Partnership brings ‘The Crash Reel’ back
Lucy Walker’s documentary "The Crash Reel" caused quite the buzz during this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
The film, which examines the long process of rehabilitation and decisions professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce and his family experienced after Pearce suffered massive head trauma during a 2009 accident while training in Park City, was not only part of the regular screenings at the festival, but also featured in special screenings for area high-school students.
During the screenings, Sundance brought in Walker for question-and-answer sessions.
When she heard about the response, Park City Film Series Executive Director Katharine Wang wanted to screen the film as soon as she could.
In a first-time collaboration with the Utah Film Center and Sundance Institute, audiences will be able to see "The Crash Reel" in an array of free screenings on Wednesday, March 13.
The film will be shown in the Jim Santy Auditorium in Park City and at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center in Salt Lake City. Other screenings will held at Peery’s Egyptian Theater in Ogden, at the Sundance Resort and at the Pineview Lodge in Eden.
"When we were drawing up our screening schedule after Sundance, we saw there was a slim chance we could screen ‘The Crash Reel,’" Wang told The Park Record. "It wasn’t out for distribution, yet, but since it was a Sundance film and Sundance had offered to partner with us before, we decided to reach out to them to see what we could do."
Wang found the Utah Film Center had the same idea and was already planning to bring the film back to Utah for a screening in Salt Lake City at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center.
"In fact, Geralyn Dreyfous, who is the founder and board chairwoman of the Utah Film Center, was the executive producer of ‘The Crash Reel,’" Wang said. "So, we talked with her about adding Park City to a screening location in addition to Salt Lake. And it blossomed into simultaneous screenings all over Utah.
Patrick Hubley, artistic director for the Utah Film Center, said his organization has a long history of showing Sundance films to the community.
"Shortly before the festival this year, I was contacted by Sundance, who suggested the idea to collaborate on more Sundance-film screenings," he said. "That was the moment when things started happening."
Hubley talked with Sundance about originally screening "The Crash Reel" during the Through the Lens series, which is the Utah Film Center’s partnership with RadioWest and KUER.
That’s when he found out that the Park City Film Series wanted to screen the documentary.
"Part of the Utah Film Center’s mission is to work with nonprofit organizations," Hubley said. "So, we’re excited that this is happening and we are so happy to be able to work with Sundance and the Park City Film Series on this."
In addition to Hubley and Wang, the Sundance Institute is delighted to be part of the collaboration.
"This is the first time we’ve all worked together on a single project," said Sarah West, Sundance’s director of Utah community development. "It has been great, because we brought in all of our different talents and resources together to put on this multi-city presentation."
Sundance’s manager for Utah community and student programs, Kara Cody, said the multiple screenings would also give students additional opportunities to see the film.
"’The Crash Reel’ screened as part of our high-school screenings and we had a great reaction, but the theater was small and we had to limit the audiences," Cody said. "So, the upcoming screenings will help us continue our outreach program. We are encouraging teachers to inform their classes that we are doing this.
"So many kids in Utah ski, snowboard and climb, so we feel it is important for them to be part of the conversation as well," she said.
After each screening, the different venues will conduct a question-and-answer session.
While Salt Lake City screening will feature a Skype session with Walker, who is at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, the Park City event will feature a panel discussion with representatives from the National Ability Center and the University of Utah’s Clinical Neuroscience Center.
For Wang, the issue about brain injuries hit close to home.
"My husband suffers post-concussive syndrome from a concussion he got a couple of years ago while volunteering as the break man for the adaptive bobsled program," she said. "Even now, loud noises causes him to shut down."
The Park City Film Series will screen Lucy Walker’s "The Crash Reel," not rated, on Wednesday, March 13, in the Jim Santy Auditorium at the Park City Library and Education Center, 1255 Park Ave., at 7 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit http://www.parkcityfilmseries.com.
Author Edward Massey will present a reading and book signing of his new historic novel “Fugitive Sheriff” at the Kamas Valley Branch on Friday.