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Sundance Institute Announces Local Lens Screenings and Community Events for the Summer

Sundance Institute Announces Local Lens Screenings and Community Events for the Summer

Summer is around the corner, and Sundance Institute is back with a slate of free Local Lens screenings and events. On Thursdays in June and July, Sundance will host free screenings of fiction and nonfiction films that premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. The program includes Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary and World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Documentary Craft winner The Territory, Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic winnerCha Cha Real Smooth, Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: U.S. Documentary winner Fire of Love, as well as Every Day In Kaimukī and Mija, with additional films to be announced later this summer. Sundance will also screen Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, in collaboration with the Coalville and Kamas Valley Branch Libraries as part of their Oceans of Possibilities Summer Reading program. 

The summer series will also offer a free event for local documentarians, composers, and editors on how filmmakers can develop strategies to combat extractive modes of storytelling. This artist session will include participation from director Alex Pritz, editor Carlos Rojas Felice, and composer Katya Mihailova of The Territory, the day after the screening. 

Additionally, Sundance is partnering with a number of Utah-based organizations to program films and VR experiences during their summer events. At the Living Traditions Festival, Sundance screened several short films and hosted a booth to engage with the community. Coming up this month, Sundance will be an exhibitor at Utah Pride Festival in Salt Lake City, and will show a couple of LGBTQ+ short films in collaboration with the Utah Film Center. In July, Sundance is returning to theLatino Arts Festival in Park City to present Nuestras Vidas: Latinx Shorts, a curated selection of short films centering Latinx stories and filmmakers. In August, Sundance will be back at the Craft Lake City DIY Festival showcasing a couple virtual and augmented reality projects from the 2022 Sundance Film Festival New Frontier section; more details are forthcoming. 

This year-round community programming and local collaborations are led by Sundance Institute’s Public Programming & Audience Engagement team, Eva Rinaldi (Director), and Mateó B. Ochoa (Senior Manager). Sundance provides free programming to celebrate independent storytelling, help artists refine their craft and reach new audiences.

“We’re thankful to be in-person showcasing a diverse array of stories, short and feature films, as well as collaborations, to bring unique stories to our loyal Festival goers as well as new audiences,” said Rinaldi. “We are always excited to bring a selection of must-see films from the past Festival, and collaborate with organizations to bring film to existing events that enhances the overall program. We are particularly excited to offer a free documentary artist case study with The Territory for local filmmakers, editors, and composers as a way to inspire and develop local artists.”

Sundance Institute’s Utah Community Program is supported by Principal Sponsor Zions Bank; Major Supporters State of Utah, Utah Division of Arts & Museums, University of Utah Health, Acura, and Adobe; and Community Supporters Salt Lake County; Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP) Program; Peggy Bergmann; Summit County Recreation, Arts, and Parks (RAP) Tax; George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation; and Salt Lake City Arts Council.

Official Providers include The Gallivan Center and Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre.

This season’s current slate of free, public events and collaborations include the following. Additional programming and screenings will be announced throughout the summer. Check for the latest.  

To register for screenings and events, please visit

June 16, 2022: Local Lens Screening of The Territory with Director Alex Pritz

Megaplex Theatres at Gateway, Salt Lake City 
6:00 PM | The Territory, Introduction and Q&A with director Alex Pritz 
8:30 PM | The Territory, Introduction and Q&A with director Alex Pritz

The Territory / Brazil/Denmark/United States (Director: Alex Pritz, Producers: Will N. Miller, Sigrid Dyekjær, Lizzie Gillett, Anonymous) — When a network of Brazilian farmers seizes a protected area of the Amazon rainforest, a young Indigenous leader and his mentor must fight back in defense of the land and an uncontacted group living deep within the forest. World Premiered in the 2022 Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Documentary Competition section, where it won the Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary and the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Documentary Craft. (Nonfiction) Stills available.

June 17, 2022: Filmmaking Deep Dive: Collaborative Documentary Storytelling and The Territory

Alliance Theater at Trolley Square, Salt Lake City 
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM | Filmmaking Deep Dive with the team from The Territory

The Territory director Alex Pritz, along with editor Carlos Rojas Felice, and composer Katya Mihailova will discuss how and why their team adopted a conscious, collaborative approach to filmmaking. Free event for experienced and aspiring nonfiction directors, producers, editors, cinematographers, and composers.

June 23, 2022: Local Lens Screening of Every Day In Kaimukī with Director Alika Tengan 

Megaplex Theatres at Valley Fair, West Valley City
6:30 PM | Every Day In Kaimukī. Introduction and Q&A with director Alika Tengan

Every Day In Kaimukī / U.S.A. (Director: Alika Tengan, Screenwriters: Naz Kawakami, Alika Tengan. Producers: Jesy Odio, Chapin Hall, Alika Tengan, Naz Kawakami) — A young man is determined to give his life meaning outside of Kaimukī, the small Hawaiian town where he grew up, even if it means leaving everything he’s ever known and loved behind. Cast: Naz Kawakami, Rina White, Holden Mandrial-Santos. World Premiered in the 2022 Sundance Film Festival’s NEXT section. (Fiction) Stills available

June 20-25, 2022: Nuestras Vidas: Latinx Shorts @ the Latino Arts Festival 

Kimball Arts Center, Park City 
12:00 PM to 6:00 PM | Nuestras Vidas: Latinx Shorts

Nuestras Vidas: Latinx Shorts is a curated selection of short films centering Latinx stories and filmmakers. Films include:

Huella / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Gabriela Ortega, Producers: Helena Sardinha, Rafael Thomaseto) — When the death of her grandmother unleashes a generational curse, a disenchanted flamenco dancer resigned to a desk job is forced to experience the five stages of grief through a visit from her female ancestors. Cast: Shakira Barrera, Denise Blasor, Carla Valentine. 

Motorcyclist’s Happiness Won’t Fit Into His Suit / Mexico (Director: Gabriel Herrera, Screenwriters: Gabriel Herrera, Stefanie Reinhard, Producer: Susana Bernal) — There he sits, proudly on his beautiful motorbike, which he would never loan to anyone. He is certain that he alone can explore the jungle. A playful role-reversal reenactment, taking aim at the hubris of colonial conquerors. Cast: David Illiescas, Ángel Morales. 

We Are Here / United States (Directors: Doménica Castro, Constanza Castro, Producers: Doménica Castro, Constanza Castro) — What is it like to walk this land in the shoes of an immigrant under 30? Reflections of the people that immigrated to the U.S. as children are a reminder to look beyond citizenship. Cast: Dulce Valencia, Deron Ingraham, Valeria Marchesi. World Premiered in the 2022 Sundance Film Festival’s Shorts section. 

The Diver / Mexico (Director: Esteban Arrangoiz) — Julio César Cu Cámara is the chief diver in the Mexico City sewer system. His job is to repair pumps and dislodge garbage that flows into the gutters to maintain the circulation of sewage waters.  

And The Whole Sky Fit In The Dead Cow’s Eye / Chile, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Francisca Alegría) — Emeteria is visited by the ghost of her patrón, Teodoro. She believes he has come to take her to the afterlife—but he has more devastating news.

June 30, 2022: Local Lens Screening of Mija 

Gallivan Center, Salt Lake City 
Dusk | Mija 

Mija / U.S.A. (Director: Isabel Castro, Producers: Tabs Breese, Isabel Castro, Yesenia Tlahuel) — Doris Muñoz is a young, ambitious music manager whose undocumented family depends on her ability to launch pop stars. When she loses her biggest client, Doris hustles to discover new talent and finds Jacks, another daughter of immigrants for whom “making it” isn’t just a dream: it’s a necessity. World Premiered in the 2022 Sundance Film Festival’s NEXT section. (Nonfiction) Stills available

July 8, 2022: LGBTQ+ Short Films with Utah Film Center 

Liberty Park, Salt Lake City 
Dusk | LGBTQ+ Short Films preceding the feature film screening of MAMA BEARS by Utah Film Center.

The Saint of Dry Creek / U.S.A. (Director: Julie Zammarchi) — Patrick Haggerty was a teenager in rural Dry Creek, Washington, in the late 1950s. Here, he remembers the day he first had a conversation with his father about being gay.

The Little Deputy / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Trevor Anderson) — Trevor tries to have his photo taken with his father.

July 14, 2022: Local Lens Screening of Fire of Love

Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, Salt Lake City
Dusk | Fire of Love 

Fire Of Love / U.S.A. (Director: Sara Dosa, Producers: Shane Boris, Ina Fichman, Sara Dosa) — Intrepid scientists and lovers Katia & Maurice Krafft died in a volcanic explosion doing the very thing that brought them together: unraveling the mysteries of volcanoes by capturing the most explosive imagery ever recorded. A doomed love triangle between Katia, Maurice and volcanoes, told through their archival footage. World Premiered in the 2022 Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Documentary Competition section, where it won the Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: U.S. Documentary. (Nonfiction) Stills available 

July 21, 2022: Local Lens Screening of Cha Cha Real Smooth

Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, Salt Lake City
Dusk | Cha Cha Real Smooth, Rated R 

Cha Cha Real Smooth / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Cooper Raiff, Producers: Dakota Johnson, Ro Donnelly, Erik Feig, Jessica Switch, Cooper Raiff) — A directionless college graduate embarks on a relationship with a young mom and her teenage daughter while learning the boundaries of his new bar mitzvah party-starting gig. Cast: Dakota Johnson, Cooper Raiff, Vanessa Burghardt, Evan Assante, Brad Garrett, Leslie Mann. World Premiered in the 2022 Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Dramatic Competition section, where it won the Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic. (Fiction) Stills available

July 28, 2022: Local Lens Screening of Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman

Kamas Valley Branch Library, Kamas
6:00 PM | Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman 

Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman / U.S.A. (Directors: Susan Froemke, John Hoffman, Beth Aala) — From the Montana Rockies to the wheat fields of Kansas and the Gulf of Mexico, families who work the land and sea are crossing political divides to find unexpected ways to protect the natural resources vital to their livelihoods. These are the new heroes of conservation, deep in America’s heartland. World Premiered in the 2017 Sundance Film Festival’s Premieres section. (Nonfiction) Stills available. Presented in collaboration with the Coalville and Kamas Valley Branch Libraries as part of their Oceans of Possibilities Summer Reading program.