Park City Film Series takes viewers on road less traveled |

Park City Film Series takes viewers on road less traveled

A young man sells pot from an ice cream cart; a mother collects bets for an illegal numbers game; and a flirtatious butcher seduces a woman in a small Hindi village in the first three films being screened as part of the Park City Film Series.

The series features about 50 independent films from the Slamdance and Sundance festivals as well as documentaries, international epics and all-time favorites to be screened in the Santy auditorium at the Park City Library and Education Center, 1255 Park Ave. beginning Friday, Sept. 5.

"We pick the best films we can get our hands on," Frank Normile, executive director, said. "The series allows us to show films in the Park City area from around the world that most people wouldn’t be able to see anywhere else. They’re not at Blockbuster or on the Internet."

The season opens with "The Wackness," a comedy about a small- time drug dealer that garnered rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007. The film was so popular, in fact, that many locals were not able to see it during the festival. Now is their chance.

The Santy auditorium seats 455 and gives viewers the chance to enjoy a big screen experience with an independent flair.

Admission for weekend shows is $6 for seniors and students, $7 for adults and a 10-pass punch card costs $50. Doors open at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 5 p.m. on Sunday. Some films are shown as double features.

Organizers decided to start weekend screenings one hour earlier than last year to make attendance more convenient for parents who may need to hurry home to relieve anxious babysitters. "Crowds [attending the film series] tend to be older. I’m not shooting for the young man demographic. I try to program for a more sophisticated audience."

For the fourth year, organizers decided to include selections from the Global Lens series, a collection of prestigious foreign films that seeks to promotes cross-cultural understanding through cinema. Many of these films are listed as unrated because they have not been reviewed by the Motion Picture Association of America.

Global Lens screenings are offered at no charge to the public and play on Wednesdays.

One of the most controversial films in the series, "The Visitor," is about a lonesome widower and college economics professor who befriends a pair of illegal immigrants. The film plays Sept. 26 to 28. "We have a fairly diverse lineup," projectionist George Dymalski said. "We get films that have strong acting and great stories. These aren’t the typical shoot-em-up blockbusters."

Another film, "Encounters at the end of the World," documents survival training in the South Pole.

Other films on the fall film slate are rated PG, PG-13 and R. Organizers encourage parents to visit to read film synopses and reviews before taking children.

The September and October lineup has something for everyone, Normile said. "Snatch," a heist film that stars Brad Pitt, plays Oct.. 8. The ski and snowboard documentary "Claim" plays Oct. 10 to 12 and "Man on Wire," the acclaimed documentary about a tightrope walker, is scheduled for Oct. 17. Admission to "Claim" is $10.

Dymalski, a filmmaker who lives in Park City, has volunteered for the film series for nine years. He said attendance has increased almost every year since he started. "The first shows we’d get 50 or 60 people," he said. "Now we’re getting hundreds. Because of Sundance we have an audience that appreciates independent film."

Even though the films featured in the series aren’t new releases, the experience of seeing them for the first time in a movie theater may be novel to audience members. "It’s just that experience of going to a theater, having a popcorn, and watching something come alive. You feed off the people around you," Dymalski said.

Local shorts before the show

Park City filmmakers will show 2-minute shorts before feature films as part of the Park City Film Festival.

The "Hagnet Detective Series," a parody of the television show "Dragnet," stars Kim Page of Crazy Parkite Players as a bag lady who solves crimes.

George Dymalski’s wife, screenwriter and director Stacy Dymalski, first conceived of the project for the 48-hour Film Festival in which local movie crews have two days to write, shoot and edit short films.

The Dymalskis were pleased with the result, Stacy Dymalski said, and decided to turn the eight-minute film into several two-minute episodes.

"I’ve been involved with the Park City Film Series since its inception," she said. "I think the film series is really important because it’s the only place to see some movies." She noted that the Park City Film Series has shown films such as the Catholic farce "Dogma" that have been banned from other theaters in Utah.


Sept. 5 – Sept. 7 "The Wackness"

Sept. 9 "The Bet Collector"

Sept. 9 "Opera Jawa"

Sept. 10 "The Kite"

Sept. 10 "Luxury Car"

Sept. 12 – Sept. 14 "The Visitor"

Sept. 16 "Let the Wind Blow"

Sept. 16 "The Custodian"

Sept. 17 "The Fish Fall in Love"

Sept. 17 "Kept & Dreamless"

Sept. 19 – Sept. 21 "Priceless"

Sept. 24 Global Lens 2008

Sept. 24 Global Lens 2008

Sept. 26 – Sept. 28 "Encounters at the End of the World"

Oct. 3 – Oct. 5 "Brideshead Revisited"

Oct. 8 "Snatch"

Oct. 10 – Oct. 12 "Claim,"

Oct. 17 – Oct. 19 "Man on Wire"

Oct. 24 – Oct. 26 "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

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