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Museum of Contemporary Art Showcases Films That Tell Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Individuals

UMOCA interior (UMOCA)

The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) will host screenings of the winning films from the Film Contest, an initiative to inspire filmmakers to create films that commemorate the life of someone who has died or pay tribute to someone who is still alive. Each film, in its own way, tells an extraordinary story about an ordinary individual.

Films will screen at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) Tuesday, Oct. 16 and Wednesday, Oct. 17 every hour from 11:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. UMOCA is located at 20 S. West Temple in downtown Salt Lake, adjacent to the Salt Palace.

The Film Contest was organized by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) with the support of the Milwaukee Filmmaker Alliance. Held earlier this year, the Film Contest was open to amateur and professional filmmakers worldwide who were invited to create a film less than five minutes in length that conveyed the importance and power of memorializing lives.

A total of 87 films from seven countries – Australia, Austria, Iceland, India, Kazakhstan, Namibia and the United States – were submitted. The three winning films are:

First Place:
A Brief & Concise History of Things and Other Things by Sidney Butler – this film showcases the way in which the filmmaker and the people who influenced her life are connected to a history.

Second Place:
Tio Lino by Adrian Burrell – the story of an man, affectionately known as Tio Lino, who devoted his life to making a difference in the lives of youths living in favelas of Brazil

Third Place:
The Story of Shari Kadar and 1000 Colored Eggs by Austin Meyer – Shari Kadar, a WWII refugee, came to the United States and discovered a passion for art that has become a gift to others.

Along with the winning films, six honorable mentions will be shown at MOCA:

Cookie and Queen
a couple married for more than 60 years share the story of their courtship and marriage

Edward Wood: A Life Well Lived
the story of a WWII veteran who became an unsung hero of the civil rights movement

This Is
a touching tribute to the filmmaker’s friend who died by suicide in high school

John Claude Kraus: A Retrospective
the story of a Wisconsin artist whose relationships and artwork continue to touch others

A Life Remembered: George F. Banda
a decorated Vietnam veteran triumphs over PTSD to become an advocate for other veterans

Mark Pittman Remembered
a widow searches for answers after her husband’s sudden death.

Funerals and memorial services are healing events that help families honor and celebrate the unique life story of their loved one.

“Storytellers and filmmakers often find their greatest inspiration from the experiences and people in their own lives,” said Suzanne Jurva, director of the Milwaukee Filmmaker Alliance. “This [was] a fabulous opportunity for filmmakers, both those established in their careers and those just starting out, to use their passion and craft to commemorate an important person from their lives.”

“These films will give us the opportunity to tell the stories of others through the eyes of the people who care about them most. I can’t imagine a more powerful way to demonstrate how memorialization can help people pay tribute to a loved one and begin their grief journey in such a positive way,” said Christine Pepper, CEO of NFDA.

About NFDA –

NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving more than 20,000 individual members who represent nearly 11,000 funeral homes in the United States and 49 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C.

About the Milwaukee Filmmaker Alliance –

Newly formed, the mission of the Milwaukee Filmmaker Alliance (MFA) is to support all forms of media, television, and filmmaking, both artistic and commercial, from Milwaukee to the world and from the world to Milwaukee. The MFA strives to grow and sustain a diverse and vibrant creative community of storytellers through building an industry infrastructure that advances advocacy, education, and financial support.

About Utah Museum of Contemporary Art –

ABOUT UMOCA: Since 1931, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) has advanced and elevated the community of contemporary arts and culture. Located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, UMOCA is a fearless voice for innovation, experimentation and dialogue surrounding the issues of our time. The Museum invites curiosity and strives to be a place where all points of view, backgrounds, experience, and ages feel welcome. UMOCA is a force for social transformation and supports an array of contemporary voices within our community.