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Every January the cinema world focuses its eyes on Park City for one of the most popular film festivals in the world. Gear up for Sundance with some fantastic movies presented by the Park City Film Series for the first half of the month and then get swept up in the magic and excitement of America's largest independent film festival from January 19-29th

Park City Film Series

Dec. 30 - Jan. 1: The Eagle Huntress - Fri./Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 6 p.m. @ the Jim Santy Auditorium

On the Mongolian steppe, hunting with eagles is a way of life, a tradition passed from father to son for generations. The Eagle Huntress is the inspiring true story of Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl determined to become the first female in twelve generations of her family to become an eagle hunter. It's a beautiful and rare glimpse at a little visited part of the world, brought to life through magnificent cinematography and epic narrative storytelling. 

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Still from Cameraperson, directed by Kirsten Johnson

Jan. 6-8: Cameraperson - Fri./Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 6 p.m. @ the Jim Santy Auditorium

Nominated as the Best Documentary Of The Year by the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, Cameraperson is a unique hybrid work examining a filmmaker's personal journey and what it's see the world through the lens of a camera. Combining documentary, autobiography, and ethical inquiry, the film takes you from a boxing match in Brooklyn to Nigeria, postwar Bosnia, and filmmaker Kristen Johnson's own home as she explores relationships between filmmakers, their subjects, and the camera. 

Jan. 6-7: Little Women2 p.m. @ the Jim Santy Auditorium on Jan. 6 & 4 p.m. @ Park City Library on Jan 7.

From the classic 1868 novel to the 1994 film, Louisa May Alcott's story of a mother and her four daughters growing up in Civil War New England. Little Women gives us all a glimpse into the the enchanting years between girlhood and womanhood as well as a tribute to feminine strength and independence during the 19th century that remains pertinent today. Featuring performances by Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, and Kirsten Dunst this timeless film is one you can watch again and again.

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Still from Underwater Dreams, directed by Mary Mazzio

Jan. 12: Underwater Dreams6:30 p.m. @ the Jim Santy Auditorium

When we think of inventors and intellectual masterminds, we probably think of people attending Harvard or MIT. Underwater Dreams challenges this stereotype with the powerful true story of how the sons of undocumented Mexican immigrants decided to build their own underwater robot using Home Depot parts and challenge traditional engineering powerhouses. The competition was the mere beginning of a legacy, inspiring people to go beyond what they think is possible and fighting for opportunities for everyone to dream up solutions to modern day problems. 

Jan. 13-15: LovingFri./Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 6 p.m. @ the Jim Santy Auditorium

Today when we talk about marriage equality we think of gay rights, but 60 years ago it was interracial couples that were discriminated against. Loving is an ode to the real-life interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving who fought for nearly a decade for the right to live as a family in their hometown of Virginia. Their courage and commitment eventually led them to the Supreme Court, where their landmark 1967 civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, reaffirmed the foundation of the right to marry. Featuring Golden Globe nominated performances from stars Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton, this film beautifully portrays a couple "daring to love, without fear or compromise." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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Still from Aunt Hilda, directed by Benoît Chieux, Jacques-Rémy Girerd

Jan. 14: Aunt Hilda (Tante Hilda)4 p.m. @ the Jim Santy Auditorium

Practice your language skills with this screening, presented in French with English subtitles, for the Dual Language Immersion Film Program. Join the lovely Hilda in her happy home, high above the city, where she cares for tens of thousands of rare and luscious plants in her palace of a greenhouse. Below when the city threatens to disrupt the delicate natural harmony when they create a new genetically modified super-grain, Hilda goes on a mission to save Earth from biological mayhem. 

Sundance Film Festival 

The biggest film event of the year, of course, is the Sundance Film Festival, being held this year from January 19-29th. With a extensive and varied selection of films and events, there's something for everyone. This year's showcase once again features cutting edge dramatic, documentary, short films, and virtual reality projects.

Individual screening tickets go on sale for Utah locals January 11 at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on January 13; sales open to the general public on January 17. The ticketing hotline is 435.776.7878. During the festival, residents of Summit County (ages 18+ only) are also invited to attend the free Townie Tuesday screening on January 24 at the Library Center Theatre and the Redstone Cinemas. Tickets for the screenings will be distributed at the Park City Main Box Office beginning Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.; you must present a valid Utah ID and there is a limit to two tickets per person. 

Slamdance Film Festival

Held during the first week of Sundance, the Slamdance Film Festival (Jan. 20-26) features truly raw and innovative movies "by filmmakers for filmmakers" as per their motto. While Sundance is a magnet for star gazers, Slamdance foregoes the celebrity appearances to keep the focus on independent cinema, making it perfect for cinephiles who prefer to keep things more low-key. Not only does Slamdance have a truly great line-up of edgy, independent films, it's typically a lot easier and cheaper to grab tickets ($14 for feature films & $10 for short short blocks). You can purchase them online via their website until 11:59 p.m. on January 19, or at the box office in the lobby of the Treasure Mountain Inn, where Slamdance is located, starting at 10 a.m. on January 20, 2017.

 

 

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