Impact

2022 Impact Report

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Executive Director Impact Report Letter

“Utah Film Center wants to work in concert with our community.”

2022 was a big year for the Utah Film Center. As we celebrate our 20 year anniversary, we paused to reflect on how the industry has changed and how we can continue to be of service to communities statewide.

This year we conducted an extensive listening tour. Parents and teachers told us that they want opportunities to explore media with their kids and to help their students and children understand fact from fiction. Rural communities told us that they want to use film to create spaces to reconnect with each other and watch movies that invoke joy and thoughtful conversations. Our partners helped us identify gaps in the filmmaking ecosystem where we might partner to provide complementary support to our local filmmaking community. The Utah-based filmmakers told us they want opportunities to network, support each other, learn, and gain skills in both the craft and business of filmmaking. They want to stay in Utah and grow the filmmaking community with all of us. 

As we celebrate our 20th year, we do so with more clarity and focus. We are committed to being Utah’s Film Center, serving communities across the state. We’re here to support young content creators, and the teachers and parents who yearn to engage them. We’re here to support professional filmmakers looking to reach Utah audiences. We’re here to help communities from all walks of life and all regions of the state to use the power of film to connect to each other and to the stories at the center of our shared human experience.

I’m incredible proud of my colleagues, and our board for being willing to put aside preconceived ideas and be willing to try new approaches to our programs, new locations for our festivals, and new community programs and services. Not everything has gone smoothly, and not all the these new approaches will serve us long term, but when I look back on 2022, I’ll remember this as the year we listened and learned to work in concert with our communities and partners. This year’s impact report is just the beginning of the great work that can be done when we all work together.

Damn These Heels Queer Film Festival

Jeff Paris, programming manager for Damn These Heels Queer Film Festival

Jeff Paris came onto the team as programming manager of Damn These Heels because of a decade long love not only for film festivals, but for the inspiration and impact festivals give to communities. Jeff said, “It is about why the festival matters here. It is working to tell stories that otherwise wouldn’t be told in this part of the world. That matters.” As Jeff spoke of the power of film, he also reflected on our community, how Utah Film Center has worked to bring films from all over the world, while remembering the diversity and complexity of Utah. He said, “Its been a realization to me that the Damn These Heels is all about bringing communities together.” There is still so much to learn about our community, and festivals allow a safe space to learn, grow, and connect with each other. 

 

For Jeff, Damn These Heels is also about the personal connections film encourages. Jeff’s personal love for festivals came almost unintentionally. Jeff said, “My late partner, Felix Flores, was a huge fan of the festival and the person who got me interested….he was on the programming committee for years. Over time it started to seep into our relationship… It has been an important part of my life and an important way to remember someone I love dearly.”

Tumbleweeds Film Festival for Kids

For decades, film festivals have been places of discovery and ritual—where audiences can explore different types of stories, in a variety of storytelling forms, by filmmakers from around the world. By creating a space dedicated to the youth, Utah Film Center provides opportunities for children to celebrate and learn about, and from, stories and international storytelling. The organization’s festival highlights stories and young protagonists from around the world over a three day period, with many of the  films available both in-person and online. Tumbleweeds Film Festival For Kids also hosts workshops for students to connect directly with experts to learn more about virtual reality, sound effects, filmmaking, and film makeup. Each workshop deepens kids’ appreciation for the craft behind film, inspiring them to dig deeper into the elements of story making. Throughout the event, Utah Film Center’s Festival Clubhouse offers students the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities including:  two-frame animation, button making, caricatures, build your own superhero, and more.

Education

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Artist Support

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By the Numbers

Audience 1

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Audience 2

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Audience 3

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