Sundance sets summer series |

Sundance sets summer series

Levi Miller appears in RED DOG: True Blue by Kriv Stenders, an official selection of the Kids program at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. © 2016 Sundance Institute.

Nights will be filled with visions of comedy, tragedy, romance, music and dancing, when the Sundance Institute charges up its 21st annual free Summer Film Series. The season will begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, with Peter Bratt’s 2017 documentary “Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother,” at the Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium, said LaraLee Ownby, assistant director of Utah community programs for the Sundance Institute.

The film will be presented in collaboration with the Christian Center of Park City’s Latino Arts Festival, Ownby said.

“We have worked with the Christian Center before, but not for the summer film series, so we’re excited to bring them under the umbrella of the summer film series and include the film in the lineup this summer,” she said.

All films, with the exception of “Dolores”, will start at dusk. (See accompanying box for films and screening dates).

Sundance Summer Film Series schedule

Saturday, June 16
“Dolores” (Director: Peter Bratt)
Park City Library Jim Santy Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Dolores Huerta bucks 1950s gender conventions by co-founding the country’s first farm workers’ union. Wrestling with raising 11 children, gender bias, union defeat and victory, and nearly dying after a San Francisco Police beating, Dolores emerges with a vision that connects her newfound feminism with racial and class justice. Presented in collaboration with the Christian Center of Park City and the Latino Arts Festival.

Thursday, June 28
“Brigsby Bear” (Director: Dave McCary)
Red Butte Garden, Salt Lake City, dusk
Brigsby Bear Adventures is a children’s TV show produced for an audience of one: James. When the show abruptly ends, James’s life changes forever, and he sets out to finish the story himself. The film will be preceded by a Q and A with screenwriters Kyle Mooney and Kevin Costello, as well as a behind-the-scenes video about the filming of the movie, provided by the Utah Film Commission.

Friday, July 6
“Man on Wire” (Director: James Marsh)
City Park, dusk
In 1974, Philippe Petit, a young Frenchman, dances on a wire suspended between New York’s Twin Towers. Consequently, Philippe is arrested and thrown into jail for what would become known as “the artistic crime of the century.” The film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. It will be preceded by outdoor activities in cooperation with Park City Recreation.

Wednesday, July 11
“STEP” (Director: Amanda Lipitz)
Red Butte Garden, Salt Lake City, dusk
The senior year of a girls high school step team in inner city Baltimore is documented as they try to become the first in their families to attend college. The girls strive to make their dancing a success against the backdrop of social unrest in their troubled city.

Wednesday, July 18
“Believer” (Director: Don Argott)
Red Butte Garden, Salt Lake City, dusk
Rock band Imagine Dragons’ Mormon frontman Dan Reynolds is taking on a new mission to explore how the church treats its LGBTQ members. With the rising suicide rate among teens in the state of Utah, his concern with the Mormon church’s policies sends him on an unexpected path for acceptance and change. Presented in collaboration with the Utah Film Center. The film will be preceded by a Q and A with director Don Argott as well as information booths from local suicide prevention and LGBTQ support organizations.

Monday, July 23
“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (Director: George Roy Hill)
Ogden Amphitheater, Ogden, 7:30 p.m.
The classic film starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman as the real life bank-robbing duo. Follow Butch and Sundance as their adventures take them from Colorado, through right here in Utah and down to Bolivia as they attempt to live their outlaw lives on their own terms. Gates open at 6 p.m., film starts at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 4
“Red Dog: True Blue” (Director: Kriv Stenders)
City Park, dusk

When 11-year-old Mick is shipped off to his grandfather’s cattle station in Australia’s remote Pilbara region, he prepares himself for a life of dull hardship but instead finds myth, adventure, and a friendship with a scrappy, one-of-a-kind pup that will change his life forever. The screening is presented in collaboration with Kimball Arts Center. Guests are encouraged to bring their pets.

Thursday, Aug. 9
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” (Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon)
DeJoria Center, 970 N. S.R. 32 in Kamas, 5:30 p.m.
Greg is coasting through senior year of high school as anonymously as possible, avoiding social interactions like the plague while secretly making spirited, bizarre films with Earl, his only friend. But both his anonymity and friendship threaten to unravel when his mother forces him to befriend a classmate with leukemia. The screening will be preceded by a free concert by Dusty Boxcars, presented by Mountain Town Music.

Wednesday, Aug. 22
“Seeing Allred” (Directors: Sophie Sartain, Roberta Grossman)
Red Butte Garden, Salt Lake City, dusk
Gloria Allred overcame trauma and personal setbacks to become one of the nation’s most famous women’s rights attorneys. Now, the feminist firebrand takes on two of the biggest adversaries of her career: Bill Cosby and Donald Trump, as sexual violence allegations grip the nation and keep her in the spotlight. Filmgoers are encouraged to show support for women’s rights by wearing red to the screening.

Friday, Aug. 24
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” (Director: Morgan Neville)
Dolores Dore Eccles Fine Arts Center, St. George, 7 p.m.
Fred Rogers used puppets and play to explore complex social issues: race, disability, equality, and tragedy, helping form the American concept of childhood. He spoke directly to children and they responded enthusiastically. Yet today, his impact is unclear. Have we lived up to Fred’s ideal of good neighbors? Presented in collaboration with DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival. Followed by a Q and A with producer Nicholas Ma.

Wednesday, Aug. 29
Utah Community Choice Film (TBA)
Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, Salt Lake City, dusk
For the sixth year, Sundance Institute wants the public to select the last film of the Summer Film Series. Filmgoers can vote for their favorite Sundance supported film through mid-August. They can vote at screenings or by visiting The winning film will be announced in late August.

The goal for the summer series is for the Sundance Institute to show appreciation to Utah and provide residents access to the arts year around.

“We’re excited to be here in Utah,” Ownby said. “With the natural beauty of the state during the summer, it is the perfect opportunity for us to provide the screenings.”

The films for the summer screenings are selected by committee, according to Ownby.

“We work with the Sundance Film Festival programming team along with our collaborators,” she said. “We (look for) films that we think local audiences will enjoy, and we want to make sure there is a variety of films — different genres and styles.”

After the films are selected, the Sundance Institute contacts the filmmakers to see if they are able to attend the screenings.

RJ Cyler and Thomas Mann contemplate life in Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s “Me, Earl and the Dying Girl.” The film will screen Thursday, Aug. 9, at the DeJoria Center.

“This year the screenings for ‘Brigsby Bear,’ ‘Believer’ and ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ will include Q and A sessions with the filmmaking teams,” Ownby said.

The film for the final screening of the summer, which will be on Aug. 29 at Red Butte Garden, has not been selected yet, as it will be selected by viewer’s choice.

Online voting is open now at Filmgoers can also vote at the different screenings.

The nominees are films that were supported through Sundance Institute funding or the Sundance Filmmaker Labs in Utah, includingGeremy Jasper’s “Patti Cake$,” Wes Anderson’s “Bottle Rocket,” John Cameron Mitchell’s “Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash” and Robert Eggers’ “The Witch.”

“We want to make sure everyone gets a chance to tell us which films were their favorites,” Ownby said. “We’ll accept votes until mid-August, when we will announce what the film will be.”

With the exception of “Dolores,” the Park City screenings will be held in City Park, but the location will change in case of bad weather.

“We always hold the Jim Santy Auditorium open as a backup venue,” Ownby said.

The other screenings will be held at the DeJoria Center in Kamas, Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City, the Ogden Amphitheater in Ogden and the Dolores Dore Eccles Fine Arts Center in St. George.

The film at the DeJoria Center will be Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” which made its Sundance Film Festival premiere in 2015.

“We started a partnership with the DeJoria Center last year, and we’re excited to be out there,” Ownby said.

Prior to the screening, Mountain Town Music will present live music by the Dusty Boxcars, a local band, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Another pre-screening event in Park City will take place on Aug. 4, prior to the showing of Kriv Stenders’ “Red Dog: True Blue” at 6:30 p.m., Ownby said.

The film will be presented in collaboration with the Kimball Art Center, which presents the Park City Kimball Arts Festival that weekend, she said.

“It’s a great family-friendly film, and since it’s about a boy and his dog, we are encouraging families to bring their dogs to the screening,” Ownby said.

Sundance Institute’s free summer film series will kick off on Saturday, June 16. The screenings, which usually start at dusk, are free and open to the public with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees are encouraged to bring picnic baskets and blankets or low-back lawn chairs to outdoor screenings. For information, visit

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