Utah’s connections to the Sundance Film Festival (Jan. 18-28 in Park City and Salt Lake City) run deeper than what many people likely will see in the press coverage. Not only has the international festival been established as one of the most significant cultural events every year in the state, it has fostered film literacy and intellectual curiosity about cinema that are cultivated and nourished in many Utah outlets throughout the year. But, more importantly, Sundance has helped Utah grow its film industry to levels that outperform expectations, given the state’s population.
Sundance is a prime factor in the state’s continuously growing presence and reputation in the film industry. There are two active societies: Salt Lake Film Society and Utah Film Center. There is Spy Hop Productions, a nationally known leader in youth media. There are more prominent art film houses in Salt Lake City than in many cities much larger in size. There are top-rated programs in film at the state’s public and private universities along with a full-fledged film production program at schools such as Salt Lake Community College, a rarity among two-year schools. There are numerous locally sponsored film festivals throughout the year that attract top quality projects. The Utah Film Center presents annually Damn These Heels, the longest running international LGBTQ film festival of its type in the Intermountain West, and Tumbleweeds, an international festival exclusively for films designed for children and family audiences – also the only one of its kind in the region.
See more at The Utah Review