2020 Tumbleweeds Film Festival

Tumbleweeds, the Mountain West’s longest-running international film festival for families, features stories from around the world and provides culturally-enriching, curated film, media arts workshops, and clubhouse activities, all for ages 4 and up. Audiences see the best animation and live-action films from around the world, participate in media arts workshops, and explore a variety of activities designed to balance visual content, active play, and critical thinking.

The Festival will take place the weekends of March 6-8 & 13-15, with Festival Field Trips offered in Salt Lake and Utah county free of charge to schools March 9-12.

Special free Festival screenings will take place the Friday, March 6 at 10am & 2:30pm, plus March 10-12 at 7pm!


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More Than Films
In addition to films from around the world, Tumbleweeds offers Workshops and Clubhouse activities. Workshops give kids the opportunity to connect directly with experts in such fields as virtual reality, sound effects, filmmaking, and film makeup to deepen their appreciation for the craft and inspire them to dig deeper into the elements of a story. The Tumbleweeds Clubhouse offers activities that will bring a buzz of excitement to the Library’s Urban Room (atrium) on Saturday and Sunday of each weekend, these free, drop-in activities are open to all, and are designed to engage the creative spirit and energy of our participants.

Friends of the Festival

We strive to keep Tumbleweeds affordable through the generosity of Friends of the Festival, which include individual, family, foundation, and corporate sponsors.

Family and corporate sponsorships help ensure Utah families have access to diverse stories and creative experiences. Financial support for Tumbleweeds Film Festival offers unique recognition opportunities and great benefits while encouraging investment in Utah’s film and arts culture for the next generation. This Festival is possible through broad and diverse community support.

For more information about supporting the Festival or to discuss ideas for supporting the Festival please email our Development team at development [at] utahfilmcenter.org.

Photos and film stills from recent Tumbleweeds

Want Free Tickets? Volunteer
Tumbleweeds is a fun-filled event with many moving parts. Volunteers help it run smoothly. In exchange for volunteering you can receive tickets, passes, and even Utah Film Center memberships.

All films screen at The City Library in downtown Salt Lake City in the 300 seat Nancy Tessman Auditorium.
Films cost $7 per person or you can buy a Festival Pass to get discounted tickets and other perks – details here.

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Workshops will connect kids directly with experts in virtual reality, sound effects, filmmaking, and more to deepen their appreciation for storytelling and inspire them to dig deeper into the elements of a story.

All workshops are 90 minutes long and take place it The City Library’s Lower Urban Room (basement) conference rooms.
Workshops cost $14 per person or you can buy a Festival Pass to get discounted tickets and other perks – details here.

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The Festival’s free Clubhouse activities will bring a buzz of excitement to the Library’s Urban Room (atrium) on Saturday and Sunday of each weekend. These free, drop-in activities are open to all, and are designed to engage the creative spirit and energy of our participants.

The Clubhouse is open Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5pm.

Clark Planetarium’s Mars 2020

An interactive VR experience based on an upcoming NASA mission. Experience Mars’ Jezero Crater with both a driveable rover and a flyable helicopter!

Christian McKay Heidicker’s Thieves of Weirdwood

Learn the art of storyboarding from author Christian McKay Heidicker. Kids will compose their own visual scenes with original art
from the book – a creepy, adventurous romp for readers of all ages!
Second weekend only.

The City Library’s Tinker Lab Green-Screen Magic

Transform your surroundings or even disappear while experimenting with the power of a green-screen studio. Explore facets of this technology while you create your own onscreen story.

Discovery Gateway’s A Riot of Color

How does your eye perceive light? And how does color figure into it? You’ll use different colored transparencies to learn how light and color work together, and take home your own color wheel.
Saturdays only.

Hand Drawn Photo Booth’s You’re A Work of Art

Get drawn by the Hand Drawn Photo Booth, a photo “machine” operated by a real-live artist.

Fantastic and Funny Family Photos

Get your photo taken at Tumbleweeds by photographer Miriam Teriipaia! She’ll have props and costumes at the ready to capture your Tumbleweeds experience.

Augmented Reality Scavenger Hunt

Use your mobile device to discover the storytelling innovations from the history of film. Clues are hidden throughout the Library’s main atrium in virtual and real life.

Prepared for Adventure!

What essentials would you pack on a perilous voyage into the unknown? With your imagination as your guide, customize your own survival tools to add to an adventurous installation with artist Maggie Willis.

UMOCA’s Optical Wizardry

Make thaumatropes, an art project where two images, spun together, combine to become one. This simple creation shows how easily we can trick our eyes and forms the basics for all moving images.

Utah Museum of Fine Arts’ Your Life in a Time Capsule

Work with artists from the Utah Museum of Fine Art to make a “film strip” of your life right now (favorite foods, friends, activities, etc.) then roll it up in a film canister to keep as a time capsule

Typed Stories While You Wait

The Poem Pros will type up any story you want on the spot. What’s on your mind? They’ll get to work.

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Who Goes to Tumbleweeds?
Kids of all ages! Films are programmed with an eye toward introducing young audiences to the joys of international and independent cinema. Parents and adults will enjoy films that have interesting universal themes and messages. Plus the Clubhouse and Workshops are a great way to learn and experience interactive media.

What Films are Playing at this Year’s Festival?
Films from over over 20 countries are playing at this year’s Festival, click here to see film listing. 6 workshops are being offered, click for Workshop listing, and 11 free Clubhouse activites are ffered, click here for Clubhouse listing.

Where is Tumbleweeds?
The Festival takes place takes place at The City Library (210 E 400 S) in downtown Salt Lake City.

Festival Field Trips takes place at The City Library, Viridian Event Center & Library, and SCERA Center for the Arts.

 How We Handle Subtitles
Tumbleweeds features the best films for kids from around the world and many of these films are from countries whose primary language is not English. When films are presented in a foreign language we present the screenings with English subtitles, but to make it easier for our young audience (and older ones when requested) we provide listening devices, headphones with adjustable volume that feature a subtitle reader reading the subtitles.

Tickets and Box Office
Film tickets are $7 and workshop tickets are $14, both are available to buy online in advance and during the the Festival. You can purchase tickets to films and workshops at the bottom of the film/workshop you are interested in. All tickets are sold through our ticketing partner Eventbrite.

In person tickets are available during the Festival at the Festival Box office located in the main lobby of The City Library. The box office open 30 minutes prior to the first film screening of the day and closed 15 after the last film begins. Cash and credit cards are accepted for in person purchasing.

Tumbleweeds Film Festival Generously Supported By

Friends of the Festival Brendan Ryan and Josette Formosa-Ryan The Canella Family Janice Boes and Family Diamond Rental Eva Carlston Academy
Family Sponsors
GOLD Mayor Jackie Biskupski & Betty Iverson C-Stone Family Céline, John, Oliver & Eli Downen The Gowski Family Maunsel & Ann Pearce Chris & Ellen Rossi Josette & Brendan Ryan
SILVER Elsa, Eli & Joshua Bloch Havilah Clarke & Christoph Zeller Missy & Kyle Dawson The Jones Family Katie & Ben Lieberman Jennifer MacAdam McPeck Cutler Family The Porter Family The Slattery Family Hailey Watanabe & Family Harper, Jason & Holly Yocom
BRONZE Ryder & Arden Grace Cuch: Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribal Members Hochman/Sheinberg Family Andrew, Leah & Jacob Nelson Willa & Louie Jones The St. André – Petheram’s
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