2022 Impact Report for Utah Film Center
A Letter from our Executive Director, Mariah Mellus
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 incredibly 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. Our impact this year is just the beginning of the great work that can be done when we all work together.
2021 Impact Report for Utah Film Center
Since April of 2020, we’ve offered Utahns over 300 film opportunities that they could access from their couches, cars, school desks, theaters, picnic blankets in a park, or in their neighbor’s backyard. We travelled to communities around the state to meet Utahns where they are, and ensure that every Utahn has access to art and cultural opportunities that encourage us to see humanity in others and strive for common understanding. Our revised media arts education programs are dynamic and effective resources online and in person that encourage creativity and engagement. Our artist support continues to help independent filmmakers as they, too, navigate a new normal.
Through film, we work to:
• Connect people and strengthen communities;
• Champion authentic and diverse representation;
• Invest in the film ecosystem;
• Encourage thoughtful and civically-engaged audiences
We do what we do because we believe that film can inspire people to change the world. We are pleased to share with you the following impact report for our 2021 fiscal year to highlight how our work contributed to a vision of a world where all of Utah’s communities feel welcome, valued, and creatively empowered to make the world a better place.
Thank you for your ongoing support and for recognizing how film helps us to connect, question, explore, process, and grow.