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Salt Lake City Film Festival

In Utah, we’re used to a pretty high-profile idea of what a “film festival” means: big-name actors, exclusive parties, swag bags and long lines. But there’s also the simple idea of providing a showcase for quirky, unusual, low-budget films that audiences might not get a chance to see otherwise. And the Salt Lake City Film Festival still has that focus in mind.

Instead of traipsing through snow and slush to get to your festival experience, you can cruise calmly into Salt Lake City. The Tower Theatre, Broadway Centre Cinemas, Brewvies and the Fort Douglas Post Theater will host screenings of 15 feature films and 26 shorts—dramas and fantasies, documentaries and animation, with myriad topics and concepts.

Among the documentaries, peer into the history of the seminal funk-rock band Fishbone in Everyday Sunshine, or, in Locked Out, learn how a union fought back against mining giant Rio Tinto in a small California town. The opening-night feature—Scottish director Simon Arthur’s Silver Tongues, the Grand Jury Prize winner from this year’s Slamdance Film Festival—follows a pair of young lovers on a road trip of dangerous lies, while the locally shot Bad Fever chronicles a painful not-quite-romance.

The film festival experience also means the unique opportunity to interact with and ask filmmakers about their work. The directors of Silver Tongues and Everyday Sunshine are among those currently scheduled to attend festival screenings, along with the cast and crew of Utahn Brandon Cahoon’s coming-of-age comedy Parade (pictured). Shake out of your blockbuster rut and explore the funkier side of summer cinema. (Scott Renshaw)

Salt Lake City Film Festival @ various venues, Aug. 18-21, $5-$10.

Date: Aug 18, 2011
Time: All Day
Address: 84101
Where: Various locations