From Sundance to the award-winning programs for young aspiring filmmakers at SpyHop and BYU, Utah is a welcoming place to show short films. Every year, the Utah Arts Festival provides a convenient spot to see some of the best work local, national and international short filmmakers have to offer. ---
The centerpiece, as usual, is the Utah Short Film of the Year competition, the eight entries drawn from winners of other local showcases and competitions. If your taste runs to goofy comedy, catch Utah 48 Hour Film Project Winner The Marriage Magician, which spoofs self-help commercials. On the more serious side of things, LDS Film Festival winner Life According to Penny (pictured) follows two troubled teens in an abusive 1960s girls home. For some real-world material, the SpyHop production Even Handed chronicles Ogden high school student Samantha Highsmith exploring a classmate’s question regarding why it was important for a straight girl to support gay rights. And don’t miss Brandon Pedersen’s wonderfully whimsical Butcher’d Meats, the animated adventure of a down-on-his luck guy trying to earn money by getting in the ring with a boxing champ.
Seven other programs are also featured throughout the festival, with 45 short films representing 14 states and eight countries under the general theme of “tipping points.” New this year is something special for the young Arts Fest attendees, with two programs of short films especially for children showing in rotation at the Art Yard. Cliché though it may seem, “something for everyone” seems like a fair description.
Fear No Film Festival @ Utah Arts Festival, Salt Lake City Main Library Auditorium, 210 E. 400 South, 801-322-2428, June 21-24, see festival schedule for individual program times, free. UAF.org, SLCPL.org