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Tumbleweeds Film Festival

The mainstream movie-making world often seems to have reduced the definition of a “family film” to “computer-animated adventure of some kind filled with talking animals and/or fart jokes.” For the third year, the Utah Film Center’s Tumbleweeds Film Festival looks to expand the definition of movies that can appeal to younger viewers.

That doesn’t mean computer-animated adventures can’t be part of the program. Opening Night Gala film A Monster in Paris—from director Bibo Bergeron (Shark Tale)—is a kid-friendly spin on The Phantom of the Opera set in 1910 Paris. But animation can also come from all over the world, like the Estonian adventure Lotte & the Moonstone Secret.

The live-action stories also tell tales of young protagonists from a variety of different cultural backgrounds. The 10-year-old hero of Eliot & Me is a girl from Dublin who takes in a shelter dog to help cope with her parents’ separation; the titular protagonist of Will is an 11-year-old Liverpool soccer enthusiast dealing with the unexpected return of his long-absent dad. You can even find terrific documentaries with a youth focus, like Brooklyn Castle’s (pictured) compelling story of a New York City school with a nationally renowned chess program.

For kids who want to explore filmmaking in even more depth, Spy Hop workshops give kids a chance to work on 3-D game design or sound effects. Or, drop in for Craft Lake City/Spy Hop’s animation workshop. Developing a love of movies doesn’t have to wait until they’re old enough for Sundance. (Scott Renshaw)

Date: Mar 15, 2013
Phone: 801-355-2787
Address: 138 W. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 84101
Where: Rose Wagner Center