Park City Film special screenings draw attention to climate change, children’s books and animal cruelty
What: Park City Film special screenings
When: Times and days vary
Where: Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave.
Cost: Free to $15
Park City Film has readied a lineup of special screenings in addition to its regular weekend screenings in October (see accompanying story).
The special screenings, which take place in the Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium, are films that are presented in partnership with local nonprofit organizations or businesses.
While some are intended to attract a younger audience to reading books and watching art house films, the others are screened with the intent to start a community discussion on hot-button issues, said Katharine Wang, Park City Film executive director.
The screenings fall under different categories: Books 2 Film, Foreign Cinema… for Kids, Reel Community Series and Made In Utah.
The first Books 2 Film screening of the month is Dean DeBlois’s animated fantasy, ““How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” on Oct. 5.
The film, which is the third of a trilogy based on the ”How to Train Your Dragon” children’s books by British author Cressidia Cowell, is about the friendship between a young Viking, named Hiccup, voiced by Jay Baruchel, and his dragon, Toothless.
The film is screened in partnership with the Park City Library, Wang said.
The Oct. 7 screening of Chiwetel Ejiofor’s docudrama, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” is part of the Reel Community Series, and will precede a presentation and book signing by author William Kamkwamba on Oct. 9.
“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is based on Kamkwamba’s autobiography, and the book was selected for Park City’s One Book, One Community program, Wang said.
The screening is made possible by a partnership between Park City Film and Sundance Institute, she said.
The first Foreign Cinema… for Kids screening of Park City Film’s 2019-20 season will be “Para Picar: Historias Cortas en Español (Short Films)” on Oct. 12.
The screening, which will feature seven short animated and live-action films that premiered at the Children’s Film Festival Seattle, is also a partnership with the Park City Library, Wang said.
“These are films from all around the Spanish-speaking world — Spain, Chile, Puerto Rico and Cuba — and it’s interesting to see the different styles of storytelling from these different countries,” she said. “They range from being more serious to lighthearted comedies, but they are all about discovering new worlds and kids coming into their own.”
The longest film runs about 14 minutes and the shortest is four, and screenings, which will be in Spanish with English subtitles, are recommended for kids ages 8 and older, Wang said.
Another Reel Community Series screening will be Julien Roserens and Morgan Le Faucheur’s documentary, “Shelter,” on Oct. 17.
Park City Film partnered with Cole Sport, Picture Organic Clothing and Alamo Pictures to bring the screening to Park City, Wang said.
The film follows five friends – Leo Taillefer, Thomas Delfino, Jeremy Jones, Mat Schaer and Levi Luggen, who embark on a trip to explore the hidden valleys and remote peaks of the Alps, during a carbon-free ski trip.
“The film is about protecting the climate as it is about skiing,” Wang said. “As they tour the Alps, they ask themselves how they can pursue their passion in a responsible way.”
While there are carbon emissions from chairlifts and transportation, the winter-sports quintet travel to their destinations by taking trains and doing a lot of hiking, she said.
“At one point of the film, Jeremy says you can access more beautiful and remote places while hiking, and by doing that, you’re also helping to protect these areas.”
Tickets for “Shelter” are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Jones’ nonprofit, Protect Our Winters, an organization that works with athletes and business owners to find “systemic solutions to climate change,” according to its mission statement.
Each purchased ticket will also be put into an opportunity drawing, Wang said, though more tickets can be purchased.
The night will wrap with a post-screening Q & A with Delfino.
Wrapping up the October’s special screening slate will be Bill Neal’s documentary, “Long Gone Wild,” on Oct. 24.
The film will be the first 2019-20 Made In Utah Series film, Wang said.
Neal, who lives in Pinebrook, has been making this film for quite some time, she said.
The film is a non-official follow-up to Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s “Blackfish,” a 2012 documentary about the treatment of orcas at SeaWorld that premiered at Sundance, Wang said.
“The point of ‘Long Gone Wild’ is to show the story of ‘Blackfish’ hasn’t ended,” she said.
“Long Gone Wild” builds a case against keeping killer whales in captivity, and it also tells us about organizations like The Whale Sanctuary Project, which is trying to create a place where orcas that were kept in captivity to go once they are free, she said.
“The issue is once a whale has been in captivity for so long, you can’t just release them back into the wild, because they won’t survive,” Wang said.
The screening will be followed by a remote Q & A with Neal, moderated by John Wells of KPCW.
“It will be interesting to hear Bill’s story, because people usually don’t take too kindly when you’re a filmmaker who exposes some of the things they are doing to these whales,” Wang said.
Wang said the special screenings like “Long Gone Wild” and the children’s short films, are intended to appeal to film lovers of different tastes. But there is also a bigger reason.
“Screenings like these are a chance to bring the community together,” she said. “The community then can talk about these works, and on a broader scope, talk about the art of cinema.”
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