Due to inclement weather, we regret that we must reschedule tonight's screening to _. Please check the schedule below for information on upcoming free screenings. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Utah Community Programs

Engaging Utah Audiences through Independent Film, Music, and Theatre

The Sundance Institute hosts community events year-round, which offers Utah residents access to free public programs and community screenings to films supported by the Sundance Film Festival and other Institute programs.

Through live and digital experiences, we create meaningful relationships with local residents while serving as a connector for film and theater-art organizations. Our programs help audiences engage new artistic ideas, enrich civic dialogue, and spark social change. We work with over 150 nonprofit, civic, and cultural organizations; colleges and universities; and 90 junior high and high schools. We have reached as many as 14,000 people and more than 6,000 secondary-school youth across the State of Utah.

To contact Sundance's community outreach team please email communityoutreach@sundance.org

If you live in Utah, sign-up for our mailing list and check the box “Institute Insider.”

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Upcoming Events

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Sundance Film Festival Events for Locals

To increase access to the Sundance Film Festival, we host free local film screenings and provide complimentary or discounted tickets to underserved communities. Our outreach efforts include working with nonprofits, universities, and cultural institutions that advocate for gender justice, racial equity, immigrant and refugee rights, the environment, education, and physical and mental health.

These screenings bring together filmmakers and the people their films were made for. For many artists, participating in community screenings are a career highlight. They’re eager to build connections, engage young diverse audiences, and exchange ideas with artists outside the film industry.

“For me this was the most rewarding screening of the festival...the depth of engagement and overwhelmingly positive response from the students made every moment of the four years we took to make the film feel worthwhile.”

— Filmmaker, 2019 Sundance Film Festival

  • Thank you for attending the 2021 Sundance Film Festival! Stay tuned for next year's selection of free and affordable opportunities for locals.

    Utah Community Screening
    The Sundance Film Festival aims to bridge creators with the people their films were made for. This year, we hosted a free screening of Kevin MacDonald’s Life in a Day 2020.

    Here’s what some #sundancelocals had to say about this year’s film:

    “It was such an accurate portrayal of life. The simple, chaotic, powerful, sweet, tough, joyous moments all in one. Beautiful and honestly cathartic after this year. I needed that tonight. Thank you!”

    “This film gave me a much better perspective of my own life's place in this world. I see my privilege, environment, and education so differently.”

    Missed the screening? Life in a Day 2020 is available to watch for free on YouTube.

    Festival Highlights
    Feel like you might have missed something? Explore this year’s Sundance Film Festival highlights including exclusive artist interviews, videos, behind-the-scenes content, the latest photos, and so much more.

    EXPLORE HIGHLIGHTS

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  • Stay tuned for more information

  • Thank you for attending the 2021 Sundance Ignite Day! Stay tuned for next year's selection of free events for young adults.

    Sundance Ignite x Adobe Short Film Challenge
    The Sundance Institute and Adobe are teaming up to find the next 10 Sundance Ignite x Adobe Fellows—emerging filmmakers (ages 18 to 25) who are creating stories that bring their passion, voice, and perspective to life. To choose this year’s fellows, Sundance Ignite is holding a short film challenge, asking filmmakers to submit a one- to 15-minute short that shows your artistic vision and unique voice.

    Submission Guidelines:

    • One entry per person
    • Films submitted must be under 15 minutes long (including credits) and must have been made within the last 12 months, as of April 6, 2021
    • Accepted video file formats: AVI, FLV, MOV, MP4, or MPEG-2

    Deadline to submit is April 6, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. PST.

    APPLY TODAY

    Ignite Day

    Sundance Ignite identifies and supports new voices and talent from the next generation of filmmakers and fosters fresh audiences for independent storytelling. Established in 2015 with founding support from Adobe, the Sundance Ignite offers an array of opportunities for emerging artists including Ignite Day, a curation of free events and screenings for 18 to 25-year-old Sundance Film Festival attendees and filmmakers.

    LEARN MORE

  • Inspire The Next Generation Of Storytellers
    The Sundance Institute and the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation offer Utah secondary school students the opportunity to participate in one of the world’s top film festivals. In 2021, we introduced a new online platform for our Student Screening Program to help introduce young minds from across the state of Utah to new forms of artistic storytelling and engage with filmmakers in a post-screening Q&A.

    Who Can Watch?
    This program is open to Utah-based students in grades 9–12. Films are specially curated for students and include content advisories alongside film descriptions.

    For more information on the Student Screening Program, email studentprograms@sundance.org.

    “I think this film perfectly encapsulated teenage angst and feelings of uncertainty with family and growing up. I was really happy to see more Asian American representation on screen as well, defying the harmful model-minority myth. Overall the film was really heartwarming and beautifully done.”

    — Student, 2021 Student Screening of Marvelous and the Black Hole

    “The film was inspiring, charging, and the jolt my 12th graders needed at this time in their lives. They are jaded by life right now, and this film helped remind [them] of the power of action.”

    — Teacher, 2021 Student Screening of Homeroom

Get Out
Wed., Jul. 3, Dusk
Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, Salt Lake City

Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family's overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter's interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.

Gates open at 7:30 p.m. Join us early, grab some gear at our new merchandise stand, and get some delectable movie treats from the San Diablo Churros' pop-up stand!

Abe
Tue., Jul. 9, Dusk
Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, Salt Lake City

Finding one’s identity is a challenge everyone faces, but few have the pressure that 12-year-old Abe feels as the son of an Israeli mother and Palestinian father. Thankfully, Abe's passion for food allows him some escape from the escalating family tensions. While exploring Brooklyn to discover new foods, he meets Chico, a Brazilian chef who believes “mixing flavors can bring people together.” Abe decides to plan a Thanksgiving feast that celebrates his diverse heritage, with the hope of unifying his family.

Gates open at 7:30 p.m. Experience world cultures and support the local entrepreneurs of Spice Kitchen - enjoy some Afghan cuisine from Hayat’s Grill and sweet Venezuelan desserts from Delicius, all available for purchase before the screening starts.

Top End Wedding
Fri., Jul. 12, 7:00 p.m.
The Ray Theatre, Park City

Lauren and Ned are engaged. They are in love. And they have just 10 days to find Lauren's mother (who has gone AWOL somewhere in Australia’s remote far north), reunite her parents, and pull off their dream wedding. In this heartfelt romance, director Wayne Blair takes viewers on a sweeping journey from the big city to the Top End of Australia. In Top End Wedding—which was co-written by lead actress Miranda Tapsell—returning home is a bittersweet, heartfelt journey with song and dance, making you wonder why you’ve stayed away for so long. This is an indoor screening—no picnic blankets needed! Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Parking at The Ray Theatre is limited; please park at the Homestake parking lot (a 5-minute walk away) or take public transit.

Presented in collaboration with Tourism Northern Territory.

Eighth Grade
Wed., Jul. 17, Dusk
Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, Salt Lake City

Eighth-grader Kayla Day always has her phone in hand, hoping to find connections online that might make up for those she’s unable to forge in everyday life. She makes YouTube videos aimed at other adolescents dealing with similar issues—feelings of isolation, anxiety, and invisibility—but Kayla finds her advice paralyzingly difficult to apply in real situations. In the final week of a thus-far-disastrous school year—and with high school looming on the horizon—Kayla struggles to bridge the gap between how she perceives herself and who she believes she should be.

Gates open at 7:30 p.m. Hot fresh churros available for purchase from San Diablo Churros’ pop-up stand!

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Fri., Jul. 19, Dusk
Ledges Event Center, Coalville

Young William Kamkwamba lives with his family in rural Malawi, where he shows great aptitude for his studies. But when famine strikes the village, William has to drop out of school when his father (Chiwetel Ejiofor) can no longer afford the fees. Determined, William sneaks into the school library to research—and soon conspires to build a windmill pump to irrigate the land. Caught between his father’s close-minded skepticism and the difficulty of creating a machine out of bicycle parts and scrap materials, William races against the clock to fight for his community’s survival.

Come at 7:30 p.m. and bring your old conventional lightbulbs: Summit Community Power Works will be hosting a Light Swap where you can switch in (up to 10 of) your old lightbulbs for energy- and money-saving LED lightbulbs—for free! There will also be games and a raffle drawing for prizes.

RBG
Fri., Jul. 26, 8:30 p.m.
Due to inclement weather, this screening has been moved to The Ray Theatre, Park City (1768 Park Ave.)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s vigorous dissenting opinions and ferocious 20-push-up workouts have earned this tiny, soft-spoken intellectual giant the status of rock star and the title “Notorious RBG.” Intent on systematically releasing women from second-class status, she argued six pivotal gender-bias cases in the 1970s before an all-male Supreme Court blind to sexism. RBG tells the electric story of Ginsburg’s consuming love affairs with both the Constitution and her beloved husband Marty—and of a life’s work that led her to become an icon of justice in the highest court in the land.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Register to vote, visit information booths for local organizations supporting activism for voters' and women’s rights, and purchase a sweet treat from Waffle Love on site! Parking at The Ray Theatre is limited; please walk, bike, or take public transit.

Presented in collaboration with KRCL’s Women Who Rock

Hearts Beat Loud
Preceeded by the short film The Saint of Dry Creek

Mon., Jul. 29, 7:30 p.m.
Ogden Amphitheater, Ogden

As single dad Frank (Nick Offerman) prepares to send hardworking daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) off to UCLA pre-med, he also reluctantly realizes he has to accept that his own record-store business is failing. Hoping to stay connected with his daughter through their shared love of music, he urges her to turn their weekly “jam sesh” into an actual band. They unexpectedly find We’re Not a Band’s first song turning into a minor Spotify hit, and they use their songwriting efforts to work through their feelings about the life changes each of them faces.

Preceded by the StoryCorps short film The Saint of Dry Creek, directed by Julie Zammarchi, 4 min.
Patrick Haggerty was a teenager in rural Dry Creek, Washington, in the late 1950s. Here, he remembers the day he first had a conversation with his father about being gay.

Presented in collaboration with Ogden Amphitheater. Gates open at 6:30 p.m.

The Cockettes
Wed., Jul. 31, Dusk
Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, Salt Lake City

Due to inclement weather, this screening has been canceled.

A flamboyant ensemble of gender-bending hippies, the Cockettes created a series of LSD-fueled musicals in early-1970s San Francisco. These all-singing, all-dancing extravaganzas featured outrageous costumes, rebellious sexuality, and exuberant chaos.

Gates open at 7:30 p.m. The screening will be preceded by a drag show with local artists (Morgana Rhea, Rose, Electra Jones, Ivory Larue, Terra Flesh, and Poison Grace), followed by a conversation and Q&A with co-directors Bill Weber and David Weissman. Submit your questions for Bill and David now and upvote questions you’d like to hear! Delicious mini donuts will be available for purchase from Donut Kabobs.

Life, Animated
Fri., Aug. 2, Dusk
City Park, Park City

At three years old, a chatty, energetic little boy named Owen Suskind ceased to speak, disappearing into autism with apparently no way out. Almost four years passed and the only stimuli that engaged Owen were Disney films. Then one day, his father donned a puppet—Iago, the wisecracking parrot from Aladdin—and asked, “What’s it like to be you?” And poof! Owen replied, with dialogue from the movie.

Presented in collaboration with the Kimball Arts Festival. Come at 7:30 p.m. for an array of delectable desserts available for purchase from Last Course Dessert Studio! Parking is limited; please walk, bike, or take public transit. In the event of inclement weather, the screening will be moved to The Ray Theatre (1768 Park Ave., Park City).

Science Fair
Fri., Aug. 9, 7:00 p.m.
Dolores Doré Eccles Fine Arts Center, St. George

Every year, over 1,700 students from 75 countries compete in the annual International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), a highly competitive showcase of the world’s top young scientific minds. Selected from millions of students, these finalists are competing for the top prize that, as one previous winner explains, “will change your life in ways you won’t even comprehend.” Science Fair follows one mentor and nine students from around the world as they prepare their projects and team for the 2017 ISEF in Los Angeles and work to change the world through science.

This screening is presented in collaboration with DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival. Indoor screening. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. There will be a Q&A with co-directors Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster following the screening.

Little Miss Sunshine
Wed., Aug. 21, Dusk
Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, Salt Lake City

The votes have been cast, and the results are in—your winning title of the 2019 community choice screening is Little Miss Sunshine! This hilarious Academy Award–winner has something for everyone, from a seven-year-old aspiring beauty queen to a Nietzsche-worshipping teen who has taken a vow of silence to a grandpa kicked out of his nursing home for snorting heroin. Together, the Hoover family hops into the old VW bus to take the youngest to the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant.

Gates open at 7:30 p.m. In the spirit of celebrating Women at Sundance, come early and listen to live music presented by local female musicians Emily Hicks and Angie Petty!

Presented in collaboration with KRCL's Women Who Rock.

Select a film and submit to cast your vote

Sundance Institute’s Utah Community Screenings are supported by:

Principal Sponsor

Major Supporters

Community Supporters

Thank you for supporting our community work!