2020 Tumbleweeds Film Festival

Tumbleweeds is Expanding to Two Weekends!

Utah Film Center’s 9th annual Tumbleweeds Film Festival for Kids takes place March 6–15, 2020 with all public events held at The City Library. Tumbleweeds, the Mountain West’s longest-running international film festival for families, presents new, culturally-enriching, curated cinema for ages 4 and up. Audiences will see the best animation and live-action films from around the world, participate in media arts workshops, and explore a variety of activities designed to balance visual content, active play, and critical thinking.

The Festival will take place the weekends of March 6-8 & 13-15, with Festival Field Trips offered in Salt Lake and Utah county free of charge to schools March 9-12.

Special free Festival screenings will take place in the evenings of March 10-12, these will be announced soon!

Film Image


Film Image


Film Image


More Than Films
In addition to films from around the world, Tumbleweeds offers Workshops and Clubhouse activities. Workshops give kids the opportunity to connect directly with experts in such fields as virtual reality, sound effects, filmmaking, and film makeup to deepen their appreciation for the craft and inspire them to dig deeper into the elements of a story. The Tumbleweeds Clubhouse offers activities that will bring a buzz of excitement to the Library’s Urban Room (atrium) on Saturday and Sunday of each weekend, these free, drop-in activities are open to all, and are designed to engage the creative spirit and energy of our participants.

Individual tickets go on sale in early February when the full Festival program is announced.
Festival passes go on sale December 9th.


Tickets will be available to purchase either in person at the Festival or online via this website once films and workshops are announced. We encourage online purchasing, as some films or workshops could sell out. All prices include processing fees, no hidden fees.

Get the Most Out of Your Festival with a Festival Pass

A Tumbleweeds Festival pass is a great way to experience the whole Festival, while saving some money.

The 8 film tickets and 2 workshop tickets you receive with your pass allow you to choose the films and workshops that you are most interested in.

You decide how you want to use them.
Do you want one ticket to eight different films? Or eight tickets to one film to bring your family and friends with you? Mix and match single and multiple tickets up to 8 total film tickets and 2 workshop tickets.

In addition to film and workshop tickets, your pass gets you discounts all Festival weekend long at nearby restaurants and coffee shops. Plus, you get 20%+ off Festival and Utah Film Center merchandise at the Festival.

Family Sponsorship

Do you believe our views are shaped by the media we consume? Is providing access to curated media for your family and community important to you? Your family can sponsor the 2020 Tumbleweeds Film Festival.

Your Family Sponsorship in Action
  • Helps make the Festival accessible by covering the costs of listening devices to enable readers of all ages and ability levels to enjoy foreign-language films
  • Enables us to present high-quality and cutting-edge clubhouse and workshop activities
  • Supports independent filmmakers by generating an audience for their films
  • Assists in underwriting travel and curation of our Festival Field Trips
  • Allows us to provide vouchers for low-income families
  • Helps us keep ticket costs down


Early sponsors will be invited to our Tumbleweeds partner events including Sundance Film Festival Kids Section films. Learn about the films here.

Would your family like to sponsor Tumbleweeds?

Our family sponsors are vital to the Festival’s success. Here are three levels of family sponsorship. If you don’t see a level that fits your financial needs but you would still like to be involved in supporting the festival, contact us.

Friends of the Festival

We strive to keep Tumbleweeds affordable through the generosity of Friends of the Festival, which include individual, family, foundation, and corporate sponsors.

Family and corporate sponsorships help ensure Utah families have access to diverse stories and creative experiences. Financial support for Tumbleweeds Film Festival offers unique recognition opportunities and great benefits while encouraging investment in Utah’s film and arts culture for the next generation. This Festival is possible through broad and diverse community support.

For more information about supporting the Festival or to discuss ideas for supporting the Festival please email our Development team at development [at] utahfilmcenter.org.

Photos and film stills from recent Tumbleweeds

Want Free Tickets? Volunteer
Tumbleweeds is a fun-filled event with many moving parts. Volunteers help it run smoothly. In exchange for volunteering you can receive tickets, passes, and even Utah Film Center memberships.

Check back soon to learn about shifts and incentives available.

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 usually 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.
Film Titles Coming Soon!
Workshops will connect kids directly with experts in virtual reality, sound effects, filmmaking, and more to deepen their appreciation for storytelling and inspire them to dig deeper into the elements of a story.
Workshops Coming Soon!
The Festival’s free Clubhouse activities will bring a buzz of excitement to the Library’s Urban Room (atrium) on Saturday and Sunday of each weekend, these free, drop-in activities are open to all, and are designed to engage the creative spirit and energy of our participants.
Clubhouse Activities Coming Soon!

2020 Tumbleweeds Festival Field Trips

Registration now open!

Monday, March 9 through Thursday, March 12
Library Square in downtown Salt Lake City, Viridian Library & Events Center in West Jordan, and SCERA Center for the Arts in Orem

Utah Film Center is pleased to offer FREE Tumbleweeds Festival Field Trips to grades 1-12 as part of our Tumbleweeds Film Festival for Kids. Field trips are curated with an eye toward introducing young audiences to the joys of international and independent cinema, creative thinking, and storytelling.

Scroll below and click on the type of field trip, Film or Workshop, you are interested in attending to see available venues, date, and times. Please note Workshops are only available on Monday, March 9 at The City Library in downtown Salt Lake City.

Underwriting for bus/transportation support is available, email mwalker [at] utahfilmcenter.org for information.

All film screenings include a post-film dicussion and a curriculum-linked study guide created by Utah Film Center’s Media Education department for educators to continue the conversation inspired by the film as part of their classroom activities.

Animated Shorts Program
with pre-film presentation and post-film discussion with a professional animator who graduated from BYU’s Animation Program.
Program runtime (film + discussion) is 75 minutes

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

SCERA Center for the Arts
600 S 400 E

West Jordan
Viridian Library and Event Center
8030 S 1825 W

We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest
with post-film discussion.
Program runtime (film + discussion) is approx. 100 minutes

Directed by Amy Schatz
67 min | 2020 | USA | TV-G

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.

SCERA Center for the Arts
600 S 400 E

Salt Lake City
The City Library
210 E 400 S

West Jordan
Viridian Library and Event Center
8030 S 1825 W

with post-film discussion.
Program runtime (film + discussion) is 120 minutes

Directed by Frederike Migom
102 min | 2018 | Belgium | Not Rated
Cast: Bebel Tshiani Baloji, Mo Bakker, Joke Devynck, Baloji, Caroline Stas, Noa Jacobs

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.

Presented in Dutch with English subtitles – reader provided.

To enhance our young viewers’ appreciation of foreign-language movies, we have readers read subtitles aloud. We play the readings through individual headsets, to allow those who do not require the service to experience the film without hearing the reader.

Salt Lake City
The City Library
210 E 400 S

Workshops connect kids directly with experts in animation, augmented reality, and virtual reality filmmaking. These workshops are designed to deepen students’ appreciation for storytelling while introducing them to media literacy concepts and the technology driving current and future forms of storytelling.

Workshop 1: Behind the Animation with Stop Motion Workshop
Instructor: Nathan Lindsay, Professor of Animation at BYU, animator for Disney Studios and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Program runtime 90 minutes.

An expanded version of our In Your Classroom program of the same name, this workshop will walk kids through the process of making an animated film. A professional animator who has worked for Disney/Pixar will lead this workshop.

Workshop 2: Augmented Reality Treasure Hunt on the History of Film
Instructors: Dane Christensen and Carol Dalrymple; VR filmmakers
Program runtime 90 minutes.

Explore the history and behind the scenes nature of film using Augmented Reality! Students will go on an Augmented Reality treasure hunt to learn about how cinema comes together and comes to life.

Workshop 3: Virtual Reality Documentary Clouds Over Sidra
Instructor: Karem Orrego; filmmaker
Program runtime 60 minutes.

This workshop is modeled after our In Your Classroom Moving Stories workshop. Students will be taken on a virtual journey through the life and thoughts of a young Syrian girl named Sidra who is living with her family in a Refugee Camp. The use of VR headsets will take place in this workshop and an in-depth discussion on the film will take place after viewing the short documentary. Because of content, discussion, and advanced technology use, this workshop is designed for grades 6th and up.

Who Goes to Tumbleweeds?
Kids of all ages! Films are programmed with an eye toward introducing young audiences to the joys of international and independent cinema. Parents and adults will enjoy films that have interesting universal themes and messages. Plus the Clubhouse and Workshops are a great way to learn and experience interactive media.

What Films are Playing at this Year’s Festival?
Films, Workshops, and Clubhouse activities will be announced starting in January. To see what was offered at the 2019 Festival click here.

Where is Tumbleweeds?
The Festival takes place takes place at The City Library (210 E 400 S) in downtown Salt Lake City.

Festival Field Trips takes place at The City Library, Viridian Event Center & Library, and SCERA Center for the Arts.

 How We Handle Subtitles
Tumbleweeds features the best films for kids from around the world and many of these films are from countries whose primary language is not English. When films are presented in a foreign language we present the screenings with English subtitles, but to make it easier for our young audience (and older ones when requested) we provide listening devices, headphones with adjustable volume that feature a subtitle reader reading the subtitles.

Tumbleweeds Film Festival Generously Supported By