Films, Workshops and Activities For Expanded Tumbleweeds Film Festival For Kids: March 6-15

Utah Film Commission

Utah Film Center announced today 10 films, 6 workshops, and 7 clubhouse activities for the 9th annual Tumbleweeds Film Festival for Kids taking place March 6–15, 2020 at The City Library in downtown Salt Lake City. Tumbleweeds features stories from around the world and provides culturally-enriching, curated film, media arts workshops, and clubhouse activities, all for ages 4 and up. 

Patrick Hubley, Executive Director of Utah Film Center, said, “This year’s slate of films will take audiences on a thought-provoking, imaginative, and empowering journey around the world. International films make up the majority of the program and we are thrilled to explore and discuss the universal themes alongside our young viewers.”

Film and workshop tickets, and Festival passes are available for purchase online now or at the box office during the Festival. As additional film titles, workshops, and clubhouse activities are confirmed they will be listed on Utah Film Center’s website:


Foreign language screenings presented with English subtitles will be read over listening devices by a “subtitle reader” for audience members who prefer an English dialogue track.

The Club of Ugly Children (De Club van Lelijke Kinderen)
Directed by Jonathan Elbers
Netherlands | Screens in Dutch with English subtitles
Kids revolt in this action-packed thriller unfolds in a world led by a new president whose motto, “Keep it Clean,” means rounding up kids who don’t meet his view of ideal citizens.
Recommended for ages 10+

The Elfkins – Baking a Difference (Die Heinzels – Rückkehr der Heinzelmännchen)
Directed by Ute von Münchow-Pohl
Germany | Screens in English
After hiding for 200 years from the “ungrateful and mean” human beings, the Elfkins are back! Headed by lively little Helvi, the gnomes breathe new life into a tumbledown pastry shop and discover their true purpose.
Recommended for ages 4+

H is For Happiness
Directed by John Sheedy
Australian | Screens in English
A heart-warming and unflinchingly honest story of one twelve-year-old’s determination to bring her family back from the brink and spark happiness in their lives.
Recommended for ages 10+

I Used to Like the Sea (Je N’aime Plus La Mer)
Directed by Idriss Gabel
Belgium | Screens in French & Arabic with English subtitles
Stories from the children’s perspective of refugees that fled their homes and crossed the Mediterranean to arrive in Europe.
Recommended for ages 8+

Louis and Luca: Mission to the Moon (Månelyst i Flåklypa)
Directed by Rasmus A. Siversten
Norway | Screens once in English and once in Spanish

In the international race to the moon, the Norwegian mission is led by brilliant inventor Reodor from the village of Flaklypa. With Louis the Magpie as the brave astronaut, what could possibly go wrong?
Recommended for ages 4+

Marona’s Fantastic Tale (L’extraordinaire voyage de Marona)
Directed by Anca Damian
France | Screens in French with English subtitles
Marona is a mixed-breed Labrador whose life leaves deep traces among the humans she encounters. After an accident, she reflects on all the homes and different experiences she’s had in this beautiful and deeply emotional story of an average dog and her extraordinary life.

Recommended for ages 12+

Rocca Changes the World (Rocca verändert die Welt)
Directed by Katja Benrath
Germany | Screens in German with English subtitles
With never-ending optimism, Rocca proves together with her new friends, that even a child has the power to change the world.
Recommended for ages 8+

Romy’s Salon (Kapsalon Romy)
Directed by Mischa Kamp
Netherlands/Germany | Screens in Dutch, Danish, & German with English subtitles
Romy dislikes having to go to her grandmother’s hair salon after school, but everything changes when Romy discovers a totally different side to her grannie’s character.
Recommended for ages 8+


Amazing Animations
Directed by Various

Various | Screens in English or non-speaking

A selection of animated films from around the world programmed specifically for the youngest film-lovers.

Recommended for ages 4+

Spectacular Shorts
Directed by Various
Various | Screens in Various with English subtitles
An eclectic collection of live-action and animated short films from around the world.
Recommended for ages 8+


The most creative collaborators in Salt Lake City are set to host hands-on learning experiences designed to immerse audiences in a wide variety of creative mediums. Workshops are recommended for ages 8-18.

DIY Augmented Reality Workshop

With a smartphone and photos or video, you can create artwork, messages, and stories, and leave them for others to find hidden around the real world. This workshop will showcase the augmented reality scavenger hunt, which is part of the Clubhouse, and show you how to make something like it yourself. 

Feel the Noise – Making Sound Effects for Film

In this workshop, YOU are the sound designer. You’ll start with a silent film and add all of the sound effects and music you want.

Run, Jump, Tumble, and Fly: Movie Stunts for Kids

From stage fighting to flying, learn how larger-than-life action movie stunts are done from Stunt Coordinators Brian and Kiara Finn.

Special Effects Makeup

Turn yourself into a zombie, or get a black eye! Learn special effects makeup with Samantha Lambson, a film makeup/special effects artist and master esthetician.

Spy Hop: Claymation 101

Some of the best animations out there are some of the simplest: stories told by sculpting characters out of clay and capturing their movements frame by frame. The sky’s the limit with this captivating medium! Learn how claymation works and how to do it yourself from Spy Hop’s Liz Schulte.

Spy Hop: Scoring For Film

A movie’s music, or score, delivers the lion’s share of the film’s emotional power. Learn the creative basics of how to make music for movies from Spy Hop’s composer Jared Gilmore, from sampling music to recording or synthesizing your own.

The Tumbleweeds Clubhouse, open on Saturdays and Sundays of the Festival, is free for all Library Square patrons and appropriate for all ages. Located in The City Library’s Urban Room (main lobby), the Clubhouse features craft and technology activities designed to balance visual content, active play, and critical thinking. 

Augmented Reality Scavenger Hunt

Use your mobile device to discover the storytelling innovations from the history of film. Clues are hidden throughout the Library’s main atrium in virtual and real life.

Clark Planetarium’s Mars 2020

An interactive VR experience based on an upcoming NASA mission. Experience Mars’ Jezero Crater with both a driveable rover and a flyable helicopter!

Fantastic and Funny Family Photos by Miriam Terripaia

Get your photo taken at Tumbleweeds by photographer Miriam Terripaia! She’ll have props and costumes at the ready to capture your Tumbleweeds experience.

Green Screen Magic by the Library’s Tinker Lab

Transform your surroundings or even disappear while experimenting with the power of a green screen studio. Explore facets of this technology while you create your own onscreen story.

Thieves of Weirdwood

Learn the art of storyboarding from Newbery honoree author Christian McKay Heidicker. Kids will compose their own visual scenes with original art from the book – a creepy, adventurous romp for readers of all ages!

UMOCA’s Optical Wizardry

Make thaumatropes in an art project where two images, spun together, combine to become one.

You’re A Work of Art at the Hand Drawn Photo Booth

Get your portrait drawn by the Hand Drawn Photo Booth, a photo “machine” operated by a real-live artist.

In addition to the 22 free Festival Field Trips, Utah Film Center is also adding more free film screenings and special events throughout the 10 days of the Festival.  

2019 Amazing Animations – Friday, March 3 @ 11am
Directed by Various
Various | Screens in English or non-speaking

A selection of animated films from the 2019 Tumbleweeds Film Festival programmed specifically for the youngest film-lovers.
Recommended for ages 4+

Supa Modo – Friday, March 3 @ 2:30pm
Directed by Likarion Wainaina
Kenya/Germany | Screens in Swahili with English subtitles
The story of a young girl whose dream of becoming a superhero is threatened by terminal illness, inspiring her village to rally together to make her dream come true.
Recommended for ages 8+

We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest – Tuesday, March 10 @ 7pm

Directed by Amy Schatz
USA | Screens English
Follow students from schools across Oakland, California in the months leading up to the 40th annual MLK Oratorical Festival as they hone their speeches, hoping for a coveted spot in the finals. From Emmy-winning director Amy Schatz and executive producer Mahershala Ali.
Recommended for ages 8+

Anbessa – Wednesday, March 11 @ 7pm

Directed by Mo Scarpelli
Italy/Ethiopia/USA | Screens in Amharic with English subtitles
A close and thoughtful portrait of a remarkable boy in Ethiopia caught between the ancient and the new.
Recommended for ages 10+

Binti – Thursday, March 12 @ 7pm

Directed by Frederike Migom
Netherlands/Germany | Screens in Dutch with English subtitles
Twelve-year-old Binti dreams of becoming a famous vlogger like her idol Tatyana. But when the police raid her home, and try to deport her and her dad, they are forced to flee. Together with her friend Elias she now plots the perfect plan to stay in the country.
Recommended for ages 8+

12 Minutes Max – Sunday, March 15 @ 2pm

The Library’s monthly 12 Minutes Max series, featuring short works by local artists, joins forces with Tumbleweeds. This free event will present three original pieces in a varied mix, specially designed for children and families. 
Recommended for ages 6+


For photos of please visit our press folder here:

Utah Film Center offers complimentary passes and tickets for working members of the media and their families. Please reach out to Josh Levey ( if you wish to cover the Festival and experience it with your family.


Utah Film Center’s Tumbleweeds Film Festival is an annual film festival for kids, ages 4 and up. Launched in 2011, Tumbleweeds provides opportunities for film lovers of all ages to engage their creative spirit, and bridge cultures by experiencing films whose stories transcend geographic, cultural, and political boundaries. Past Festival films include A Monster in Paris, The Eagle Huntress, Science Fair, Supa Modo, Oddball, Long Way North (Tout en haut du monde), Eleanor’s Secret, My Friend Raffi, I Learn America, Rainbow, and Ernest & Celestine. Films at Tumbleweeds are screened in their original language. Foreign language screenings are presented with English subtitles that will be read over listening devices by a “subtitle reader” for audience members who prefer an English dialogue track.

Tumbleweeds Film Festival is generously supported by Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP), George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, University of Utah Healthcare, Salt Lake City ACE Fund, Chevron, Utah Transit Authority, Lawrence T. and Janet T. Dee Foundation, and our family sponsors.

Stuart is the founder, writer and wrangler at several sites including Gastronomic SLC, Utah Now and, The Utah Review; Stuart is a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune and has worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.