Watch out Sundance, there's a new film festival in town! This week, Park City is hosting the inaugural Park City International Film Festival (PCIFF) from August 10-13. Like Sundance, the goal of the festival is to put a spotlight on the cinematic arts and strengthen the filmmaking community in Utah. If the festival becomes successful, we might have a summer Sundance on our hands.
Building a new film festival is no easy task. For PCIFF's first year, festival organizers wanted to create a diverse and special event that everyone could enjoy. With that goal in mind, this year's program of 36 films features filmmakers, both first-time directors and veterans of the craft, from 20 different countries. "We've found amazing filmmakers motivated by passion and driven to make important films," said Director of Programming Shelley Bingham Husk. "We're excited with our lineup and look forward to greeting many filmmakers traveling to the festival from around the world, all adding to our a welcoming and entertaining event."
Although the films range from micro-budget to large-scale productions, they all share a common theme: the power to inspire and teach. This common thread of "elevating the human spirit" rings true in each film. Take, for instance, Right-Footed (2015), the story of how Jessica Cox didn't let being born with no arms stop her from achieving her dreams and becoming the world's only armless airplane pilot or Under the Red Blood Sun (2014) which follows 13-year-old Tomi, a Japanese boy living in 1941 Hawaii and the unique challenges he faces after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The full schedule of events and movie tickets can be purchased through the festival's website.
In addition to the films, the PCIFF also includes gala concert events, celebrity receptions, and panel discussions with industry professionals. Tonight (Aug. 12) Emmy-nominated comedian Chonda Pierce will take the stage at Eccles Theater at 7:30 p.m. and, after a full day of screenings, the festival will conclude on Saturday with the PCIFF Awards Ceremony.
It might be a while before PCIFF achieves the illustrious status of Sundance, but they're off to a good start. See you at the movies!