one of the reasons why we love the Dual Language program because these types of films give you a taste of the culture."
"Anina" is about a girl named Anina, whose name is a palindrome.
"She hates that, but her father gave her the name because he loves the musicality of it," Wang said.
One day, Anina gets into an altercation over her name at school and her teacher decides to punish both girls.
"She gives them a sealed envelope that has their punishment inside, but they aren’t allowed to open for a week," Wang said. "So, over a course of the week, Anina and the girl imagine what the punishment will be. And being 10 years old, their imaginations go wild."
"Anina" will be screened in Spanish with subtitles at the Park City Library and the Summit County Library, Kimball Junction Branch.
The screenings are underwritten by Park City Orthodontics and Farasha Boutique.
"The owner of Farasha, Vanessa de Palma Wright, is from Uruguay and she was pretty excited that we are screening this film," Wang said.
In addition to the special screenings, the Park City Film Series will present its regular weekend screenings in December.
"Were covering the gamut and we’re excited for this month and hope to see people out there," said Wang.
For more information and tickets, visit http://www.parkcityfilmseries.com.
Summit County Library Director Dan Compton, in charge since 2010, have become and exciting and safe places for the entire community to gather.