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The Park City Film Series readies new season

People will have another alternative to date night when the Park City Film Series starts up its 2012-13 season on Friday, Sept. 7.

The first film to be screened will be Wes Anderson’s critically acclaimed "Moonrise Kingdom," which is about two 12-year-olds living in a small-town who fall in love and run away.

"It stars Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis and Frances McDormand," said Park City Films Series executive director Kim Page. "It’s a great film and we’re excited to have it open our season."

The series will also feature the return of several Sundance Film Festival entries, including Woody Allen’s "To Rome With Love," Bess Kargman’s "Robot and Frank" and Benh Zietlin’s Grand Jury Prize winning "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

"I’m looking forward to Woody Allen’s ‘To Rome With Love,’ which was so much fun," Page said. "George Dymalski is our program director and technical guru and he did a great job of choosing the films last year. And it looks like it’s going to be a good one this year."

The Park City Film Series, a nonprofit organization, was established in the 1990s, by the Park City Arts Council, will a mission is to "present the best of independent feature, documentary, world and local cinema; making film a vibrant part of the Park City, Summit County and surrounding communities."

Because of the feedback, Page, who will be stepping down from the directorship (see article titled "Park City Film Series looks for new executive director") believes the organization is fulfilling that role.

"People come up to me and tell me how much they loved a film and they always want to know what we’ll bring in next," she said.

Last year, the series introduced a couple of new elements.

"One of the highlights was a Made In Utah Film Weekend just before Sundance where we celebrated the films that were made in Utah," Page said. "The whole world comes to celebrate films during Sundance, and since there were so many that have been made here, we wanted to show them off. We were lucky to have some local and independent filmmakers reach out to us and had the opportunity to show their works, and screened a short film before each feature and tried to tie them together."

The series also started the BYOB (bring your own bowl) for popcorn drive.

"We started it because we wanted to lower our carbon footprint," Page said. "Instead of serving popcorn in things that were thrown away, we had people bring in their own bowls and by the end of last-year’s season, people were decorating their bowls and doing them in themes that corresponded to the films we screened."

Another new event was the movie-poster sale last spring.

"We still have tons of movie posters," Page said. "We are revamping the website and once we get that up, we will have a list of the posters for sale that may be of interest to families or kids. They can be used to decorate dorm rooms for those heading off to college."

This year, the Park City Film Series is introducing a program called Books 2 Movies series, geared toward children and their families.

"Those screenings will be shown Saturday afternoons at 3 o’clock at the beginning of the month," Page said. "The screenings will be free to the community."

The first Books 2 Movies screening will be "The Lorax" on Sept. 8.

"There are more than 12,000 children’s books that have been turned into films and we are working with the Park City Library’s youth librarian Tegan Davis, who has already done a great job of picking our first few films," Page said. "The films will be appropriate for ages kindergarten through young adult and nothing that will be rated harsher than PG-13."

Page ran into Davis, who has been at the Library for nearly two months and pitched the idea.

"Kim told me she wanted to start a children’s program," Davis said. "I had done something like that at the previous library district where I was employed, so I came up with a proposal for ‘Books 2 Movies,’ which incorporates children’s and young adult literature and the films based upon those writings."

"Also, since the Park City Library and the Park City Film Series share the same building, we thought it would be nice to have a partnership as well," Davis said.

She chose "The Lorax" because it had just been released, but the rest of the films will be selected based on the appeal of the book, ratings and who the target audience is.

"Movies based on children’s books, by nature, reach a larger audience, including some people who don’t read books," Davis said. "Film is a good medium that does get people introduced to the literature. It’s another gateway, so to speak.

"I personally like to read the books before seeing a film, because the book gives me something like a secret background to the characters that can’t be addressed in the films," she said. "I also like to compare what I have in my head with the vision of the films’ directors."

Davis would eventually like to expand the Books 2 Movies program to involve other community and educational organizations as well.

"We will also make sure these films will be shown with Spanish subtitles, so we can include families of Park City’s Hispanic community," she said. "We are very excited for this."

While the new programs are exciting, the films series will continue its free Reel Community screenings.

The first will be the documentary "Bully" on Sept. 13, and continue with "One Day on Earth," on Oct. 11.

"With these films, if it’s appropriate, we will try to have panel discussions," Page said.

Those presentations add a lot to the film-viewing experience, she said.

"Last year, we screened ‘Soul Surfer,’ about Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack when she was 13, and my brother, who was a U.S. champion surfer when he was 12, came and talked with the audience about surfing," Page said. "We’ve also had displays that included go-carts and stand-up paddle boards that tied into the themes of some of the other films."

Throughout the past year as director, Page said she has enjoyed seeing the community’s support for the Park City Film Series.

"We have a great following and they can be divided into our Friday, Saturday and Sunday attendees," she said. "I’ve had a very supportive board and a team of great volunteers. We would not be able to carry out our mission without everyone who steps up to help."

The Park City Film Series will open its 2012-13 season with "Moonrise Kingdom" at the Jim Santy Auditorium at the Park City Library and Education Center, 1255 Park Ave., on Friday, Sept. 7, at 8 p.m. (See article titled "Park City Film Series Schedule"). Tickets are $7 for adults and $6 for senior citizens and students. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.parkcityfilmseries.com.


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