Sundance Institute Film Series Presents Short Films Showcase April 4 At Rose Wagner

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On Saturday, April 4, Sundance Institute Film Series will present a Short Films Showcase, free screenings of nine short films showcasing the creative, boundary-pushing work of both filmmaking’s rising talent and of established directors — all who have a connection to Sundance Film Festival. Designed to be a free-flowing event, the screenings begin with Shorts Program I at 5 pm, followed at 6:30 pm by Short Films – Big Impact: a filmmaker panel and Q&A moderated by Sundance Film Festival programmers Trevor Groth and Todd Luoto, followed by Shorts Program II at 8 pm. All programs are free to the public and will be held in the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center’s Jeanné Wagner Theatre, 138 West, 300 South in Salt Lake City.

Short Films Showcase is made possible by generous support from Principal Sponsor Zions Bank and Major Sponsors Summit County Recreation, Arts, and Parks Program, Salt Lake County and Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“We are thrilled to be hosting this very special evening recreating what is truly best and unique about the Sundance Festival experience,” Groth said. “The audience will be able to engage in direct dialogue with gifted film makers whose works illustrate the incredible creativity, depth, innovation and emotion possible in short filmmaking. It is by no means a formal event, but hopefully an entertaining and inspiring one.”

Filmmakers who will be screening their films and taking part in the screenings and Q&A are:

Destin Daniel Cretton

Short Term 12 (SFF 2009)

The Sundance Film Festival’s 2009 Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking was awarded to this riveting film about life inside a residential facility for at-risk teenagers. The short stars Brad William Henke (Choke, October Road) as the facility’s supervisor, and his daughter, Phoenix Henke, as one of the troubled children being housed.  “One of the best, most promising pieces of storytelling we’ve had the pleasure of watching in a long time” (Gossip Sauce). U.S.A.,  2008, 22 mins., color

Jesse Epstein

Film Title TBD

Epstein directed Wet Dreams and False Images, a documentary short film that uses humor to raise serious concerns about the marketplace of commercial illusion and unrealizable standards of physical perfection. The film won the Sundance Online Film Festival Jury Award in 2003. She is currently working on a documentary feature addressing the concept of body image in cultures around the world.

Sam Green

Pie Fight ’69, (SFF 2001)

Academy-Award nominated director Sam Green has brought five short films to the Sundance Film Festival and has served as an advisor to the Institute’s Documentary Lab. Pie Fight ’69, directed by Green and Christian Bruno, is a comedic documentary based on footage lost since 1969 of a notorious ‘pie-fight’ incident at the San Francisco Film Festival. It won an honorable mention in the short film category at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. U.S.A.,  2000, 7 mins.

Jared Hess

Film Title TBD

Utah local and BYU graduate Jared Hess is the Director of Napoleon Dynamite, the  comedy which premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and went on to gain cult status while grossing over $44.5 million.

Joshua Leonard

The Youth in Us (SFF 2005)

A tragic love story about a couple who confront the future by looking into the past, The Youth in Us was the narrative directorial debut of Joshua Leonard, known to audiences for his acting roles in the seminal Blair Witch Project (SFF 1999) and this year’s Humpday. The film “in twelve brief but exquisite minutes, takes us on a life-changing journey” (IMDB). U.S.A.,  2005, 12 mins., color

Andrew Okpeaha MacLean

Sikumi (On the Ice)(SFF 2008)

The first film ever made in the Iñupiaq language, Sikumi tells the story of an Inuit hunter who drives his dog team out onto the frozen Arctic Ocean and inadvertently witnesses a murder. Winner of a 2008 Sundance Short Filmmaking Award, Maclean’s film is “a work of great intelligence and artistry that demands to be seen by as many people as possible” (Film Threat). In Iñupiaq with English subtitles. U.S.A.,  2008, 15 mins., color

Jenni Olson

575 Castro St. (SFF 2009)

Jenni Olson is one of the world’s leading experts on LGBT cinema. Her timely short film, shot on the Castro Camera Store set for Gus Van Sant’s feature film Milk, is set to the original 1977 audio cassette recorded by the late Harvey Milk to be played “in the event of my death by assassination.”  “Powerful and evocative” (Documents on Art & Cinema). U.S.A.,  2008, 8 mins., color

Olivia Silver

Little Canyon (SFF 2009)

Promising a California paradise, a father is moving his family and packing half the household into a dented station wagon — all that’s missing is Mom. Silver wrote, produced, directed and edited this autobiographical short film which premiered to high acclaim at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. U.S.A.,  2008, 20 mins., color

David & Nathan Zellner

Foxy & The Weight of The World

Known for “distinctively deadpan, frequently funny and unfailingly if oddly affecting shorts” (IFC),  the Zellner brothers have brought to Sundance Film Festival a total of four short films and one feature (Goliath, SFF 2008). In their Foxy & The Weight of The World,  a gentle little dog is about to be burdened with the cruel realities of life. U.S.A. 2004, 9 mins., color

5:00 p.m. Shorts Program I 60 – 70 min.
6:30 p.m. Panel: Short Films – Big Impact 60 – 75 min.
8:00 p.m. Shorts Program II 90 min – 120 min.


Sundance Institute Film Series

Sundance Institute invites you to step inside the world of independent filmmaking each month with the new Sundance Institute Film Series. Part screening, part discussion, we’ll showcase work supported by Sundance Institute and give you an opportunity to meet the filmmakers and discuss the films.

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Media Contact:

Brooks Addicott


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