As kind as the Sundance Film Festival has been to our local economy and putting Utah on the map, let’s face it: Its prices and A-list crowd suggest that it’s not made primarily with locals in mind. The Salt Lake City Film Festival puts the film festival back into the hands of Salt Lake City residents. You’ll find cheap-to-free tickets, more accessible venues and more films by local filmmakers.
Organized by Chris Bradshaw and Matt Whittaker along with a small creative team, the festival’s goal is to provide exposure for independent films while making them accessible to the public. The films, submitted from local and nonlocal filmmakers, range from documentaries on national issues to narrative coming-of-age stories to comedic shorts.
Highlights include Utah filmmaker Michael Paul Stephenson’s Best Worst Movie, a documentary about the 1989 cult-classic—and made-in-Utah— Troll II. Winner of Best Selection at the SXSW 2009 Film Festival, the film tells the story of the initial failure and eventual second wind of the awesomely bad horror flick and the actors’ journeys to cult stardom. Best Worst Movie screens Friday, Aug. 14, at 12:30 p.m. at The Tower Theatre, with a special screening of the original Troll II at 9:30 p.m. The Salt Lake City Film Festival marks an exciting addition to the ranks of Utah film festivals—made by Utah residents for Utah residents.
Salt Lake City Film Festival @ Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, 801-594- 8640; Tower Theater, 876 E. 900 South, 801-321-0310; Post Theater, 245 S. Fort Douglas Blvd., 888-416-4075, Aug. 14–16. SaltLakeCityFilmFestival.com