Utah Film Society Summer Film series a deep dive of documentaries on public lands issues
Salt Lake City is fortunate in having at least two film organizations:
- the Salt Lake Film Society, which owns and operates two cinemas, a modern one Downtown, and the art deco? style Tower Theatre in the 9th and 9th neighborhood, alongside a wide variety of public programs around town. The Tower is also noteworthy for having a video rental operation in the foyer. Although both theaters were impacted by covid. For a time SLFS shifted to online viewing. The modern Broadway Centre Cinema is open, but the Tower remains closed.
- the Utah Film Center, which focuses more on film programming at a wide variety of venues with a great number of partners.
This summer it's at Liberty Park, one of the city's premier large regional parks. I missed the first film, last Friday.
And this year, the series isn't solely focused on "fun" featuring films like "Casablanca" or "Cars" but includes a number of documentaries on public lands issues, which is particularly important and controversial in Utah because many interests across the state believe that the Federal Government, which owns not quite 67% of the state's lands, is over-involved, over-controlling, and stunts the development of the state.
-- Friday June 24th's film is on land art, including Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty in the Great Salt Lake
-- Friday July 1st is on the public lands debate
-- Friday July 15th on roller rinks as public recreational spaces
-- Friday August 24th on reviving a declined and barren farm
Along with some family films and "Summer of Soul."
It's a great example of how public spaces can promote civic engagement and knowledge building.