TMJH teacher receives 115 tickets to bring students to Sundance film | ParkRecord.com

TMJH teacher receives 115 tickets to bring students to Sundance film

Students in Larissa Fomuke’s class are reading “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” this year, and the book was adapted to a film that is screening during the Sundance Film Festival. The Sundance Institute provided Fomuke with 115 free tickets to a film screening.
Carolyn Webber Alder/Park Record

Larissa Fomuke sent an email to a representative from the Park City Institute asking for tickets to a film screening during the Sundance Film Festival expecting no response. And she did not hear anything for months.

But then, a few weeks ago, she was told she would be given 115 tickets for her students to see “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.” She could not believe it.

Fomuke, an English teacher at Treasure Mountain Junior High, will bring her eighth-grade students to view the film on Saturday at the Eccles Center for free. Her students have been reading the book that inspired the movie over the past few months.

The book tells the true story of a young boy in the African country of Malawi who decides to build a windmill to bring electricity and running water to his village. Fomuke chose the book because she wanted a story that covered science so she could plan cross-curricular projects.

She assigned the book to her students and, soon after, received an email from a mom of one of her students saying the film adaptation would be playing during the festival.

Fomuke contacted the Park City Institute, and the organization worked with the Sundance Institute to provide Fomuke with 115 tickets. Fomuke, who was looking into ways to raise money for students to go, said she was relieved.

“This is above and beyond what I ever even expected,” she said. “The stars kind of aligned.”

Jenny Knaak, rentals facilitator for the Park City Institute, helped Fomuke coordinate the tickets.

She said it is a great opportunity for kids who have never seen a Sundance movie to watch one, and she and leaders from the Sundance Institute were dedicated to making it happen.

“We want to bring as much arts and culture to the students as we can all the time,” she said.

Fomuke said the opportunity for the students is unique, and she hopes by having the experience of watching the film, the students will find more meaning in the book.