Upcoming Events › Salt Lake City

March 3, 2015

CRESCENDO! The Power of Music

Start: March 3, 2015 7:00 PM
End: March 3, 2015 9:00 PM
Venue: The City Library
210 E. 400 S., Salt Lake City, 84111
Cost: Free

Directed by Jamie Bernstein
85 min | 2014 | USA | Not Rated

*Director Jamie Bernstein in attendance for post-film Q&A.

Since its inception in 1976, El Sistema, Venezuela’s phenomenal youth orchestra program, has brought social transformation to several million disadvantaged children in the country. In addition to producing world-class musicians like conductor Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema is now a rapidly expanding global movement, changing countless young lives worldwide.

How will El Sistema work here in the USA?

Cresecendo takes a cinema verité look at three kids—two in West Philadelphia and one in New York City—as they participate in a pair of Sistema-inspired youth orchestra programs. Watch as the children struggle to master their instruments, confronting their fears along the way, and interacting with their talented, dedicated teachers.

Surprises, heartbreak, and joy come in big doses as viewers watch three young people, and the community around them, responding to the mysterious power of music.

March 4, 2015

BELTRACCHI: The Art of Forgery

Start: March 4, 2015 7:00 PM
End: March 4, 2015 9:00 PM
Venue: Utah Museum of Fine Arts
410 Campus Center Dr., Salt Lake City, UT, 84112
Cost: Free

Directed by Anne Birkenstock
90 min | 2014 | Germany | Not Rated

A mesmerizing, thought-provoking, yet surprisingly amusing documentary about the life and times of Wolfgang Beltracchi, a man responsible for conducting the biggest art forgery scandal of the postwar era.
Parking information
If free UMFA visitor parking and the adjacent pay lot are full, filmgoers may park in the LDS Institute lot or the lot at Guardsman Way-500 South. UTA bus and TRAX stops are also a short walk to the Museum. Visit http://umfa.utah.edu/directions for more information.

March 7, 2015


Start: March 7, 2015 11:00 AM
End: March 7, 2015 1:00 PM
Venue: The City Library
210 E. 400 S., Salt Lake City, 84111
Cost: Free

Directed by Isao Takahata
137 min | 2014 | Japan | Rated PG

Legendary Studio Ghibli cofounder Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies, Pom Poko) revisits Japan’s most famous folktale in this gorgeous, hand-drawn masterwork. Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter (James Caan) and his wife (Mary Steenburgen), a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady (Chloë Grace Moretz). The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her, but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.

From the studio that brought you Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and The Wind Rises comes a powerful and sweeping epic that redefines the limits of animated storytelling and marks a triumphant highpoint within an extraordinary career in filmmaking for director Isao Takahata.

Nominated: Best Animated Feature—2015 Academy Awards

March 10, 2015

OPEN SESAME: The Story of Seeds

Start: March 10, 2015 7:00 PM
End: March 10, 2015 9:00 PM
Venue: The City Library
210 E. 400 S., Salt Lake City, 84111
Cost: Free

Directed by M. Sean Kaminksy
82 min | USA | 2014 | Not Rated

*Dr. Lynn Bohs, PhD from Harvard University, will be joining us after the film for a discussion on the importance of biodiversity and plant evolution. Right now she is a professor of biology at the University of Utah.

One of the world’s most precious resources is at risk. This timely and emotionally moving documentary illuminates what is at stake and what can be done to protect the source of nearly all our food: SEEDS.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), approximately 90% of the fruit and vegetable varieties that existed 100 years ago no longer exist today. Heritage grain is near extinction. Seeds that were lovingly nurtured over decades or even hundreds of years have been lost forever. Maintaining seed biodiversity allows us to breed new varieties that are resistant to pests or thrive in temperature extremes. This is essential in a changing climate.

Meanwhile, corporations are co-opting seed genetics using patent law. In the past, the seed was communal. Seeds were a shared resource not unlike the water we drink or the air we breathe. One hundred years ago things started to change. Today, corporate-owned seed accounts for 82% of the world-wide market. Plants grown from transgenic seeds (also known as GMOs) send pollen through the wind and contaminate neighboring crops. When this happens, large companies threaten affected farmers with lawsuits (and nearly always win). Once a crop is contaminated by GMO pollen there is no turning back.

This film tells the story of seeds by following their challenges and triumphs as they work to save this precious resource.

It’s not too late… yet.

“Research in our lab centers on plant systematics, phylogeny, evolution, and biodiversity, with an emphasis on plants in the Solanaceae (tomato family). We use a variety of approaches from morphology to molecular phylogenetics and a diversity of techniques from field and herbarium studies to DNA sequencing to delimit and describe species and investigate their evolutionary relationships, distributional ranges, and basic biology. The Solanaceae has a worldwide distribution and is one of the world’s most economically important plant families, including the tomato, potato, eggplant, chili pepper, petunia, and tobacco as well as lesser-known species with potential uses as foods or medicines. It provides opportunities to investigate the interactions of plants with people, the evolution of domesticated species, and character changes associated with human selection.”
~ Dr. Lynn Bohs, PhD



March 11, 2015


Start: March 11, 2015 7:00 PM
End: March 11, 2015 9:30 PM
Venue: Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center
138 W. Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT, 84101
Cost: Free

Directed by Tony Vainuku and Erika Cohn
87 min | 2014 | USA | Not Rated

**Directors Tony Vainuku and Erika Cohn in attendance.

Despite a small population with a brief history in the United States, Samoans and Tongans are 28 times more likely than any other minority group to play football for the NFL. Filmed over four years, filmmakers Tony Vainuku and Erika Cohn track the journeys of four talented Polynesian high school football players as they strive toward their lifelong, and potentially life-changing, goal of professional recruitment.

Charismatic, passionate, and determined, the players’ love of family is matched only by their love of American football. Their speedy transformation from adolescence to adulthood in the high-stakes world of collegiate football is filmed with incredible access, shining a light on the extreme pressures to succeed that emanate from within the tightly knit Polynesian community, as well as from the outside.

Yet, gang violence, addiction, and poverty are a constant danger that can easily bring down a dream. Even with the best moms, siblings, and friends cheering from the grandstands, not everyone makes it to the big time.

– Description courtesy of Sundance Institute

Official Selection: 2015 Sundance Film Festival

March 17, 2015


Start: March 17, 2015 7:00 PM
End: March 17, 2015 9:00 PM
Venue: The City Library
210 E. 400 S., Salt Lake City, 84111
Cost: Free

Directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel
87 min | 2012 | France/UK/USA | Not Rated

One of the most critically acclaimed documentaries in recent years, Leviathan is a groundbreaking, immersive portrait of the contemporary commercial fishing industry.

Filmed off the coast of New Bedford, Massachusetts, the country’s largest fishing port with over 500 ships sailing from its harbor every month, Leviathan follows one such vessel, a hulking groundfish trawler, into the surrounding murky black waters on a weeks-long fishing expedition. But instead of romanticizing the labor or partaking in the longstanding tradition of turning fisher folk into images, filmmakers Lucien Castaing-Taylor (Sweetgrass) and Véréna Paravel (Foreign Parts) present a vivid, almost-kaleidoscopic representation of the work, the sea, the machinery and the players, both human and marine.

Employing an arsenal of cameras that passed freely from film crew to ship crew, that swoop from below sea level to astonishing bird’s-eye views in the sky, the film that emerges is unlike anything that has been seen before. Entirely dialogue-free, it is mesmerizing and gripping throughout, and breaks new ground in both cinema and anthropology, while presenting a cosmic portrait of one of mankind’s oldest endeavors.

March 18, 2015


Start: March 18, 2015 7:00 PM
End: March 18, 2015 9:30 PM
Venue: Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center
138 W. Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT, 84101
Cost: Free

Directed by Amy Berg
90 min | 2015 | USA | Not Rated

**Post-film Q&A with director Amy Berg, moderated by Doug Fabrizio, host of KUER’S RadioWest.

When noted author Jon Krakauer stumbled upon a closed polygamist community in southern Utah in 1999, it caught him by surprise. Private investigator Sam Brower (whose 2011 book shares the film’s name) was already investigating the rogue sect, known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints (FLDS). Here the two men share their alarming allegations of sexual abuse, underage marriages, and pregnancies. Collaborating with a local Texas journalist who first reported the story, they retrace their involvement that led to the capture and conviction of the group’s maniacal leader, Warren Jeffs.

Gripping first-person accounts from former members and descendants of FLDS leadership paint a harrowing portrait where women are property, and men are forced to comply with the oppressive guidelines, or face expulsion from their own families. Veteran director Amy Berg’s sobering examination of current religious indoctrination is a chilling reminder of the danger of a tyrannical “prophet’s” unchecked power.

–Description courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Official Selection: 2015 Sundance Film Festival
Through The Lens

March 19, 2015


Start: March 19, 2015 7:00 PM
End: March 19, 2015 9:00 PM
Venue: Brewvies
677 S. 200 W., Salt Lake City, Utah, 84101
Cost: Free

Directed by Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson
77 min | 2014 | USA/Fiji | Not Rated

Imagine a world where a little boy can grow up to be the woman of his dreams, and a young girl can rise to become a leader among men. Welcome to Kumu Hina’s Hawai’i.

During a momentous year in her life in modern Honolulu, Hina Wong-Kalu, a native Hawaiian māhū, or transgender teacher, uses traditional culture to inspire a student to claim her place as leader of the school’s all-male hula troupe. But despite her success as a teacher, Hina longs for love and a committed relationship. Will her marriage to a headstrong Tongan man fulfill her dreams? An incredible docu-drama that unfolds like a narrative film, Kumu Hina reveals a side of Hawai’i rarely seen on screen.

March 24, 2015


Start: March 24, 2015 7:00 PM
End: March 24, 2015 9:00 PM
Venue: The City Library
210 E. 400 S., Salt Lake City, 84111
Cost: Free

Directed by Patrick McGrady
89 min | 2010 | UK/Switzerland/Russia/Germany | Not Rated

** Post-film discussion with Christopher McBeth, Artistic Director, Utah Opera.

Actor and writer, Stephen Fry explores his passion for the world’s most controversial
composer, but can he salvage Richard Wagner’s music from its dark associations with anti-Semitism and Hitler?

Fry’s quest begins in southern Germany where he is granted unique access to Bayreuth’s legendary Wagner festival. In Switzerland, he discovers the origins of Wagner’s masterpiece “The Ring.” In Bavaria, he marvels at the fairytale castle inspired by Wagner’s music, and in St. Petersburg, learns why Wagner fascinated Russian audiences.

Fry also confronts the composer’s dark side. In Nuremberg, he investigates how Hitler appropriated Wagner’s music, and in London meets a cellist who played in the prisoner’s orchestra at Auschwitz–where some of Fry’s relatives died. What will he think of his passion for Hitler’s favorite artist?

Animated by Fry’s trademark wit and intelligence and featuring a soundtrack of Wagner’s extraordinary music, Wagner & Me is a provocative yet enjoyable exploration of the life and legacy of one of history’s great geniuses.

Presented in Partnership with the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera as part of the 2014/2015 Cultural Festival: The Romantics.

March 25, 2015


Start: March 25, 2015 7:00 PM
End: March 25, 2015 9:00 PM
Venue: Utah Museum of Fine Arts
410 Campus Center Dr., Salt Lake City, UT, 84112
Cost: Free

Directed by Directed by Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez
118 min | 2013 | USA | Not Rated
Screens in English and Nepali with English subtitles

How can a film that is exclusively shot in one-takes with a static camera on a cable car in Nepal also be one of this year’s most celebrated cinematic achievements, especially considering that it is only three months old? A hint: if you saw Leviathan, which won the New Vision award at last year’s CPH:DOX, you also know that Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab makes some of the most cinematically advanced films right now.

Surprising, constantly varied and, meditative, MANAKAMANA consists, in all its simplicity, of just eleven scenes lasting ten minutes each, which corresponds to both the length of a 16mm reel and a one-way trip on the cable car that takes pilgrims and tourists up to a temple in the mountains and back again. With each tour, a new set of travelers comes on board the small cabin including; a single woman, a married couple, three young rockers, and three old ladies—whose common husband couldn’t join them on the trip. “How beautiful,” one lone lady says, to herself, as she looks out of the window. Each person sits and we look at them without interruption during the 10-minute journey. If you give yourself the time to take this trip, you will be rewarded with a rare experience, which will come back to you again and again.

Winner: Special Jury Prize and International Film Critics Award for Best First Feature – 2013 Locarno International Film Festival; Nominee – 2014 Independent Spirit Truer Than Fiction Award.

Parking information

If free UMFA visitor parking and the adjacent pay lot are full, filmgoers may park in the LDS Institute lot or the lot at Guardsman Way-500 South. UTA bus and TRAX stops are also a short walk to the Museum. Visit http://umfa.utah.edu/directions for more information.

March 27, 2015


Start: March 27, 2015 6:00 PM
End: March 27, 2015 8:00 PM
Venue: Sorenson Unity Center
1383 S. 900 W., Salt Lake , UT, 84104
Cost: Free

Directed by Tomm Moore
93 min | 2014 | Ireland/Luxembourg/Belgium/France/Denmark | Rated PG
Recommended for 7+

From the creators of the Academy Award®-nominated The Secret of Kells comes a breathtakingly gorgeous, hand-drawn masterpiece. Based on the Irish legend of the Selkies, Song of the Sea tells the story of the last seal-child, Saoirse, and her brother Ben, who go on an epic journey to save the world of magic and discover the secrets of their past. As enthralling for adults as it is for children young and old, Song of the Sea is a wonder of magical storytelling and visual splendor that is destined to become a classic.

Nominated: 2015 Academy Award – Best Animated Feature

March 31, 2015


Start: March 31, 2015 7:00 PM
End: March 31, 2015 9:00 PM
Venue: The City Library
210 E. 400 S., Salt Lake City, 84111
Cost: Free

Directed by Billy Savage
83 min | 2006 | USA | Not Rated

**Post-film Q&A via Skype with Gary Fisher, one of the inventors of the modern mountain bike and founder of Gary Fisher Mountain Bikes.

Using archival footage, still photographs, and interviews, Klunkerz tells the story of the earliest days of mountain biking from those who were there. Some of the biggest names in the industry, as well as some more obscure characters, recount the people and events that gave birth to the modern mountain bike.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s San Francisco was the vortex of America’s counter-culture movement. Just over the Golden Gate Bridge, in Marin County, another movement was under way. The kids here would shake up a 100 year old American industry, and within a decade, create a worldwide phenomenon.

Long before the mountain bike entered our global consciousness, the cycling enthusiasts of Marin rode modified pre-WWII bicycles down the slopes of Mount Tamalpais. They developed their bikes through rigorous field-testing, often risking life and limb to do so. Only the strongest, heaviest parts could withstand the abuse that Mount Tam dished out.

Some were Category-1 road racers looking for a new way to cross-train during the off-season. Others were simply fun-loving hippies, checking out a new way to commune with nature. They had little in common, except for the bikes they rode and the Bay Area music scene that, like the trails on Mount Tam, surrounded them.

The pioneer’s bikes were scavenged from dumpsters and junkyards, sometimes adapting motorcycle parts to suit their needs. It was from these humble beginnings that a billion dollar industry, a new form of recreation for the masses, and an Olympic event, were born. These hefty steeds were affectionately known as Klunkerz.

Presented in partnership with Bike Utah.

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