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Utah welcomes one of nation's largest short-film festivals

By Celeste Tholen Rosenlof | Posted - Oct 9th, 2013 @ 2:05pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — One of the largest short-film festivals in the nation will be coming to Salt Lake on Friday.

Since its inception in 2009, Filmstock has shown more than 1,000 short films on screens in its home state Arizona, as well as screens in New Mexico and Colorado. The film festival has expanded to Utah, completing its inclusion of the four corners.

Made up of 30-minute films, Filmstock showcases local and international films, including some from Germany and Israel. Twelve films that won awards in New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona will be shown, in addition to 13 new selections.

More than anything, said the festival’s Utah organizer Tina Thorup, the festival is about giving filmmakers an inexpensive stage for their films.

“I love movie making, I love films and I love filmmakers to have an opportunity for their projects be shown,” Thorup said. “I got involved because I see that we have some great things that don’t really get an opportunity to see the light of day; they end up on somebody’s shelf and they don’t get out there in front of people as often as I think people should. For me, the idea of opening up our communities, being able to find new collaborators in the film community and seeing what somebody’s work could potentially bring to somebody else’s project was a very big draw for me.”

Filmstock Utah
7 p.m. – Art & Docs Shorts
9 p.m. – Dark & Heavy Shorts
6:30 p.m. - High Drama Shorts 8:30 p.m. – Fun & Light Shorts 10:15 p.m. – Awards Ceremony Screenings will take place at Fort Douglas' Post Theater. Information about the screenings and tickets can be found on the Filmstock website.

Thorup, an independent casting director in Salt Lake and film production teacher, understands the difficulty of breaking into the film industry and the important role a festival can play in making that happen. She started working as a unit production manager after being a stay-at-home mother with young children. Once they got older, she said she “needed something to do” and rediscovered her passion in film, specifically, in working with talent.

As a Top 10 film community in the nation, she said, Utah is a great place for filmmakers and those wanting to become involved with film.

“We have some of the best facilities in the west to be able to start a film, to learn how to do it. So through our colleges — the U. of U. and UVU, the community college came out with their new facility, filmmakers have a really great start here,” Thorup said. “We also have a great film commission that is really driven to bringing in films to Utah. So it makes a really great breeding ground for people to actually have an opportunity to learn how to be a movie maker on a set, actually getting in and getting their feet wet, while having a mentor above them, teaching them the ropes.”

The event begins at 7 p.m. Friday. Screenings will take place at Fort Douglas’ Post Theater. Information about the screenings and tickets can be found on the Filmstock website.


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