The Filmmakers Showcase is expanding
For the past nine years, Jill Orschel has helmed the annual Filmmakers Showcase, a Park City Film Series program that spotlights locally made films.
In the past, the free showcase would screen 20 or more films on a Thursday in the Jim Santy Auditorium of the Park City Library and Education Center.
This year, things will be different.
Not only will the screenings be held in the Park City Marriott, due to library construction, but the screenings will be held over three nights — Nov. 7 through Nov. 9, Orschel told The Park Record.
"The whole thing is that Park City Film Series is expanding everything and the Filmmakers Showcase is something they present each year and Executive Director Katharine Wang wants to reach out farther into the community," Orschel said. "It has been out of my comfort zone, because this showcase has been very personal to me. I’ve always seen it as a real intimate community gathering. And Katy has shown me that the showcase is bigger than me."
This year, there were 48 submissions, nearly double the 25 submissions last year, Orschel said.
"We accepted 32, and that was a lot of letters we had to send out that said, ‘Sorry, we can’t accept you,’" she said. "That was hard, because I know how it feels to receive one of those letters."
Of the 32 films selected from the submissions, 18 of them were from Park City-based filmmakers and 14 were from filmmakers from the greater Salt Lake area.
"We had 18 made by professionals, six by college students, five by high school students and one from a junior high school student," Orschel said. "I think this will be the best showcase ever. There is so much quality."
Each night the screenings will follow a theme.
In addition, a panel discussion will follow the screenings, Orschel said.
"Katy is bringing in the panels, which I think is great," she said. "We work together and talk about what kinds of themes are emerging through the films and how she will coordinate and mastermind the panel discussions. From there, I go back and program the screenings. So it’s really an organic collaboration and flow to get all the pieces of the puzzle together. This is not just films screening randomly one after another."
Two of the films, Kevin and Kelly Luu’s "Stray" and Matthew Antonio’s "Julia," feature a Park City actress, Ally Ioannides, who has performed at the Egyptian Theatre and with the Pioneer Theatre Company.
"Stray" is a dramatic short film from the University of Southern California that deals with the revenge of a father, and "Julia" is about a teenaged girl who doesn’t fit the mold at summer camp.
"Ally has a featured role in NBC’s ‘Parenthood’ and is an incredible emerging actress," Orschel said. "Every year she has been in something at the showcase."
The two films will be featured this Friday.
Another Park City local that has two projects in the showcase is Cam Thuman, a Park City High School student.
The first is "What Do I Desire," which will screen Friday.
"This film is so cute because it’s about skiing for the fun of it and has this narration over it," Orschel said. "Then he totally switches gears for the Sunday screenings, which is comprised of all documentaries."
Thuman’s documentary is called "A House and Some Hope."
"It’s about the homeless in Salt Lake," Orschel said. "The Sundance Film Festival partnered with the Gates Foundation for its short-film initiative that focused on hunger and Cam submitted this film to them. This film shows Cam’s sensitivity."
Another film that caught Orschel’s eye was "Down the Fence," a documentary trailer by Lori Adamski-Peek, which will screen on Sunday.
"Lori is a renowned photographer and was the U.S. Ski Team photographer for years," Orschel said. "When I was growing up in Aspen, I saw this woman taking photographs and she was the one who gave me my first taste of wanting to be a photographer."
While Adamski-Peek has seen many Filmmakers Showcases over the years, Orschel has always wanted to approach her to submit a film.
"She is currently directing her first documentary called ‘Down the Fence’ and I think she has caught that ‘I-love-film’ bug," Orschel said. "We will screen her trailer, and the interviews she did with the cowboys and cowgirls about their horses is so emotional."
Orschel is looking forward to seeing how this year’s showcase unfolds.
"For me, it will be an awesome experience to take the audience on a journey through these films at the showcase and to have some interaction with filmmakers as well," she said. "We also have lots of Salt Lake filmmakers who I am excited to meet and they, in turn, will meet Park City filmmakers and see their projects. Hopefully they will start networking and begin working on projects together in the future. This is a great chance for some of the Park City and Summit County people to connect with Salt Lake City filmmakers and those who are in the industry."
The 9th annual Filmmakers Showcase, sponsored by the Utah Film Commission, the Park City Municipal Corp and Ric Catoni, will be presented at the Park City Marriott, 1895 Sidewinder Dr., on Friday, Nov. 7, through Sunday, Nov. 9. Friday and Saturday’s screenings will begin at 8 p.m. Sunday’s screenings will begin at 6 p.m. The showcase will feature free screenings of short films by Utah filmmakers, photographers and multi-media artists. Every night will feature a panel discussion after the screenings. The 9th annual Filmmakers Showcase is presented as part of the Park City Film Series’ Reel Community Series. For more information, visit http://www.parkcityfilmseries.org .
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